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I just found out that a teacher misplaced his calculator today. So, instead of backtracking his steps he decided to have the principal and the school police officer search the entire class. They looked through lockers, book bags, and purses. Not one damn phone call from the school.
My fiancee seems to think they have a right to do this on school property.. I say NO FUCKIN WAY!

Our child knows better than to steal anything, she is a good kid, usually on the honor roll, and she does not need to be treated like a class 1 felon for Christ Sakes. Is this legal? Isn't this illegal search?

I am appalled beyond belief and considering filing suit against the school...

Is your child being subjected to illegal searches in their school district? Everyone needs to look into this in their neighborhoods. I will start by writing the local paper's Editor. Once more parents hear of this, I am sure they will stand up and back me up on this.

What would you do????

By the way, the teacher's calculator was found to be misplaced by the Teacher, I am wondering if it was misplaced on purpose.

Originally posted to Lost Patriot on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 04:42 PM PST.


Does your school have the right to search your childrens belongings without a warrant?

42%63 votes
57%85 votes

| 148 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

    •  Yeah, they can search kids without warrants (14+ / 0-)

      They have minimal requirements, lesser expectation of privacy for minors, school standing in the place of parents,etc.  People should really educate themselves on the lack of rights that kids have, and then take a good look at what 4th amendment rights they have given up themselves.  See my comment in Richard Craniums very good diary the other day.. If there is a lot of interest in this I could do a short diary one day.

      "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

      by NearlyNormal on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:01:54 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  you're right on the law (8+ / 0-)

        but I sure with you weren't. Public schools are becoming more and more like prisons.

      •  IANAL but this might still be illegal (6+ / 0-)

        the standard for search in school is established in a case called NJ v TLO -  it is reasonable suspicion.

        Let's make a distinction.  A school locker or school issued backpack can be searched at any time, because it is school property used under school rules.

        A search of a purse, a student or a personal backpack still has to meet the test of reasonable suspicion.  This does not sound like it meets that test.

        However, I'm not sure what redress there is.  In the case of evidence found and criminal charges being brought there would be a case for moving for excluding the evidence of that search as illegal.   But I'm not sure what if any damages could be recovered unless you can make a case for something like mental suffering.

        Those who can, do. Those who can do more, TEACH! If impeachment is off the table, so is democracy

        by teacherken on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:20:24 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Two important thing in there; (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          DC Pol Sci, marina, NearlyNormal

          First is the problem of redress.  Usually, a fourth amendment violation will only suffice to keep something out of court - IAAL, but this isn't my area (I don't practice, so nothing is, really, but I am a pompous know-it-all).  IIRC, a violation will only support a civil rights suit for damages if the conscience is shocked or if there's statutory basis for a suit.  I'm guessing here, but I couldn't imagine a legislature would give the ability to sue for damages to kids.  There are searches in schools all the damn time, so that'd be a quick way to bankrupt school districts.

          From the stuff posted downthread, the reasonableness standard here seems like a very low threshold.  The search has to be "justified at the outset" and "reasonably related to the purpose of the search."  To me, that sounds like legal-ese for "the search can't be batshit insane."  ie, the only way it could be violated is if a teacher is looking for a stolen VCR and looks in someone's dainty purse.

          •  The standard of "the search can't be (0+ / 0-)

            batshit insane" is pretty close.  I may try it next time if I keep the same judge for a while.

            "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

            by NearlyNormal on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 08:40:15 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  Had a judge justify looking inside a kids (0+ / 0-)

            shoe(that he was wearing at the time) while they were searching for a stolen I-pod.  "She didn't know how big his feet were".

            "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

            by NearlyNormal on Thu Nov 29, 2007 at 06:54:28 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

        •  TLO had some basic requirements (0+ / 0-)

          of individualized suspicions left in it, though there is plenty of bad language that the DA hangs his (her in our case) hat on but there is a further case, even worse, that I can't recall the name of right this instant, but it involves high school atheletes and did away with the particularized standard.  Its clear that the case also involved the voluntary aspects of the athlete, but the courts are being pressured, and succumbing, by DA arguments that there is no longer individualized suspicion needed, just general reasonableness.  See just below for Burrow Owls succinct definition of reasonableness.

