A search by school officials of a student’s vehicle while it was parked just off campus was unreasonable under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, Nebraska’s highest court has ruled.
The search had turned up drug paraphernalia, leading to a 19-day suspension for a Millard West High School student identified in court papers as J.P.
The Nebraska Supreme Court ruled 5-1 that school officials exceeded their authority under state law when they concluded that a student’s driving to and from school without parking on school grounds gave them a sufficient nexus to school activities to subject the student to discipline based on that activity.
In its decision last month, the state high court affirmed a lower court’s decision and its order that J.P.'s discipline infraction be removed from his permanent record.
A version of this article appeared in the June 05, 2013 edition of Education Week as Student Vehicle Search Negated by Neb. Court