Assessing Columbine's Impact on Students' Fourth Amendment Case Outcomes: Implications for Administrative Discretion and Decision Making Academic Article uri icon


  • This study examined Columbine's impact on case outcomes related to student searches and its implications for civil liberties and school leader discretion. Using data from 236 court cases since the U.S. Supreme Court ruling of New Jersey v. T.L.O. in 1985, critical search dimensions and outcomes (e.g., level of suspicion) were examined using Columbine as a point of comparison. The findings reveal that Columbine has had only a minor influence on court outcomes, which suggests courts are no more tolerant of excessive discretion after a critical episode. Implications for policy and practice are presented. © 2006, Sage Publications. All rights reserved.

author list (cited authors)

  • Torres, M. S., & Chen, Y.

citation count

  • 5

publication date

  • September 2006