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Old 05-23-2011, 03:01 PM   #11
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Default Students Have no Right to Privacy

I'm not at all saying I agree with their ruling, but theSCSOTUS ruled several years ago that public school students have no expectation of privacy while on school grounds, on a school bus or at a school sponsored event regardless of where it is held.

Every year that my son has been going to school from kindergarten through his last grade (the 9th) he's been given a "Student Code of Conduct" and has been instructed to read it, or have his parent(s) read it to him and sign a form affirming that he understands it. They make it explicitly clear that the student's locker, book bag, purse and vehicle is subject to be searched at any time deemed necessary by school officials.

The schools have police K-9's walk through the halls and parking lots at least once a year and will call the student(s) out of class to have them present when their lockers, book bags, purses or vehicles are searched. The local high school conducts random searches of vehicles parked on school grounds.

I've gone to school board meetings to protest along with a few other parents who care, but it has been for nothing except to let them know where we stand. If I could, I'd withdraw my son from public school and send him to a Christian school, but since my wife isn't able to work anymore due to health reasons I can't afford to do so.

I'm all for the state issuing vouchers to tax paying parent(s) who do not wish their child(ren) to attend public (government run) schools. The teacher's union (AEA) has effectively killed the idea here.

In closing, I agree with what some others have said, if the school officials even feel it necessary to do something like this make the kids "feel safe" then it's ultimately the parents fault. Education, after all, begins at home. Parents who entrust someone else to educate their children from the cradle though college get exactly what they deserve.....brain washed socialists for children.



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Old 05-23-2011, 07:17 PM   #12
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A lot of people also confuse power and rights. Our rights are not enumerated but the specific powers of government agents are.

No one has the right to demand a prom or to go to one. But assuming an invitation has been extended, those who have been invited have a legitimate expectation their 4A right to privacy will not be violated without probable cause.

Due process is a concept that is lost on an awful lot of Americans these days.
This post basically does nothing but show how little you know about the 4A and due process. The 4A does not apply to private security or school officials, It also does not apply to LEOs on school grounds or school sponsored events. See New Jersey v. T. L. O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985). You are right, the students do have the "right" to not get searched, and the can exercise that "right" by not going to the dance. There is a huge difference between a random search on the street or a search of someones home and a search before entering an event on private property. Have you ever been to a concert or sporting event, or night club? most of the time there is security at the doors performing searches. Is that a violation of your "rights"?

Alot of people know that the 4A requires a warrant to search and then think that it applies at all times to all people, that is not the case. As with any other right it has limitations and only applies to the government.


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Old 05-23-2011, 08:01 PM   #13
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The 4A does not apply to private security or school officials, It also does not apply to LEOs on school grounds or school sponsored events. See New Jersey v. T. L. O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985). ...

...As with any other right it has limitations and only applies to the government.
Are public schools, police officers, and school officials not part of or agents of the government?

I wouldn't combine/confuse common law with constitutional law and amendments; many court cases these days seem very contradictory to the U.S. Constitution and the amendments thereto.


Honestly, even in here in BFE Mississippi, prom started going downhill back in the 1980's. I see a lot of private parties taking the place of a school-wide prom. The only reason i attended my Jr. prom was because the Jr. class designed & decorated it (1988). It is sad that such a fun idea got degraded into the mess it has become in so many schools. I will say that my friends who were fratrats & sorohos had a similar but better carried out experience with their "formals" in college.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:29 PM   #14
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Situations like this are LOOSE-LOOSE. Don't search the kids while they enter the building and something happens the school system gets sued. Search to lower the likely-hood of something happening and the event gets tarnished. Theres no good place to draw a line. Damned if you do, damned if you don't.

I agree w/ the searching of people entering events such as a prom or sporting event. But how do you search them? There has to be some care taken.

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Old 05-23-2011, 08:42 PM   #15
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Are public schools, police officers, and school officials not part of or agents of the government?

I wouldn't combine/confuse common law with constitutional law and amendments; many court cases these days seem very contradictory to the U.S. Constitution and the amendments thereto.
Public school employees are not considered to be agents of the government.


I am confused as to what you mean about common law and constitutional law. If the supreme court rules on a matter involving an amendment would that not be constitutional law? I would also not consider 1985 to be "these days".