          What is very clear is that there is no need for a warrant, and that any search done by school officials needs only scant justification.

          "I said, 'wait a minute, Chester, you know I'm a peaceful man.'" Robbie Robertson -8.13, -4.56

          by NearlyNormal on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 08:44:44 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Give up hell!! (4+ / 0-)

        You don't have to worry about giving up your 4th amendment rights. They are taking them.

        I was searched also with no warrant or probable cause. My complaints have fallen on deaf ears so far although the police and department of justice can't seem to get their stories straight.

        Every time this occurs people should speak out loudly! They take our silence for granted and eventually think it is their right to do as they please in the name of fighting "terror".

        If it happened to me it can happen to you- check this

    •  What grade is this class? (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ER Doc, changeisconstant

      Just out of curiousity. I don't think the age is very relavant legally.

      This ballot is loaded, and I'm not afraid to use it.

      by BlueGenes on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:03:26 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  re (12+ / 0-)

    I am not sure about he kids themselves, but the lockers are fair game.

    legally speaking I believe.

    "Hillary plants questions (just like Bush). Steve Holt does not." - Steve Holt

    by cookiesandmilk on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 04:46:37 PM PST

    •  True, but the kids/their bags aren't (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      snakelass, StrayCat

      unless they smell like pot or someone claims to have knowledge that the kids took the calcultor, being underage does not mean you lack constitutional rights.

      This ballot is loaded, and I'm not afraid to use it.

      by BlueGenes on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 04:58:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Unfortunately, the courts have said that schools (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        althea in il, StrayCat, BlueGenes

        have the right to search, expel, or otherwise discipline students in way which would not be legal if they were adults.

        being underage does not mean you lack constitutional rights

        Correct but they are seriously curtailed. Drug Testing and searches come to mind.  Oh, and generally First Amendment rights.

        "I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps himself in the Constitution than someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps himself in the flag!"

        by SomeStones on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:33:16 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  preparing our kids for BushWorld.....eom (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, Dianna, ca democrat, lenzy1000

    "What were you thinking? Why didn't you act? Didn't you care?" -Al Gore

    by Rumarhazzit on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 04:47:04 PM PST

  •  Ick (9+ / 0-)

    My understanding is that schools (at least in California) can search their own property (this would include desks and lockers) but need permission from the student or their parents to open bags and/or purses.  

    I think you have cause to complain and make it clear you want to be present for any future searches involving your child.

    the third eye does not weep. it knows.

    by mijita on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 04:47:33 PM PST

    •  I should know the answer to this (6+ / 0-)

      but I don't.  Seems to me that what you say makes sense though - no expectation of privacy in one's desk or locker, but probable cause required for a search of the person.

      More troublesome here is the nature of the "offense" for which the child was searched.  Frankly, if a school has a reasonable suspicion that a kid is carrying a weapon which could injure other kids, I can be a little more forgiving than here, where the nature of the suspected offense did not put anyone in a state of continuing risk of harm.

      If you think you're too small to be effective, you've never been in the dark with a mosquito.

      by marykk on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 04:54:21 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  A student carrying a waepon would clearly be an (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        exigent circumstance allowing a search with out a warrant, but requiring an examination by a judge, usually in a motion to suppress, as to the existence of probable cause.

        Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

        by StrayCat on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 07:16:28 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  What made them assume that one of the students (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc, marykk, Owllwoman

    took the calculator?
    A note to the parents would have been appropriate.

    He should apologize to the students for the unnecessary search.

    peace. harmony. tranquility.

    by Pitias on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 04:54:43 PM PST

  •  My daughters school is allowed to search (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    ER Doc

    belongings as long as there is "reasonable suspicion".

  •  the laws regarding juveniles are so fucked (6+ / 0-)

    juvenile rights are a HUGE legal mess -- while the legal system sucks, it becomes deeply loathesome when it deals with people under 18.

    some of the "search" parameters may be county state or federally mandated--the important thing to remember is that kids Have No Rights, in school or out, and their parents haven't many either.

    publicizing this, and your anger, may be the best way to begin. perhaps it might also be wise to delicately question whether this misplacing teacher is suited for teaching children? and perhaps this teacher could volunteer to teach convicts at your local prison, where their attitude might be more appropriate?

    i've recommended yr diary in hope that some of our brilliant lawyers here will comment.

