Skip to comments.Student questions legality of metal detectors at school
Posted on 09/20/2006 5:14:15 AM PDT by Puppage
(New Haven-WTNH, Sept. 19, 2006 10:45 PM) _ A student's refusal to walk through a safety detector earns him a trip home.
For some the installation of metal detectors in schools is to better protect those inside.
One New Haven student is refusing to walk the walk, questioning whether his rights are being violated.
The district says it is like the right to enter a courtroom or get on a plane. It's new policy to keep young people safe.
For this New Haven student it's all about his fourth amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures.
Nick Evans is getting a lesson in the legality of school policy.
The 16-year-old was sent home after refusing to walk through a metal detector and be searched as he entered Career High School.
"They haven't done this properly. There's not policy stating that I have to," says Evans.
The high school junior is challenging the New Haven District's recent decision to implement added security measures in the building last week.
"The handbook dictating district policy states they need reasonable grounds to search me."
No where in the handbook, he says, does it spell out anything about random searches or the use of metal detectors.
"I'd like to see them actually making this legal."
But a spokesperson for the District says the Superintendent has the right to make changes in what he considers to be emergency situations. The increased security comes after a violent summer in the Elm City and the deadly shootings of a 13-year old girl and boy.
"The Superintendent has the authority in the event of an emergency to enact directives and right here he believes it's important right now to expand what we are doing in terms of security for all students in the high school," says Susan Weisselberg, New Haven Public Schools.
The district admits it has no written policy on its latest measures but says that's about to change.
"We are adopting a formal policy. We will have the first reading by the Board of Ed Monday night," says Weisselberg.
For the schools, metal detectors and student searches are about keeping kids safe.
Nick Evans says he'll follow the policies as long as they are within the boundaries of the law.
"I would if it's a good sound legal policy. If they try to trample 4th amendments rights... ah getting shaky," says Evans.
Nick Evans says he will go to school tomorrow because he doesn't want to miss his classes, however he's plans to be vigilant in making sure the district follows through.
There is also no formal written policy for the use of metal detectors at Hill House or Wilbur Cross High School but the district says that will change too.
Ah, the stupidity of youth.
The parent of this child should tell him to shut up about the metal detector. Remind the child he is there to study and learn. Not to bring about legal action.
good for this kid....
Betcha the kid's parents are leftist lawyers.
So now we're ceding defense of the Bill of Rights to the left? Maybe you're one of those "conservatives" that don't mind government doing whatever it feels like "for the children".
What the school needs to do is find the two or three disgruntaled kids planning on staging a school shooting and set a date for them to do it. They then tell all the kids except for this one moron not to come to school. On that day, the kids with guns come into the school to only to find Mr. 4th Amendment the only one in class. Let's see how he likes his 4th amendment then.
Not really. Passing thru a detector could be argued as not being a search since no one is actually searching him.
My first thought too.
Does he have a "prince albert" or something?
The reason metal detectors are required is that the purpose of public schools is not to educate young people, but to provide secure, well-paying jobs for members of teachers' unions.
Metal detectors are not necessary in private/religious schools, because dangerous students who have no interest in learning are not present in them.
Unionized schools want the highest head count possible because the get $$$$$ for each student, to the tune of $10,000 average per year.
Public education is socialism, and the end result of socialism is always high-cost, low quality and danger, just like the socialized medical system is becoming.
When half the inner-city students graduating from high school can't even read, it becomes obvious that "free" education is valued by its recipient at exactly its cost to them.
This kid is right. He has been failed by a public education system that cannot even keep him safe from dangerous low-lifes without treating HIM like a criminal.
Abolish public education. It's for the children.
"public schools have become dangerous prisons."
That's why they have "lockdowns" at the drop of a hat, just like the county pen.
"So now we're ceding defense of the Bill of Rights to the left?"\
Are minors entitled to the full scope of the BOR? I don't think so.
i hope not, Schools are not prisons with tiny little windows and lock downs...
Future Team Leader of the "You want fries with that?" career choice.
What's that got to do with the applicability of the Constitution to minors?
The ends justify the means. don'tcha know...
We have a metal detector at the Courthouse where I live. There are 3 police officers who sit at this detecter and twiddle their thumbs the better part of the day.
Now lets say a person who wanted to commit an illegal act and shoot someone in the courthouse came in one day. he is carrying a pistol concealed in his pocket. He waits in the line at the detecter and when his turn comes up he pulls out this pistol and before any of these 3 can get out their weapons shoots all 3. It wouldnt be any trouble at all. There is no way they could respond fast enough to stop him. The person inside he was after would be warned of course and probably would get away, but the men at the detecter are merely cannon fodder.
