Date of Award
Doctor of Education (EdD)
This study utilized a multi-case study design in the examination of the understanding principals have about Fourth Amendment issues that arise with the use of a school resource officer (SRO). In addition, the study also looked at how prepared principals are to handle such issues. The interviews were conducted on six principals from three school districts, both large and small and rural and metropolitan within the state of North Carolina. The interview protocol consisted of 19 questions, with eight being scenario-based pulled directly for caselaw. The following were the major findings: (a) universities are preparing their students on Fourth Amendment issues, (b) districts are providing no training or professional development on Fourth Amendment issues, (c) there is a correlation between the lack of professional development and principal understanding of Fourth Amendment issues, (d) principals were only able to identify if a situation was or was not a Fourth Amendment violation 54% of the time, and (e) principals were only able to correctly explain why a situation was or was not a violation of rights 27% of the time.
Widelock, Jordan, "Search and Seizure Law Understanding by High School Principals and the Role of the School Resource Officer: A Qualitative Study of Three North Carolina School Districts" (2021). Doctor of Education Dissertations. 82.
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