Bill Cairns, Snake River High School, Blackfoot, ID DUE PROCESS - SEARCH AND SEIZURE Appropriate for grades 11 & 12. OVERVIEW: The students will observe first hand a simulation of what the New Jersey vs. T.L.O. (1985) court case was about. PURPOSE: To allow students the chance to see how the case developed, and how it may affect them today. OBJECTIVES: Students will be able to: 1. Identify the events leading to the court case on New Jersey vs. T.L.O. 2. Identify the conflicting issues in the case. 3. Explain the decision of the U.S. Supreme Court as it relates to this case. ACTIVITIES: PART ONE: As the students are entering the classroom you come up to a student* and start accusing her of having cheated on a previous test. You grab her purse and dump out the contents. There you find a cheat sheet for your test, a controlled substance, and a number of other items. You take that student down to the office immediately so justice might served. (* That student is the only one in on the whole thing.) PART TWO: Upon returning to class you begin to discuss the T.L.O. case. 1. Explain the events that lead up to the case. 2. Identify the individuals in the case. 3. Allow students to identify rights on both sides of the case. 4. Ask the students to express their feelings about the case and also about what happened in class at the beginning of the hour. 5. Have the accused student return to the class. 6. On the board have students list why the search was legal or not. 7. Have students determine how the Supreme Court ruled and why. 8. Give the students the Court's ruling and why. PART THREE: Have students get in groups of three and write a dramatization of a case involving search and seizure. 1. Dramatization should be clear and easy to follow. 2. Dramatization should be 3 to 4 minutes in length. 3. Each group will have a discussion leader help the class identify the a. Events b. Conflicting Issues c. Possible Decisions * As a teacher you may want to share real court cases (and their decisions) that are similar to those of the students. RESOURCES/MATERIALS NEEDED: 1. A prepared student to role play the accused part. 2. Case background on the New Jersey vs. T.L.O. case. 3. Guidelines for what you want the groups to do. 4. Basic background on other cases that students may dramatize, may be helpful but not necessary. TYING IT ALL TOGETHER: This method is a great way to allow students to have first hand experience with the issue of search and seizure but not to be the victim. It may require some background on the teachers part to relate cases to the students' dramatizations. Or the teacher could just assign a case to each group and have them base their dramatization on it. Students love "hands on" experience in social studies and will make you look like a great teacher.
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