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    Speak Up! - View Question #419


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    Question: Can a school official search your backpack without permission?

    Answer: The short answer is not unless the official has a 'reasonable suspicion' that something wrong has occurred and that evidence of the wrong will be found in the backpack.

    The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution states that people have a right to be secure against unreasonable searches of themselves and their belongings.

    The United States Supreme Court has decided that the Fourth Amendment applies to schools and that a search must meet the following requirements:

    1. The motivation for the search must be reasonable in light of the information that the school official obtained that made him or her think a search was necessary; and

    2. The measures adopted for the search must be reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction.

    A 'reasonable suspicion' is a belief or opinion based on the facts or circumstances. So if a school official has a reasonable suspicion that some wrong doing has occurred and that evidence of that may be found in your backpack, that official can probably search your backpack without your permission


    Comments
    26 thru 30 of 53 comments    ...6 ]  7   8   9   10  ...   
    On 01/15/04
    amber from KY said:
    I would have done somthing about it.
    On 01/15/04
    Tabitha from KY said:
    I dont like the idea that the school can go trough our private stuff without our permission because what if girls has personal stuff in their backpacks and they dont want to let anybody know, people knows now if they searched trough our stuff. Whan they do search our lockers and backpacks they make us stay in the rooms that we are in untill they are done looking at our stuff.
    On 01/15/04
    BOB from ND said:
    I THINK THAT IT WAS UNCONSTITUTIONAL FOR HER TO GET HER BACKBACK AND LOCKER SEARCHED.
    On 01/15/04
    BOB from ND said:
    I THINK SO TOO MIKE, I THINK THAT WE NEED TO HAVE RIGHTS.
    On 01/12/04
    Michael from TX said:
    I attend a private school, which I know makes this comment somewhat irrelevent, but... At my school, school officials do not, at any time, have the right to search our backpacks or our bodies. There is a police officer on campus, and he is qualified to search our belongings only if we consent or if we are arrested. I feel this protects my rights while protecting my education and the education of others. By the way, the argument of "you shouldn't have anything suspicious anyways, so you should let them search" is rediculous. I don't keep anything illegal in my house, but that doesn't mean
    26 thru 30 of 53 comments    ...6 ]  7   8   9   10  ...   



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