Nov 272010
 November 27, 2010  Posted by  Surveillance, Youth & Schools


The Virginia AG issues an opinion authorizing school officials to search student belongings and cellphones on reasonable suspicion of a violation of law or a school regulation for “sexting” or “cyberbullying.” VA A.G. Op. 10-150 (November 24, 2010)*:

Accordingly, searches of a student’s belongings–including an examination of the messages found on a cell phone or laptop–are justified if, when the search is made, the teacher or principal has “reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school.

Read more about the case on

So if you suspect a student of breaking the law, shouldn’t that be precisely the time that their Fourth Amendment protection kicks in? It’s bad enough to invade privacy for possible violation of school rules, but if you suspect them of breaking the law, the Fourth Amendment should apply, no?

Oh right… we’re trying to teach our kids that they have no constitutional protections in school so that they’re prepared to simply tolerate abuses of their constitutional protections when they try to take a domestic flight or return to their own country. Yeah, that must be it.

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