Category Archives: School searches

Fast Company: Schools are using surveillance tech to catch students vaping—and doling out harsh punishments

Fast Company: Schools are using surveillance tech to catch students vaping—and doling out harsh punishments (“Sensors marketed as fighting COVID-19 are actually being used to monitor students and then threaten them with suspension—or even criminal charges.”). Is there a reasonable … Continue reading

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CA6: Smell of MJ on student’s person justified school search

The smell of marijuana on a student’s person justified a school search, and here it was their backpack then pockets. Stanford v. Northmont City Sch. Dist., 2023 U.S. App. LEXIS 26336 (6th Cir. Oct. 2, 2023). This § 1983 plaintiff … Continue reading

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E.D.Cal.: 30-minute seizure of cell phone in school that was never searched was not unreasonable

Seizure of a cell phone in school for 30 minutes that was not searched at all was not unreasonable. McGuire v. Roseville Joint Union High Sch. Dist., 2023 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98392 (E.D. Cal. June 5, 2023).* The warrantless blood … Continue reading

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E.D.Va.: Search of cell phone at school for explicit photos of 14-year-old reasonable under T.L.O.

A 13-year-old male student was showing explicit pictures of a 14-year-old girl on his phone at school. The search of the phone by school officials was reasonable under T.L.O., and it led him to juvenile court. O.W. v. Sch. Bd. … Continue reading

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IN: dog sniff outside a hotel room door was reasonable under the state constitution

A dog sniff outside a hotel room door was reasonable under the state constitution. (And, while other information was illegally gathered, this was enough for the warrant.) Crabtree v. State, 2022 Ind. App. LEXIS 385 (Dec. 1, 2022). Excessive force … Continue reading

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CA2: SW said “electronics” and “passwords” to access them, but it did not say “computers”; those words mean computers

The search warrant used the word “electronics” and “passwords” to access them, but it did not say “computers.” “Because the warrant specifically permitted seizure of “electronics,” a category into which computers and tablets would fall under the plain text, not … Continue reading

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CO: Anonymous, uncorroborated, and stale tip on school safety hotline not RS

An anonymous tip through a school safety hotline was also uncorroborated and stale and did not provide reasonable suspicion for a school search. In the Interest of C.C-S., 2021COA127, 2021 Colo. App. LEXIS 1440 (Oct. 20, 2021). See techdirt: Students … Continue reading

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S.D.N.Y.: Random Covid testing reasonable search under special needs doctrine

Assuming random Covid testing of NYC school children is a Fourth Amendment search, the court applies Vernonia School District 47J and special needs and finds it reasonable. Aviles v. De Blasio, 2021 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38930 (S.D. N.Y. Mar. 2, … Continue reading

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Crime Online: School principal ordered to pay $3.6M for sharing students’ nude pictures online

Crime Online: School principal ordered to pay $3.6M for sharing students’ nude pictures online by Jacquelyn Gray (“A former principal in Kentucky who is serving a nine-year federal prison sentence was ordered last week to pay $3.6 million for confiscating … Continue reading

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TX4: School search was based on RS from info from known source

There was reasonable suspicion for a school search because the school authorities had information from a known source that provided it. In re J.A.M., 2020 Tex. App. LEXIS 2077 (Tex. App. – San Antonio Mar. 11, 2020). Defendant’s chokehold on … Continue reading

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MO: Suspicionless bookbag search at school was safety related and reasonable

This juvenile was subjected to a suspicionless bookbag search by school security in a St. Louis public school that found a gun. The court finds the search was reasonable based on the school safety factor alone. In the Interest of … Continue reading

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Education Week (blog): Justices Decline to Review Case Involving Strip Search of 4-Year-Old at School

Education Week (blog): Justices Decline to Review Case Involving Strip Search of 4-Year-Old at School by Mark Walsh:

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New Law Review Article: Implicit Racial Bias and Students’ Fourth Amendment Rights

New Law Review Article: Jason P. Nance, Implicit Racial Bias and Students’ Fourth Amendment Rights, 94 Ind. L. J. 47 (2019):

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CA11: Drug testing of substitute teacher applicants was reasonable

Drug testing of substitute teacher applicants was reasonable. School employment is different and protection of the environment of children is paramount. Friedenberg v. School Board of Palm Beach County, 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 35905 (11th Cir. Dec. 20, 2018):

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Tech Advocate: Can Schools Search Students’ Personal Devices

Tech Advocate: Can Schools Search Students’ Personal Devices by Matthew Lynch:

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CA9: School resource officer’s arrest of alleged bullying middle school girls ‘to prove a point’ and ‘make [them] mature a lot faster’ was unreasonable under T.L.O.

Arresting middle school girls for alleged bullying and fighting at school violated the Fourth Amendment and was unreasonable: “After concluding that the girls were unresponsive and disrespectful, the deputy arrested the girls ‘to prove a point’ and ‘make [them] mature … Continue reading

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Cal.1: School search rationale applies to street cop called in to back up school resource officer

A school principal received a report from a CI student that the juvenile had a gun in school. He sent for the student who came to the office where a school resource officer and a street officer were waiting. “For … Continue reading

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WaPo: Body searches of 900 Georgia students by sheriff’s office leads to $3 million settlement

WaPo: Body searches of 900 Georgia students by sheriff’s office leads to $3 million settlement by Susan Hogan:

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MO: School search merely for tardiness was unreasonable

School search of a student for merely being tardy was unreasonable under Vernonia and Earls and other cases for lack any factual basis, let alone reasonable suspicion. State v. Williams, 2017 Mo. App. LEXIS 659 (June 27, 2017):

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NYTimes: ‘How Far Can They Go?’ Police Search of Hundreds of Students Stokes Lawsuit and Constitutional Questions

NYTimes: ‘How Far Can They Go?’ Police Search of Hundreds of Students Stokes Lawsuit and Constitutional Questions by Jacey Fortin: Worth County High School was buzzing with late-year activities on April 14. Seniors had recently taken their group photo for … Continue reading

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