Do School Children Have Fourth Amendment Rights? Schools & Kids, posted by Fact Check, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 10:48 am
Do School Children Have Fourth Amendment Rights?
The Fourth Amendment protection ONLY applies to CITIZENS. A minor under the law is NOT protected as an adult is, only partially protected. Your parents can search you and your things at any time they please with NO warrant, period. Likewise a school administration can search your locker for contraband because the school administration is acting "in loco parentis", on behalf of your parents, as if they ARE your parents which means they can search you exactly like your parents can. There are other exceptions for minors because under the law, minors are NOT exactly citizens under the Constitution. The Constitution protects most that portion of the citizen population that can VOTE.
Yet another case of interest:
The California Court of Appeals recently upheld a San Diego High School search by a school assistant principal because the search involved an established policy stated in a school handbook.
The court held that the search was legal because the search applies to all students who violate the school rules and was limited in scope to asking students to empty pockets or open backpacks. (People v. Sean A., Filed December 22, 2010, Fourth Appellate District, Division One, No. D056026, Superior Court No. J222955, 2010 DJDAR 19159)
Caveat:Public School Administration has a lower bar than Police.
This is why a schhol official would conduct a "search" after reasonable suspicion. A positive sniff by a trained drug detection dog would be reasonable suspicion. Sniffing backpacks, cars, lockers is what is called a "wobbler" as there is not sufficient case law in California to convince a jury, beyond a shadow of a doubt.
Posted by Patriot, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:18 am
If the school goes ahead with the policy, they can be sure to get clarification on this issue from the various courts. They can also count on spending a lot of money defending the policy in court. The PUSD should keep these matters in mind the next time they ask homeowners in Pleasanton to pay a parcel tax.
Posted by Fact Check, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:20 am
Generally, a common law court system has trial courts, intermediate appellate courts and a supreme court. The inferior courts conduct almost all trial proceedings. The inferior courts are bound to obey precedents established by the appellate court for their jurisdiction, and all supreme court precedent.
As opposed to statutes, legislative acts that proscribe certain conduct by demanding or prohibiting something or that declare the legality of particular act’s, case law is a dynamic and constantly developing body of law. Each case contains a portion wherein the facts of the controversy are set forth as well as the holding explanation of how the judge arrived at a particular conclusion. In addition, a case might contain concurring and dissenting opinions of other judges.
Appellate courts are only bound to obey supreme court decisions.
The application of the doctrine of stare decisis from a superior court to an inferior court is sometimes called vertical stare decisis. Appellate courts decide points of law and establish rules binding throughout the state.
Posted by Fact Check, a resident of the Downtown neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:32 am
You wrote: "If the school goes ahead with the policy, they can be sure to get clarification on this issue from the various courts."
1. How much of your own money have you used to date in consultation with local expert Council?
2. How much money would you expect your fellow citizens to contribute towards Lawyer's fee's to even start a suit against PUSD?
3. How much calandar time do you think it would likely take to get a ruling and to likely Appeal a lower court ruling? How do you propose to FUND an appeal?
4. Do you understand the process of an Appeal? The cost to PUSD, ie: TAX PAYERS?
5.Are you willing to drain a School District that is already in financial trouble in you constitutional quest that doesn't even fully apply to and or protect minor's in regard to the matter of dog sniffing?
Posted by Patriot, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 11:43 am
"Are you willing to drain a School District that is already in financial trouble in you constitutional quest that doesn't even fully apply to and or protect minor's in regard to the matter of dog sniffing?"
Yes, because the policy is so easily abused. I have a personal friend who was caught up in a mess caused by a policy like this. He, like myself, had never even tried marijuana or illegal drugs.
"1. How much of your own money ..."
Organizations like the ACLU exist to help with cases like this.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 12:57 pm
"Do School Children Have Fourth Amendment Rights?"
According to a ruling of the 9th circuit court: yes. But then the case went to the US Supreme Court (Alford v. Greene), and the court decided not to address the issue dealing with the 4th amendment, stating the case was "moot" since the child had moved on. In this case, there were no dogs involved, it was the questioning of a child at school, but the mother of the child sued the school claiming 4th amendment rights violations, and the 9th circuit court agreed. But when the case went to the US Supreme Court, the court refused to address the question that dealt with the 4th amendment.
"In his dissent, Kennedy predicted that the Fourth Amendment question decided by the Ninth Circuit â€śis bound to arise again in future cases. Indeed, the reasoning of the decision below implicates a number of decisions in other Courts of Appeals.â€ť"
Google the case and there is a pdf file that you can look at with the opinion of the court.