All of this talk about the 4A is pointless because it does not apply here at all in any way. The SCOTUS has ruled that the 4A does not apply on school grounds or at school sponsored activities. Also no one is forcing these students to be searched they can refuse. The search is a condition of entry to the prom if they do not want to be searched then they can turn around and go home. Obviously these students and these students parents feel that it is worth getting searched to attend the event. Just as hundreds of thousands of people do each year when they attend sporting events and concerts that do bag checks or searches.

Now, lets talk about something that has not been discussed yet. Am I the only one that thinks it is a little strange the only two students that complained about being "groped" are sisters? From what one of them said the search was a standard female search. Thumb between breasts pull bra away from body and gently shake. That is not "groping" that is searching.
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Old 05-23-2011, 08:53 PM   #16
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Public school employees are not considered to be agents of the government.


I am confused as to what you mean about common law and constitutional law. If the supreme court rules on a matter involving an amendment would that not be constitutional law? I would also not consider 1985 to be "these days".
I find it odd that the government has defined some of its employees (teachers & admins) as not being a part of it. I wonder, what could have motivated that (home Court advantage mayhaps).

Common law is from court cases, while Constitutional law is what is in the Constitution and its amendments, as i understand it.

I guess i am showing my age on the '85 comment, but we had silly court decisions back then too.
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:23 PM   #17
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This post basically does nothing but show how little you know about the 4A and due process. The 4A does not apply to private security or school officials, It also does not apply to LEOs on school grounds or school sponsored events. See New Jersey v. T. L. O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985). You are right, the students do have the "right" to not get searched, and the can exercise that "right" by not going to the dance. There is a huge difference between a random search on the street or a search of someones home and a search before entering an event on private property. Have you ever been to a concert or sporting event, or night club? most of the time there is security at the doors performing searches. Is that a violation of your "rights"?

Alot of people know that the 4A requires a warrant to search and then think that it applies at all times to all people, that is not the case. As with any other right it has limitations and only applies to the government.
I'm intimately familiar with 4A, but thanks for the vote of confidence.

You're conflating a private locales with a public one run by government employees. In Mapp v. Ohio 367 U.S. 643 (1961), the SCOTUS ruled that Fourth Amendment protections were incorporated into the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. This incorporation resulted in requiring state and local police to comply with Fourth Amendment standards in regards to searches and extended the exclusionary rule to trials in state courts. So the incorporation of 4A against lower governments - not just the Federal government - is established.

There is the issue of in loco parentis and the school's ability to act on behalf of parents to ensure kids are safe and I suspect it is this angle the judge ruling on the case could legitimately hide behind. But it doesn't hold for students who are 18 or older.
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Old 05-24-2011, 01:41 PM   #18
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Public school employees are not considered to be agents of the government.
I believe that is incorrect. In Engel v. Vitale (1962), the Supreme Court ruled 7 to 1 that it was unconstitutional for a government agency like a school or government agents like public school employees to require students to recite prayers.

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All of this talk about the 4A is pointless because it does not apply here at all in any way. The SCOTUS has ruled that the 4A does not apply on school grounds or at school sponsored activities.
A bunch of folks here disagree. The problem is the SCOTUS has ruled very inconsistently on the issue over time. See:

Engel v. Vitale (1962)
School initiated-prayer in the public school system violates the First Amendment.
In the New York school system, each day began with a nondenominational prayer acknowledging dependence upon God. This action was challenged in Court as an unconstitutional state establishment of religion in violation of the First Amendment. The Supreme Court agreed, stating that the government could not sponsor such religious activities.

Tinker v. Des Moines (1969)
Students do not leave their rights at the schoolhouse door.
To protest the Vietnam War, Mary Beth Tinker and her brother wore black armbands to school. Fearing a disruption, the administration prohibited wearing such armbands. The Tinkers were removed from school when they failed to comply, but the Supreme Court ruled that their actions were protected by the First Amendment.

Goss v. Lopez (1975)
Students are entitled to certain due process rights.
Nine students at an Ohio public school received 10-day suspensions for disruptive behavior without due process protections. The Supreme Court ruled for the students, saying that once the state provides an education for all of its citizens, it cannot deprive them of it without ensuring due process protections.

