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Bill of Rights Institute Badge

Written by olsonaplc-34a

School: Sioux Central
Class: Olson:APLC
Grade: 11th

The school does have limits on whether or not they can search your personal belongings. The school is a place for education, not a place for handling the law. Under the Fourth Amendment, schools have the right of search and seizure, if and only if there is probable cause, or it is on school property and could cause danger.

As a student in a public school, there are rights that everyone has. Students do not have to be searched for no apparent reason. But if there is reason to be searched, no matter the case, the school can do so in order to protect all of the students and staff that are in the building. Being searched, does include a cell phone because it is a belonging that holds information to find out what is going on.

If a school wants to drug test students who want to participate in extra curricular activities, they can have students take them. Because the extra curricular activities are extra and not a have to do like attending school.  When a student chooses to be in activities beyond just school, they have to follow a good conduct code. Students represent a school and how the system works. When there are drug tests in the student athletes, that prevents those students from taking drugs because they do not want to lose their spot on the varsity line up. A majority of students are apart of one extra curricular activity or another. The Fourth Amendment protects students from a random search. But if say, a drug dog comes onto campus, and detects drugs, that is probable cause to be searched.

Schools have procedures on when students do take drugs or get caught. Students cannot participate in extra curricular activities for a period of time, or even taken off the team or activity. This is a good rule to have in school systems.

Public school students have the same rights as adults, but when you attend school, there is a good conduct code that has to be followed. There are several stipulations that have to be followed when attending the school.

If a school has a probable cause to search a students belongings, like their backpack or purse, then the cell phone is apart of that category to be looked through for evidence. Especially if the drug selling was happening on school grounds, between two students who attend the school. A smart phone can be just like a computer and do web searches, so a lot of information can be withheld on a phone. People might say there is a difference between searching a backpack and searching a cell phone, but there isn’t really. They are both places that can hold valuable information. Schools and authorities can search the computers and see what they were used for.

The Fourth Amendment does permit schools to search a cell phone, but only if there is probable cause to do so. A cell phone is a personal belonging, so it would be unconstitutional to be searched just because.


This post has been awarded the
Bill of Rights Institute Badge (300 points)

Harlan Institute Feedback: Great post!