education, search and seizure, administration
School officials trying to deter drug use, combat crime, and shore up security are conducting searches that are landing school in legal trouble for violating students' constitutional rights. In 1993, West Virginia Supreme Court ruled that a strip search of a student suspected of stealing money was illegal (State of West Virginia ex rel Gilford v. Mark Anthony B., 1993). In another case, a federal appellate court held that a strip search of a student for suspected drug possession was reasonable, although no drugs were found (Cornfield v. Consolidated High School District No. 230, 1993). Improper searches of students, lockers and automobiles can result in hundreds of thousands of dollars in civil liability, costs and attorney fees. This study collected data on administrative knowledge in the area of search and seizure. The analyzed data served to (a) determine if administrators across the state of Florida have a general understanding of the laws regarding search and seizure; (b) identify demographic areas that demonstrate a lack of knowledge related to search and seizure; and (c) suggest improvements to current educational leadership courses of study, state-wide staff development offerings, and ideas for possible conference topics. The study involved responses from questionnaires received from 139 public school administrators in Florida (17% of the 810 randomly sampled elementary, middle, and high school principals). Analysis of data revealed that more than one-third of the respondents fell below the mean, with no significant difference between building levels or metropolitan statistical area.
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
College of Education
Educational Research, Technology and Leadership
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)
Slack, Catherine, "Florida Public School Administrators' Knowledge Of Legal Issues Related To Search And Seizure" (2005). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 620.