Think of this as a school where an unarmed teacher is sitting at the unit. What has the detecter done but get this teacher shot? The detecter would barely slow down the killer.
I don't understand your question. Are you saying that public schools are Constitution-free zones?
But being forced to go to school is OK.
At least he didn't manage to get a squirt gun into the school... He'd be in lockdown for the rest of his natural life.
Hey, is there something going on at the nations border?
Do tenth graders have the right to bear arms?
He will lose. This has passed court muster as well as dog searches and piss tests. Whine on you little loser punk puke.
A student's refusal to walk through a safety detector earns him a trip home.
Do tenth graders have the right to bear arms?
Vernonia School v Acton (515 US 646 ), when the court again used in loco parentis, a lowered expectation of privacy for athletes, and the need for deterrence of drug use, particularly among athletes, as justifications for forced testing. Said the Court: "Fourth Amendment rights, no less than First and Fourteenth Amendment rights, are different in public schools than elsewhere; the "reasonableness" inquiry cannot disregard the schools' custodial and tutelary responsibility for children."
This is SOOOOOOoooooo old legally. It has already been decided as legal.
It is not unreasonable to consider the safety of each person inside the school, especially when the school is liable.
>>The elephant in the closet in this situation is that public schools have become dangerous prisons.
A great example of that, here:
10th graders are people as well as 7 year olds. Neither have a legal right to bear arms. The rights enshrined in the first ten amendments are not absolute. You do not have the right to commit perjury or produce child porn, both examples of speech and press.
Typically, I would say that he's on shaky legal ground.
BUT - kids are compelled by law to be at school, and thus compelled to submit to metal detector scans and searches.
I never thought about it.....I think that it will be interesting to see the outcome.
You are right , they chased this guy into the basement. Had he been a committed psycho with a bomb or a real mission he could have caused some serious damage
Let me ask you a question - when you go inside your house, do you close a door? Isn't that a violation of your right against illegal imprisonment? In fact, isn't it a basic violation of your freedom to pursue life, liberty and happiness? The philosophical question is whether or not your door, the windows, the walls, even the very roof over your house are there to protect you and yours against the elements, those who might wish to harm you and your family and/or take the things that you have worked to earn the money to buy? Or, is the door a symbol of the failure of government to provide you with a perfect environment against nature, crime and criminals? Is the door there to preserve your privacy and keep others out, or does it exist to force you to tacitly volunteer to imprison yourself within the walls of the prison you bought and paid for?
I don't mind the kid asking questions - but THIS question shows only one thing . . . . he has failed to learn his history and what rights are all about. First, he's a kid and a not too bright one, at that. Secondly, I sincerely doubt that this kid can tell you what is guaranteed by the BOR, much less explain the meaning and intent of each.
Finally, I challenge you AND this kid to show how the metal detectors constitute either a search OR a seizure, much less one that is illegal. The detector conducts no search - it merely detects the presence of a significant amount of metal in a concentrated area; much like a smoke detector detects the presence of a certain amount of smoke in a certain, concentrated area. Would you consider a smoke detector as part of an illegal search and seizure? This kid trying to smoke in the boys room at school probably would.
I stand by my response - this kid is a future team leader for the "You want fries with that?" career option.
Your thinking on this is inverted. The Constitution is not a document which grants rights to citizens when they turn 18, or at any other time. It is a document that explicitly limits the actions taken by the government. There is no exception in the Constitution for the government's treatment of minors. If the kid's parents want to restrict his freedoms, search him unreasonably, etc., then they are fully within their rights to do so. The government is not.
The kid is dead on, especially if you read the article.
In order to establish a reasonable search there need to be written guidelines.
Without written guidelines someone who was caught with a weapon could scream 4th amendment and get away with it.
You can't just decide to start searches because you feel like it.
Or brought a gun.
Good for this kid.
People voluntarily participate. Students are compelled to attend the government school.
A metal detector without a search policy is useless. In the event of an alarm, the student must be searched, otherwise all false positives must be denied access, and that is just not gonna happen.
All the metal detector does is reduce the number of physical searches that must be employed by pre-screening out the bulk of the students. But, ultimately, the policy is to search students because they have triggered a metal detector. Since 99.99% of these searches will be for false positives, the fact that the metal detector goes off does not really constitute reasonable suspicion.