In a very old case (1968), the US Supreme court stated:
"School officials do not possess absolute authority over their students. Students in school, as well as out of school, are "persons" under our Constitution. They are possessed of fundamental rights which the State must respect"
The case was about first amendment rights, but what is interesting is that the court said kids are people as far as the Constitution goes, and they have rights.
There is no US Supreme court case, current or old, that addresses the issue of drug dog use in schools. We have rulings from lower and circuit courts, but this issue will eventually have to be decided by the US Supreme court, as more states actively challenge the drug dog sniffs, both in schools and other areas (public streets, outside of homes)
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 1:18 pm Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
"Yes, because the policy is so easily abused. I have a personal friend who was caught up in a mess caused by a policy like this. He, like myself, had never even tried marijuana or illegal drugs."
It is my hope that the district will be very very thorough in writing a policy on this and think through such unintended consequences. They should also include standards for certification and training of drug sniffing dogs used (not just a requirement that the dog is certified and trained but also how frequently and include metrics on false positives, etc.).
Posted by Nancy, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 5:37 pm
Pleasanton pd will be conducting the searches at no cost to the school district. I have first hand knowledge and experience with trained drug k9s. In my experience (20+ years) I have had a very small (under 3%) of false positives. 97% of all searches recovered contraband. The dogs will be used when students are not present. They are kept on leash, not roaming free. I think this is an excellent tool in the war at drugs on campuses, which are illegal. I think those that protest the most know their kid probably has drugs in their possesion. They are probably also the parents that supply alcohol to their kids and let them miss school whenever they please.
Posted by teacher, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Feb 2, 2012 at 7:05 pm
I teach at one of the high schools in Pleasanton and one of my students got busted yesterday for smoking weed during lunch. Bring on the drug dogs and get rid of this HUGE problem on campus. Everyone that is against is is RIDICULOUS and probably does not have any kids actually in PUSD and has absolutely no idea what actually is happening in our schools.
Posted by Shiela, a resident of the Birdland neighborhood, on Feb 2, 2012 at 7:44 pm
Well, that sure tipped the scales for me. Smoking weed in the school yard? That is definitely HUGE. My only concern is that sniffing dogs may not be enough. I might be willing to support strip searches for every student, and cavity searches for anyone who resists or looks even slightly nervous. As long as the district writes up a very thorough and comprehensive policy to protect the students against abuse, I think we'd be okay. We've got a VERY serious problem here and it calls for methods that'll shine light on the matter.
Posted by Patriot, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 2, 2012 at 10:21 pm
" I think those that protest the most know their kid probably has drugs in their possesion. They are probably also the parents that supply alcohol to their kids and let them miss school whenever they please."
And you make idiotic assumptions. I oppose this, and don't have any children in our high schools or middle schools. I've never tried marijuana or any other illegal drug and would never consider allowing my child to drink alcohol before it was legal. I oppose this policy for multiple reasons, the most important one being that I have a personal friend who had never even tried marijuana, but was hit with a false positive. They found a seed in his car. His car was confiscated and it took him a week to get it back. He protested the whole time that the seed was just bird seed. When lab test finally came back, the seed was indeed bird seed. His reputation was damaged permanently.
Posted by Get Legal, a resident of the California Reflections neighborhood, on Feb 4, 2012 at 11:37 pm
Obviously, the stellar law firms that PUSD has been paying our taxpayer dollars to either 1.) never told PUSD of the Nov. 17, 2000 Attorney General published finding that this type of searching pupil's belongings after canine sniffing them is constitutional or 2.) they told the PUSD of this 12 years ago or recently, but the PUSD management chooses to ignore it.
Posted by Get Legal, a resident of the California Reflections neighborhood, on Feb 4, 2012 at 11:37 pm
Obviously, the stellar law firms that PUSD has been paying our taxpayer dollars to either 1.) never told PUSD of the Nov. 17, 2000 Attorney General published finding that this type of searching pupil's belongings after canine sniffing them is not constitutional or 2.) they told the PUSD of this 12 years ago or recently, but the PUSD management chooses to ignore it.
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2012 at 12:23 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
"The Fourth Amendment protection ONLY applies to CITIZENS."
Thinking more on this statement, that's a rather narrow reading of the Constitution and contrary to the spirit of the Declaration which proclaims that _all_ men are created equal, not just citizens. It's the kind of reading that lead to the suspension of the centuries-old habeas corpus for non-citizens so they could languish in Guantanamo. I don't agree with it at all.
