Searches and Seizures in Schools

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This resource is an Inquiry Pack to accompany the Students’ Rights Timeline on, which explores the evolution of students’ rights inside the schoolhouse gates and beyond.

Built around primary sources from the Library of Congress and other collections, this Inquiry Pack facilitates a deep dive into an important aspect of the history of suffrage and voting rights in the United States.

Each Inquiry Pack includes a background reading, several primary sources (documents, articles, images), discussion questions about the sources, an inquiry question, and an inquiry extension question.

This pack includes the following components:

  • Introduction: Searches and Seizures in Public Schools
  • Constitutional Right to Be Protected from Unreasonable Search and Seizure
  • Do School Administrators Need a Warrant?
  • Are Drug Tests in Public Schools Reasonable?
  • Is a Strip Search of a Student Reasonable?
  • Inquiry Question: How should schools balance their need to maintain a safe learning environment with students’ protection against unreasonable search and seizure?
  • Inquiry Extension Question: What rules should apply to school administrators’ in-school cellphone searches?
  • Inquiry Question Graphic Organizer

© 2023 Street Law, Inc.

This resource was developed with funding provided by the Library of Congress Teaching with Primary Sources program. Content created and featured in partnership the TPS program does not indicate an endorsement by the Library of Congress.  

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