Student Due Process

Lesson Duration

Author: Syracuse University – Project Legal

In this lesson, the class will consider the law of search and seizure as it applies to adults and as it applies to students. This will be accomplished through a role-play adapted from several Supreme Court decisions and a short play originally prepared by high school students. The role-play will examine Wolf v. Colorado later overruled by Mapp v. Ohio, and explore issues pertaining to the admissibility of illegally obtained evidence. Known as the “exclusionary rule,” the class will then determine how this rule applies to students in public schools. Finally, the lesson will consider related cases and demonstrate how courts have decided student search and seizure questions since New Jersey v. T.L.O


Given several Supreme Court decisions concerning search and seizure questions and the exclusionary rule under the Fourth Amendment, students will be able to:

  • ┬áDemonstrate an understanding of their rights under the Fourth Amendment.
  • Compare and contrast their rights as students to the rights of adults under the Fourth Amendment.





The goals of Project LEGAL are to advance students' knowledge and problem solving skills in the area of constitutional studies through teacher training and implementation of Supreme Court cases/Bill of Rights issues. The unit consists of 10 lessons with teaching strategies that systematically and sequentially lead to the development of high level problem solving skills.