Date Awarded


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




James H. Stronge


Today, public school administrators have the responsibility to provide a safe and secure educational environment for all who enter the school building. Amid continued drug use by students and a proliferation of weapons at school, principals at all levels face the unenviable task of maintaining an environment conducive to learning. In order to do so, principals often must balance the need to preserve individual student rights against the need to make schools safe.;The present study was conducted to determine if public school principals in Virginia meet minimum competency levels with respect to their knowledge of search and seizure law, and to compare the knowledge of search and seizure issues by Virginia public school principals with respect to their organizational level (elemcntary/middle/high). The study was designed also to examine theoretical perspectives by administrators as applied to search and seizure issues.;The study involved responses from surveys received from 91 public school principals in Virginia (37% of the 246 randomly sampled elementary, middle, and high school principals). Analysis of data revealed that one-third of the respondents fell below the mean, that 64.8% failed to achieve minimal competency, with no significant difference between building levels. Pragmatism was selected by 92.3% of the respondents as their legal perspective.



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