The Supreme Court will first listen to the case and decide whether is legible to be taken by Supreme court. In this case the Supreme court will take the case. Based on the controversy in the meaning and applicability of the Fourth Amendment in the previous case studies regarding school officials and students, the Supreme Court is expected to deal with this one too.
Whether a 13-year-old public school student’s 4th Amendment rights were violated when school officials acting on reasonable suspicion subjected her to a complete strip search?
In the case of Ms. Wainricht Vs Wayne Schools the plaintiff accused the school principal for subjecting her to a strip after she was found with drugs. The Fourth Amendment of the U.S. constitution gives the right for every person not to be subjected to search and seizures unreasonably. The prohibition applies to public employees in their dealing with their students. The Supreme court has made it clear that students “do not shed their constitutional rights..at the schoolhouse gate” (Manwaring). However, due to their status, and the unique characteristics and needs of the school setting, students enjoy lesser rights than other members of the general public. The Fourth Amendment indicates that any search, at its inception, must be reasonable and must be limited to its scope. For a police search, being reasonable requires: (1) a probable cause to show the suspect to be subjected has committed a crime and (2) a warrant issued by the court regarding the probable cause. It is , however, good to note that a less demanding standard applies in schools where the authorities need only a reasonable suspicion that the search will produce evidence that the student violated law. However, this should not be done on mere speculation; reasonable suspicion should be followed such as information provided by other students.
There are several cases that the Supreme Court has dealt with in the past that relate to the current issue. The cases details and how their final judgment was reached can be used as a reference to solve this case. In 1985 the court served its first major case on drug possession in school. It involved New Jersey high school student “T.L.O”, a female student who was caught smoking (Arum 2005). The principal searched her purse and saw evidence of marijuana and then made his search more intense. After intensifying his search, he found marijuana, pipe, several empty plastic bags and a considerable amount of money in form of one-dollar bills, two letters containing information that connected her to the dealing and a list of the students that owed him money.
The juvenile court admitted that evidence and ruled out a probation for “T.L.O.” The case was appealed and federal courts were torn between if the evidence should have been suppressed since the principal violated the fourth amendment by searching the purse and could be held liable for unreasonable search and seizure. However, the Supreme Court recognized a difference in police and school officials should conduct seizures. School officials should search students without probable cause or warrant depending on the reasonableness of the search. They found out that Fourth Amendment applied to the school officials, and suggested that the standard of how reasonable a search is depends on the context.
Based on the analysis above and the example given, it is evident that the school principal had the right to subject the student to a search since there was a probable cause and evidence of delinquency. Therefore, the Supreme Court would rule in favor of the school principal.