Jul 252015
 July 25, 2015  Surveillance, U.S., Youth & Schools

I wish every local community had the kind of detailed reporting on student privacy issues that Melinda J. Overstreet provides in her coverage of a change in Glasgow Independent Schools’ policies.  From the newly drafted policies:

“In the school environment, a search is permissible where a school official has reasonable grounds, a ‘suspicion,’ based upon the totality of the circumstances, for suspecting that the search will reveal evidence that the student has violated either the law, district policy, or rules of the school. Reasonable suspicion must be based on ‘individualized suspicion of wrongdoing,’” the policy says.

The revised policy also covers canine searches:

“School premises may be randomly monitored with a trained canine for contraband, including but not limited to weapons, firearms, alcohol, drugs and drug paraphernalia. Canine monitoring does not constitute a search.”

The policy cites a federal case immediately after that statement.

Read more on Glasgow Daily Times. The revised policies seems pretty consistent with what we’ve seen in other districts. What the reporting doesn’t mention, though, and I don’t know if it’s handled in the existing policies, is the search of electronic devices or demands that students turn over their passwords for a search.  I don’t see the student conduct handbook on the district’s web site (maybe I missed it?), so I don’t know if the district’s policy is that it can and will search student electronics if they suspect cyberbullying or any other undesirable behavior committed from the student’s home on their own time.

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