  •  It's legal. (4+ / 0-)

    Murky.  But legal.

    The precedent states:

    Search warrants need not be obtained by school authorities prior to student searches. Also, school officials need not have probable cause in regards to law violations prior to student searches. "Reasonableness" is the criteria for a student search. Reasonableness, as defined by the court, consists of two constructs: 1) justification at the inception of the search and 2) reasonable relatedness to the issue for which the search was implemented. A search by school officials is considered reasonable when suspicion will uncover evidence a student is/has violated the law or school policies.

    So the definition of "reasonableness" is where things get murky.

    Member of Renta Yenta for Christ. Spreading scuttlebutt was never more sacred!

    by arielle on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 04:58:11 PM PST

    •  I Dont Think So (0+ / 0-)

      What are you referencing? Do you have a link? In what jurisdiction is this precident?

      Even if I took your quote as Gospel, whether or not resonability applies to this case is murky at best.

      I'm fairly sure the school can search lockers/desks w/o reason, but need a reason to search kids/their bags.

      This ballot is loaded, and I'm not afraid to use it.

      by BlueGenes on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:02:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

        •  From the Opinion of the Court: (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          The Supreme Court of the United States, in a 6-3 decision issued by Justice White, ruled that the search and seizure by school officials without a warrant was constitutional as long as the search was deemed reasonable given the circumstances. The Court reaffirmed that there is a balancing between the individual's--even a child's--legitimate expectation of privacy and the school's interest in maintaining order and discipline. Accordingly, school officials do not need a warrant to search the belongings of students, but they do require a "reasonable suspicion".

          This reasonable suspicion test, meaning the reasonableness of the search under all the circumstances, is a lesser standard than the Probable Cause standard. Such reasonableness is based on two criteria: 1, whether the action was justified at its inception; 2, whether the search as actually conducted was unreasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the interference in the first place.

          I don't think in this actual case with the calculator, that the search was conducted in scope with the circumstances.  Clearly, all of the students couldn't possibly have taken the calculator, even if one of them had. At a minimum, the overwhelming majority of the class was unreasonably searched.

          This ballot is loaded, and I'm not afraid to use it.

          by BlueGenes on Thu Nov 29, 2007 at 08:57:12 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  It probably wasn't. (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            But the language of the ruling leaves a lot of ambiguity for them to argue that it WAS within the scope.

            You might want to give your local ACLU a buzz.

            Member of Renta Yenta for Christ. Spreading scuttlebutt was never more sacred!

            by arielle on Thu Nov 29, 2007 at 06:26:31 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

  •  Of course they have a right to search (5+ / 0-)

    through the children's belongings at school.  It's done everyday.

    I'll agree that the teacher and the principal used poor judgment in this and if I were you I wouldn't hesitate to let that teacher know how I felt about it.

    The religious fanatics didn't buy the republican party because it was virtuous, they bought it because it was for sale

    by nupstateny on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 04:58:34 PM PST

  •  There's always a relevant Onion story (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    debedb, ER Doc, dconrad

    For this diary, the appropriate headline:

    "Argument About Capital Of Australia Occurs 10 Feet From Encyclopedia."

    With, literally, 2 minutes on google, the diarist would've learned that such searches may be lousy policy but are perfectly constitutional.

    •  Canberra. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burrow owl

      El respeto al derecho ajeno es la paz -- Benito Juarez

      by LarryInNYC on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:04:22 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  According to school policy (4+ / 0-)

      It states, that students property, personal possessions can be searched ONLY if there is suspicion of them carrying illegal or unauthorized material.

      This does not cover a misplaced calculator!

      •  Asking whether something is constitutional (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        should be a last resort.  If one is peeved, one should look to more accessible and local provisions.  Instead of asking whether the search was constitutional, then, ya look to the policy.  If I'm the principal, I'm going to be a lot more open to someone raising hay over violated school policy than a probably-losing argument over the constitution.  

        It sounds like you've got decent grounds to raise hell with the superintendent.  Don't be shy about throwing political weight around with the board, either: if they don't do anything, make it an issue in the community.  School board elections are one of those things that can be tipped by a single issue.  

