EDU616 Week 7 Legal and Ethical Issues in Teaching Paper
One legal case that I find interesting is New Jersey v. TLO (1985) with regards to students and personal belongings. The case unfolded because a student got caught smoking and an assistant principal searched their purse leading to discovery of drug paraphernalia, leading to charging with crimes, and expulsion. The Supreme Court saw this case and decided that students do have an expectation of privacy within schools based on the Fourth Amendment. Unfortunately the student was still held responsible for their crimes, because there was reasonable suspicion involved in the case. The first reason I found this case to be interesting is because of the language used in it’s summary finding the search of the students possessions to be “reasonable”. My administration team utilizes the word “reasonable” or phrase “reasonable suspicion” in many situations where administrative involvement or intervention is required or should be initiated. Obviously this is used as a blanket statement to appease any legal outcomes for their work with students based on their actions or presentation. I just found it interesting to see it plainly in the description of this case, in the state I teach in, and how it may be one of the root causes of the phrases frequent usage. Finally, I found this case interesting as I teach very physical classes that require a variety of tangibles from pencils and pens, to usb flash drives, student work, and more. Prior to reading this case I have always asked students for permission prior to helping them retrieve something from a pencil case or bag pocket. I also have a habit of asking before relocating students bags as we must maintain clean pathways in the shops I teach in. So all this tells me is that I should continue my practices and be cautious when it comes to student property.