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Tuesday, September 19, 2006

warrantless searches in the schools

in a stated effort to keep our schools safe (which is much, much more important than keeping them well-funded and working, it would seem), we find H.R.5295, the Student and Teacher Safety Act of 2006, which provides for warrantless searches of persons and property in all educational institutions that accept federal money:

A search referred to in subsection (a) is a search by a full-time teacher or school official, acting on any colorable suspicion based on professional experience and judgment, of any minor student on the grounds of any public school, if the search is conducted to ensure that classrooms, school buildings, and school property remain free of all weapons, dangerous materials, or illegal narcotics.

so it seems that this congress is more interested in teaching our students that they have no functional rights in the united states of america, that there is no judicial process, that they are less than full citizens, and that authority figures can demand, and execute any search at any time so long as they are doing it to “protect us.”

on the other hand, we could could teach out students that this country is founded on a document known as the constitution of the united states, which includes a series of amendments, one of which reads thus:

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

perhaps, i’ve just lost touch with what is reasonable…

at least when they are detained and searched randomly as adults, they’ll be more comfortable…

posted by roj at 7:24 pm