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Chapter 3 Ethical Issues in School Search and Seizure

Leadership in Education, Corrections and Law Enforcement: A Commitment to Ethics, Equity and Excellence

ISBN: 978-1-78052-184-8, eISBN: 978-1-78052-185-5

ISSN: 1479-3660

Publication date: 25 July 2011

Abstract

Searching public school students has been a Constitutional reality since the landmark decision New Jersey v. T.L.O. in 1985. The law in this area of students’ rights has expanded greatly, including everything from locker searches involving canines to random drug testing of students involved in sports and extracurricular activities to highly intrusive personal searches. As recent as April 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that the strip search of a middle school student for ibuprofen was illegal, but because school authorities would not necessarily have known they were violating the student's Constitutional rights, the school was immune from paying money damages. Thousands of searches of all kinds are conducted every day in schools across the country. Many of those searches are legal but not all. Whether legal or not, are those searches ethical? Is an illegal search of a student per se unethical because it violates the Ethic of Care? If a search is legal can it nevertheless conform to any standard of Ethic? Does searching a student violate the Ethic of Care or the Ethic of Critique?

Citation

Rossow, L.F. and Stefkovich, J.A. (2011), "Chapter 3 Ethical Issues in School Search and Seizure", Normore, A.H. and Fitch, B.D. (Ed.) Leadership in Education, Corrections and Law Enforcement: A Commitment to Ethics, Equity and Excellence (Advances in Educational Administration, Vol. 12), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 39-52. https://doi.org/10.1108/S1479-3660(2011)0000012006

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited