New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985) (external link)

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New Jersey v. TLO

  • Teaching activities, case background, decision summaries, and recommended resources for teaching about TLO v. New Jersey.
  • Format: web link
  • © 2002 Street Law, Inc. and the Supreme Court Historical Society
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A New Jersey high school student was accused of violating school rules by smoking in the bathroom, leading an assistant principal to search her purse for cigarettes. The vice principal discovered marijuana and other items that implicated the student in dealing marijuana. The student tried to have the evidence from her purse suppressed, contending that mere possession of cigarettes was not a violation of school rules; therefore, a desire for evidence of smoking in the restroom did not justify the search. The Supreme Court decided that the search did not violate the Constitution and established more lenient standards for reasonableness in school searches.