Only 3 circuit courts have dealt with this issue: the 5 and 7 circuit courts ruled it's okay to sniff students and backpacks and that it is not considered a search.
The 9th circuit, however, which is where California is, ruled that SNIFFING A STUDENT OR HIS/HER BACKPACK IS CONSIDERED A SEARCH.
Luckily, WE ARE IN CALIFORNIA.
Virginia (the lower court, not the circuit court) says it's okay and not a violation of 4th amendment rights to sniff students' possessions, BUT for California, the 9th circuit court ruled that is is NOT okay to sniff students' possessions without reasonable suspicion because the 9th circuit court consideres sniffing a SEARCH and therefore if done without probable cause, it is a violation of 4th amendment rights.
Look up the ruling of the applicable court to us (9th circuit). There are other forums where the links were posted, or you can search their site directly
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 30, 2012 at 4:41 pm
That is what I get for posting in a hurry:
After looking again at the link posted by "Judge Judy," it seems that the school district they are talking about is in MO, which is in the 8th circuit court of appeals.
Since the article states it was the ruling of a lower court, it remains to be seen what the court of appeals would say. And even then, it still would not apply to California, since we are in the 9th circuit:
"While the Seventh Circuit has held that canine sniffs
ordered by public school entities are not a search under the
Fourth Amendment, the Fifth and Ninth Circuits have held
that such canine sniffs are a search. Consequently, the Fourth
Amendment does not apply to suspicionless canine sniff
programs performed within the Seventh Circuit, but it would
regulate such programs within the Fifth and Ninth Circuits."
Posted by Vanessa, a resident of the Pleasanton Meadows neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 8:30 am
Fully support PUSD doing whatever it takes to protect students and keep drugs off campus. I also hope PUSD and the CA courts take note of the decisions other courts are making on this issue and aren't scared to take the threat of a lawsuit head-on.
Posted by A Neighbor, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 8:49 am
The above referenced rules apply to sniffing of students and their backpacks. What is proposed in Pleasanton is sniffing cars and lockers, not students. Apples and oranges from a legal perspective. If the dogs indicate the presence of drugs while sniffing cars and lockers, that will provide justification for a further search.
I am not a lawyer, and I do not support sniffing dogs on campus, but I believe that PUSD is approaching this effort within the bounds of the law. If PUSD is sued, it will make new law.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:07 am
"I also hope PUSD and the CA courts take note of the decisions other courts are making on this issue and aren't scared to take the threat of a lawsuit head-on."
I hope so too, because:
1) The Washington Supreme Court ruled that drug sniffing dogs (school) violate 4th amendment rights
2) The Florida Supreme Court ruled against drug sniffing dogs (sniffing property) and case is currently in the Supreme Court
3) 9th circuit court (California) already ruled that sniffing a student or personal backpack is a search and a violation of 4th amendment rights if done without individual reasonable suspicion
4) 5th circuit court also ruled like the 9th circuit court
So far, only a lower court in MO and the 7th circuit court have ruled that it is okay to sniff students' property (backpacks).
If what was done in that school in MO, as stated in the article posted by "Judge Judy," were to happen here in PUSD, it would be a violation of 4th amendment rights as per the 9th circuit court's ruiling.
Posted by logical , a resident of the Avila neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:12 am
Why is it such a problem for some to have a quick and simple check to ensure that the person is obeying the law and not carrying illegal drugs? Because it might be found that they are? Perhaps then, we should adopt the laws of Singapore: got drugs? Get death penalty.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:13 am
"What is proposed in Pleasanton is sniffing cars and lockers, not students. "
The problem is, what do they do if a dog "smells" something? The PW deleted a forum where there was an article that talked about dogs giving many false alerts at one school.
What then? Dogs smell something and now what? Search the student lockers without having suspicion other than the dogs' cues? What if there are no drugs found as it happened many times at a school (post deleted by PW)?
"If the dogs indicate the presence of drugs while sniffing cars and lockers, that will provide justification for a further search."
Really? Why? The reliability of the dogs has already been challenged in states like Washington, and now a Florida case is in the Supreme Court. The ACLU in Montana is challenging the sniffing of students' cars in the school parking lot.
". If PUSD is sued, it will make new law. "
Yes, and can PUSD afford that? I just got some emails from PPIE asking for money, and PUSD is already talking about budget cuts.
Posted by Resident, a resident of the Another Pleasanton neighborhood neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 9:49 am
What is the big deal?? Does anybody who is against the dogs really understand what they are trying to accomplish? I don't see any of you bringing lawsuits against the TSA or the Federal Government over "searches" at the airports??? Just shut up and let the police make our schools safe.
Posted by Peer pressure , a resident of the Del Prado neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 12:07 pm
I agree with having the drug dogs. My main reason is that the kids at school have so many peer pressures and it would be great for a child that does not want to be involved with drugs to have a place to go to and know he is there to get an education and not be influenced by students about drugs during his or her school day. This is not a new problem - it is over 40 years old, but one step in the right direction is one that I admire the PUSD in taking.
Posted by Pleasanton Mom, a resident of the Bordeaux Estates neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 2:53 pm
I am very willing to sign a document at the beginning of the school year that my child, their car and their backpack CAN be sniffed by dogs as part of a drug searches/screening. Why not? If they are innocent, there is no problem, if they are guilty, I want to know and address the problem.
Posted by Singapore Slim, a member of the Amador Valley High School community, on Jan 31, 2012 at 3:16 pm
I'd be happy to sign a document that gives authorities the right to perform daily stripdowns and cavity searches of my child. Why the heck not? They make us take our shoes off at airports don't they? If they are innocent, no problem. If they are guilty I want to know and address the problem.
Posted by questioned?, a resident of the Castlewood neighborhood, on Jan 31, 2012 at 8:58 pm
What if your child is in class with no drugs in their backpack and another student puts a bag of weed in their backpack and reports an anonymous tip? Let's not get hypothetical, it could happen now, with or without the dogs.