In loco parentis... So if a parent doesn't agree with the policy and wouldn't do it themselves, does that mean the school has to act in that parent's place and not implement the policy?
"The short answer is that students are covered by the Constitutional right against unreasonable searches; however, court decisions over the last 20 years have given schools great latitude to conduct searches. But this area of the law is still evolving; and in a minute, Iâ€™ll discuss a recent case that might significantly strengthen studentsâ€™ rights."
"in July 2008, the Federal Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit caused a sensation (or, at least, what passes for a sensation in legal circles) by holding that the Safford School District of Arizona had violated the Fourth Amendment by ordering a strip search of a 13-year-old girl -- even though the school had reason to suspect that that student was distributing prescription medications to other students."
Posted by Get Legal, a resident of the California Reflections neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2012 at 1:04 pm
Can someone post the members of the leadership of the special interest group "Mothers With a Purpose" that are driving the drug sniffing dogs in schools so that the public knows their names so that they can be added to the Respondents of any lawsuits that are filed? I hear that there are only 5-10 people in this entire organization. Can someone post their names?
Does anyone know how to look up to find out if they are a registered Political Action Committee, corporation or not-for-profit?
I see their web page here Web Link but it only gives first names.
I wonder if any of them are lawyers. If not, they'll soon need to hire a few!
Posted by Wow, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2012 at 9:50 pm
I would like the full names of those who are actively threatening the school district in order to stop the dogs on campus. This way if any student, on drugs, injures my kid then they can also be included in the suit. (Sounds ridiculous to you? hmmm) What exactly do you think youre protecting. Students are using drugs ON school grounds and your upset the police are doing something about it? Wow.
Posted by Get Legal, a resident of the California Reflections neighborhood, on Feb 5, 2012 at 11:29 pm
The Pleasanton Weekly wrote an editorial on February 2, 2007 called
"Spirit of open meetings fades with Oak Grove" Here it is in case you missed it - Web Link
As the Weekly editorial said: "Everyone's invited to these city-promoted meetings and many come. It's democracy at its best."
The public of this city deserves to know who is arranging and having secret meetings with the leadership of its city and school district, and in doing so, is shaping policy behind the scenes and out of the public eye, and then writing about it on their website called motherswithapurpose.org
"A local restaurant owner used his connections to put together a meeting with the City Manager, Police Captain, Superintendent of Schools, and Senior Director of Pupil Services, and invited Mothers with a Purpose to attend."
"Two weeks prior to this meeting, Nancy O'Malley, Alameda County's District Attorney, and a friend of one of the members of Mothers with a Purpose, attended the first meetings at Foothill High and pledged her support to the group. Within days, Kelly and Donna were at Nancy's Oakland office with each of her local DA's (Oakland, Hayward, and Pleasanton) to talk strategy. Each person in this meeting became more committed and excited to support the cause. The District Attorney and her local Pleasanton DA joined the "Downtown" meeting, along with 6 members of Mothers with a Purpose. It was a very productive meeting, with everyone gaining a better understanding of the issues with a commitment to help in any way possible."
Posted by Stacey, a resident of the Amberwood/Wood Meadows neighborhood, on Feb 6, 2012 at 9:31 am Stacey is a member (registered user) of PleasantonWeekly.com
It is interesting that Mothers with a Purpose is republishing entire articles of the Pleasanton Weekly on their website in apparent violation of copyright laws. Do they have permission from Embarcadero Publishing to republish the articles? Are Dolores Fox Ciardelli, Jeb Bing, and Glenn Wohltmann being paid a licensing fee?
Posted by Get Legal, a resident of the California Reflections neighborhood, on Feb 7, 2012 at 11:19 pm
Web Link was a Pleasanton Weekly story a few years ago on these police dogs. Click on it to read it. The story indicates that these dogs are used to hunt and track and attack suspects, and sniff bombs as well as drugs. It describes how the dogs are trained in special ways to grab and bite humans.
Why are dogs trained to attack and bite suspects being brought onto school campuses?
Posted by johndburger, a resident of another community, on Feb 25, 2013 at 7:14 am
"The Fourth Amendment protection ONLY applies to CITIZENS"
This is blatantly false, although even without this moronic statement the rest of the reasoning in the article would be suspect. (For example, children are clearly citizens, regardless of their right to vote.)
Unless specifically stated otherwise, everything in the Constitution apples to everyone. Even stupid people.