  •  Kids have been increasingly conditioned to accept (6+ / 0-)

    authoritarian bullying over the past 3 decades.  I still remember a classmate expressing the spirit of the early-mid '70's ...

    "I can talk if I want.  My mother pays for this school.  She pays YOUR salary!"

    But then, Mr. Smith's reply was priceless ...

    "Well I tell you what Johnson, why don't you go out and sit in your mother's hall."

    [something profound and witty is supposed to go here...]

    by kbman on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:04:36 PM PST

    •  Yea, I have those kids in class (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      althea in il

      occasionally.   You're try to teach a lesson and they really are not interested and you ask them to please allow those students who want to learn have that chance.

      And then they threaten you with "my parents pay YOUR salary" bullsh*t.  

      Most often those are the kids whose parents get all bent out of shape and blame the teacher because THEIR child didn't learn.

  •  What state did this take place in? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, ER Doc, marykk

    I don't know if this is worth the bother to complain or not since there was a school police officer present and I am assuming he/she conducted the search. As a former teacher, this kind of teacher should be reprimanded or even fired for making accusations of criminal deeds before thinking he could have misplaced the calculator. However, because of all the school violence events in recent years, I don't think going the legal route will do anything. I think a more effective way of dealing with this is organizing with other parents and maybe petitioning the school board for a hearing so there can be a clear search policy that is explained to parents that is within the law.

    You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war..... Albert Einstein,

    by tazz on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:06:51 PM PST

    •  This is in North Carolina (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      burrow owl, ER Doc

      and as I stated above, I just read the school policy on searches, it states:

      A student's personal property can be searched if there is suspicion they are carrying illegal or unauthorized material/objects.

      I do not think a misplaced calculator falls under that description???

      •  They would probably say that (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        burrow owl, althea in il

        a stolen calculator qualified as an "unauthorized" object.

        In 2000, a criminal became President. In 2004, we failed to remove him.
        American Democracy, 1787-2004, RIP

        by davewill on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:20:55 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think you've got a legal case (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Catte Nappe, saildude

        but you can surely organize and petition the school board to discipline the teacher and principal for bad judgment on their part. At least get it on record that their jumping to conclusions and insinuating criminal behavior on the part of their student body in their charge should be acknowledged as wrongful behavior on their part. Or, you can do what my son did about his child's teacher and confront the teacher and principal directly. It was a different matter than yours, but the teacher or at least the principal will have to see you. Just play it smart and don't go in there with an attitude. Your kid still has to attend school and teachers, like police, stick together.

        You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war..... Albert Einstein,

        by tazz on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:30:15 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  Good reason to homeschool. n/t (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    pletzs, StrayCat, chigh

    To say my fate is not tied to your fate is like saying, "Your end of the boat is sinking."--Hugh Downs

    by Dar Nirron on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:08:46 PM PST

  •  I remember when I was in school ten years ago (5+ / 0-)

    The High school would bring in drug sniffing dogs to go through the school when the students were in class. This is one of the things that cemented my opinion that  "The War on Drugs" was really just an excuse to turn America into a police state.

  •  When something is missimg, we ask students (4+ / 0-)

    to independently write what they know about it.  We usually get a lead, so we ask the implicated student to voluntarily empty their pockets and backpacks. Normally they comply. If a student refuses to do so(they normally don't), we would call the parent.  

    If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything. --Mark Twain

    by Desert Rose on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:14:01 PM PST

  •  I don't know about legal, (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Catte Nappe, Yellow Canary

    though I believe it is, but I was searched many times in my two years in public high school.  Just the way it goes.  It's not right, it just is.

    Before you ask me why I TR'd your tip jar, ask yourself if you've just been the author of a stupid fucking hit piece.

    by Marcus Tullius on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:14:59 PM PST

    •  WTF, I went to high school (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      in the fifties, and was never searched, and I am shocked that one would be searched many times while in school.  Even in the sixties through the eighties, my children, and their friends were never searched.  What the hell is going on?

