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Examples of random searches include the use of metal detectors in school entrances and sweeps of parking lots and lockers. The legality of a random search depends on whether the school has a compelling interest or special need that warrants the use of a search without suspicion. The search of the consenting students revealed nothing.
Usually, law enforcement personnel conduct searches to reveal evidence of a violation of the law.
The seized evidence then can be used in a criminal trial to convict the student of a crime.
School administrators conduct a search to gather evidence for school discipline.
At times law enforcement and school administrators may, therefore, have different purposes for a potential search.
The student claimed that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated because the administrator did not have reasonable suspicion to search him.
The court held that when the search of all other students in the class failed to reveal the stolen item, the administrator had reasonable, individualized suspicion to search Des Roches.
Therefore, his discipline for failing to consent to a legal search was upheld.
School officials conduct individual searches when they suspect that a student or a small group of students possesses evidence of a violation of the law or school rules.
The right of school officials or police to use dogs to detect drugs in students' belongings is well established.
In fact, most courts conclude that such detection is not a search because the dogs merely sniff the air around the property and that students do not have an expectation of privacy in the air around their belongings. This case changed practices in many school districts—those schools no longer use the dogs to sniff around students.