Missouri Bar Citizenship Education

Roleplay: It's My Locker!

Player:

Mr. or Ms. Jones, the principal.
Two students, Patty and Peter.

Setting: School hallway in front of Peter's and Patty's lockers.


THE PRINCIPAL: Peter and Patty, please open your lockers. It has been reported to the office that you brought pagers to school. You know it is against the rules to have a pager at school.

PETER: I do not have a pager in my locker. I will not open this locker without you getting a search warrant.

PATTY: I also do not have pagers in my locker. Unless you have a search warrant, you have no right to search my locker.

THE PRINCIPAL: I have here the combinations to both of your lockers. If you will not open the lockers for me, I will open them on my own.

PETER: If you find anything, you cannot use it against me to punish me.

PATTY: Don't you know anything about the Fourth Amendment? You can't just search anywhere that you want. This is my private locker.


  1. Who is right? Patty and Peter? The principal?
  2. If the principal does not find anything, does this mean she violated Patty's and Peter's Fourth Amendment rights?
  3. Did the principal need a reason to search their lockers?
  4. See New Jersey v. T.L.O. (In this case, the U.S. Supreme Court held that if the school had probable cause to believe that a school rule had been broken, a search could be made.)