Hazelwood v. Kuhlmeier (1983)
Administrators may edit the content of school newspapers.
The principal of Hazelwood East High School edited two articles in the school paper The Spectrum that he deemed inappropriate. The student authors argued that this violated their First Amendment right to freedom of speech. The Supreme Court disagreed, stating that administrators can edit materials that reflect school values.

New Jersey v. T.L.O. (1985)
Students have a reduced expectation of privacy in school.
A teacher accused T.L.O. of smoking in the bathroom. When she denied the allegation, the principal searched her purse and found cigarettes and marijuana paraphernalia. A family court declared T.L.O. a delinquent. The Supreme Court ruled that her rights were not violated since students have reduced expectations of privacy in school.

Bethel School District #43 v. Fraser (1987)
Students do not have a First Amendment right to make obscene speeches in school.
Matthew N. Fraser, a student at Bethel High School, was suspended for three days for delivering an obscene and provocative speech to the student body. In this speech, he nominated his fellow classmate for an elected school office. The Supreme Court held that his free speech rights were not violated.

Santa Fe Independent School District v. Doe (2000)
Students may not use a school's loudspeaker system to offer student-led, student-initiated prayer.
Before football games, members of the student body of a Texas high school elected one of their classmates to address the players and spectators. These addresses were conducted over the school's loudspeakers and usually involved a prayer. Attendance at these events was voluntary. Three students sued the school arguing that the prayers violated the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. A majority of the Court rejected the school's argument that since the prayer was student initiated and student led, as opposed to officially sponsored by the school, it did not violate the First Amendment. The Court held that this action did constitute school-sponsored prayer because the loudspeakers that the students used for their invocations were owned by the school.

Board of Education of Independent School District #92 of Pottawatomie County v. Earls (2002)
Random drug tests of students involved in extracurricular activities do not violate the Fourth Amendment.
In Veronia School District v. Acton (1995), the Supreme Court held that random drug tests of student athletes do not violate the Fourth Amendment's prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures. Some schools then began to require drug tests of all students in extracurricular activities. The Supreme Court in Earls upheld this practice.

This raises questions. Do kids under 18 enjoy constitutional rights outside of school? Can cops on the street randomly stop them and search their bags and persons without probable cause? Nope. Then why can they do this in a public school? See the inconsistencies?

Again, if the school staff are acting as parents with parental permission, that's another story; all bets are off.

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Also no one is forcing these students to be searched they can refuse. The search is a condition of entry to the prom if they do not want to be searched then they can turn around and go home.
That's beside the point. The issue is whether or not government agents (yes, they are government agents) have the authority to conduct the searches in the first place.

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Obviously these students and these students parents feel that it is worth getting searched to attend the event.
Sorry, I missed the part where parents asked for or specifically approved of these searches. They may well have for all I know, which arguably makes everything copacetic.

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Just as hundreds of thousands of people do each year when they attend sporting events and concerts that do bag checks or searches.
It depends on the venue. What privately-owned organizations do is up to them. What the government does is limited by law. Very often, concerts and sporting events are held on private property.
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Old 05-24-2011, 03:32 PM   #19
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All of this talk about the 4A is pointless because it does not apply here at all in any way.
You may think it is ok to just say the highest law of the land doesn't apply, but I don't. With out the limits set by the Constitution government would run rampant. Without the constitution, our "elected" officials would pass laws that would affect and regulate EVERY aspect of your life!! They would force you to comply with bullsh!t laws for your own safety. Oh wait, they already do this because the SCOTUS has erroneously sided in favor of more power for the government instead of favoring power to the rights of the people. So when the SCOTUS rules, it doesn't always mean they are right and proper in their rulings.

The fourth clearly states that The people have the RIGHT to be secure in their persons, houses, papers and effects from unreasonable searches of seizures. IMO, any search performed without probable cause is an illegal search. When you are searched just because you want to walk in, I really don't see the probable cause. It isn't about groping, it is and always will be about government overstepping their limits.

Private property and private events are another matter.
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Old 05-24-2011, 06:04 PM   #20
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The 4A does not apply here.

1. The SCOTUS has ruled that students can be searched on school grounds or school sponsored events.

2. The students are consenting to the search. So even if the 4A applied the search would still be legal.



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