      Patriotism may be the last refuge of scoundrels, but religion is assuredly the first.

      by StrayCat on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 07:26:57 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I graduated in 1997, and if you had anyting on (0+ / 0-)

        the premises, we just assumed it was fair game.  It's bullshit, but that's how it was.

        Before you ask me why I TR'd your tip jar, ask yourself if you've just been the author of a stupid fucking hit piece.

        by Marcus Tullius on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 08:56:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

  •  curious question... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    ...did they find the calculator?

    And was it worth the effort to find it?  seriously, calculators cost like 10 bucks.  how much does it cost to have a contingent of school administrators tear through a room looking for it?

    •  She was told that the teacher misplaced it.. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      dconrad, changeisconstant

      I will find out for sure tomorrow morning when they open up.

    •  Teachers are supposed to be able to do math (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      unterhausen, changeisconstant

      without a calculator.

      You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war..... Albert Einstein,

      by tazz on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:43:12 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Yeah but if it was one of those... (4+ / 0-)

        ...fancy graphing calculators that figures out sine and tangents and the area of a curve.

        My brother had to get one of those calculators for a calculus class in highschool.  

        Those are pretty expensive but these days you could probably download a plug-in for your cellphone that'll do the same thing.

        •  From the gyst of the diary I assume the child (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          is in elementary school. It's been a long time but trig is not usually taught until the last 2 years of high school.

          You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war..... Albert Einstein,

          by tazz on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 06:10:46 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Eh... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          If the math teacher can't visualize what a sine, cosine or tangent or the hyperbolic functions look like, they don't really belong.  :P

          I have been out of college for 22 years and I can still remember most of 'em.

          Double math/compsci major, so I pretty much lived and breathed it of course.

          0047710420123535161533 1541012554254325504300
          (-4.88, -4.15)

          by DrSpalding on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 06:17:31 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Actually (0+ / 0-)

        one of the things teachers do is teach calculator skills, how to use them, when to use them.

        •  Things have changed in the days since I taught (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          elementary school. But then, we didn't teach with a calculator, we taught the student what an abacus was and how to use a slide rule.

          You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war..... Albert Einstein,

          by tazz on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 06:14:38 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  We start early on (0+ / 0-)

            with calculator "skills."  Most curricumlums have pages throughout the year that interweave calculator skills with the math concept that was taught...

            •  Do you teach how to use a slide rule anymore? (3+ / 0-)

              You cannot simultaneously prevent and prepare for war..... Albert Einstein,

              by tazz on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 06:22:08 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  **shudders** slide rule (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                tazz, changeisconstant

                I still remember trying to master that infernal thing.  Ugh.  And yes, I am math-phobic, now that you mention it.  :)

                ...each day the dread of learning who has fallen, who will not return from this terrible war.

                by althea in il on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 06:28:07 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  Well, I have now joined the ranks of (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:

                the retired.  Three years ago, as a general rule they did not teach the slide rule in our district.  However, there was this one math teacher in our alternative high school where I went back for a semester because they needed a media person with an MA to fill in for a sudden opening.  Anyway, he taught the slide rule for fun.  And used it with the calculator and did some comparing of the process.  The kids liked it.  

                I loved using the slide rule when I was in high school.  

              •  we spent a ton of time on logarithms (0+ / 0-)

                the only reason I can think of is that slide rules are based on logarithms, and generally doing calculations with logarithms can save a lot of time if you don't have a calculator.  Otherwise, being able to manipulate expressions with logarithms and using a logarithm table doesn't make much sense.  

                So all I can think is that since slide rules had just become obsolete a few years before I went to high school, they hadn't managed to change the curriculum because they didn't really understand why they were teaching it.

                For my purposes, I'd rather someone use a calculator and get the right answer than memorize the multiplication tables.  What mind-numbing drivel.  There is so much more to learn that is so much more interesting.  My son was doing high school level math in second grade because he and his friends were interested in it.  Think of all the people that hate math because of rote learning of addition and multiplication.  

                One of my math professors caught me balancing my checkbook with a calculator, and made fun of me.  I told him I'd do it in my head if he promised to pay the bank fees.

