Luke Hammill reports:
It’s been almost two months since controversy erupted at Hillsboro’s R.A. Brown Middle School over staff reviewing and deleting video on students’ cell phones. In its first work session since the holiday break, the Hillsboro School Board reacted Tuesday evening by examining its search and seizure policies.
Hungerford said the relevant court cases have given conflicting rulings about how broad searches can be, but school officials must have “reasonable suspicion” that a student violated school rules in order to search him, and the search must be “reasonable in scope.” For instance, if a student is reasonably suspected of stealing a football, Hungerford said, a teacher cannot make him empty his pockets.
He said he doesn’t think it’s a good idea for school officials to ever delete material off of a student’s phone. Hungerford also recommended that in a sensitive situation – he gave the example of students texting each other photos of an exam – teachers or administrators should direct students to delete the photos themselves, and then discipline them for insubordination if they don’t comply.
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