  •  Legal??? probably. Wrong... definitely. n/t (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    "I prefer someone who burns the flag and then wraps himself in the Constitution than someone who burns the Constitution and then wraps himself in the flag!"

    by SomeStones on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 05:29:20 PM PST

  •  when I was a kid this happened a lot (2+ / 0-)

    once, someone stole the book order money, and we were all searched, and interrogated, by ourselves with a teacher, no parents present.

    Another time we went on a field trip to a store, and somebody--probably an employee--ripped off the cash register while we were there. We were searched, and later forced to pay it back by holding bake sales even though we hadn't done it.

    I can think of two or three other examples that have personally happened to myself or friends...

    So I understand your outrage, but this is pretty common, sadly.

    You think that's bad, there's some Christian schools out there that check to make sure kids are wearing proper underwear...

  •  The Supreme Court says: Yes. (0+ / 0-)

    I disagree, fwiw.

  •  You know (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    althea in il

    it works the other way around.

    My teammate was accused of slapping a child across the face. The kid went home, told a parent, and voila the cops showed up.  Every kid's parent was called so they could be questioned.  Turned out to be a total lie.  
    The kid was angry at the teacher. He told the cops that the teacher slapped him across the face in front of the class.   And until every kid confirmed that no slap happened ever with this teacher, he was treated as being guilty.

    As for searching kids property, there is a loco parentis rule in elementary.  If I think my class is in danger, like say a kid brought a knife to school and was showing it to friends and another kid tells me that, I have the right to ask the principal to come and search backpacks.  Now it could be a total lie from another kid.  Or it could be the truth but I, the teacher, must call administration and they have legal authority to search.  I, the teacher, do not.

    Something like a calculator, I would probably just ask my class to be on the look out.  But I had my car keys stolen once.  Usually, I kept them locked up but it was just one of those times, I had forgotten something in another room, left the keys on my desk to get the paper, came back and the keys were gone.  It was during changing of classes in middle school.  Never got them back.  All my house keys were on the ring. Had to get all the locks on my house changed.

    Sometimes crap happens.

    I understand your frustration.  Filing a lawsuit is way over the top, imo.  

  •  asdf (0+ / 0-)

    By the way, the teacher's calculator was found to be misplaced by the Teacher, I am wondering if it was misplaced on purpose.

    Yes, it could have been just a ruse.

  •  Whoa. Take a step back. (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    burrow owl, Dianna

    So long as they didn't physically search the children, I don't see the crime here and your confrontational attitude seems a bit excessive.
    I honestly hope you aren't carrying on like this around your child, cause she is bound to take that attitude right back into the school. Why would the teacher misplace it on purpose???

    I agree with your fiancee...the lockers and desks are the property of the school and they have every right to search them.  The bags are a little different, but if there was an officer present, I'd still say that was ok.  You task these people to keep your kids safe.  If something of your daughter's was stolen, and they had good reason to suspect someone in the class, would you feel the same?

    Kids are not adults.  I raised great kids, scrupulously honest, great grades, great kids.  That said, I wouldn't have had any problem with a school searching desks, lockers and even bags with good cause.  Schools in this district are occasionally swept by drug dogs, and suspicious cars or lockers are searched with the student present.  Do you object to that to?

    Yes, I am against illegal search and seizure of adults, illegal wiretapping, etc.  I just don't feel the standards are exactly the same in schools.  You may not touch my kids, but anything they bring to school is fair game.

    ...each day the dread of learning who has fallen, who will not return from this terrible war.

    by althea in il on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 06:08:14 PM PST

    •  I simply told her next time they try this... (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      StrayCat, Dianna, chigh

      to tell them they had better call me first. When an article turns up missing, it's a criminal investigation. And in any criminal investigation a lawyer and/or parent should be contacted before a child is searched or questioned. IMHO

      Although, I do agree in certain cases, such as a weapon, where children are in danger, yes they should be able to search the child in suspicion.

      But a calculator? Come on man............

      •  They didn't seach the children. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        You said yourself they didn't search the children.  I'd have raised holy hell if someone patted down my kids, but to look through school property, or a book bag....your daughter wasn't harmed by that.  If she'd been singled out, and only her property searched, I'd say you have a legitimate beef, but as someone pointed out below, if the school had to notify every parent before looking for the missing item, had it been stolen, it would have been long gone.

        I just think it's a bit of a non-issue.

        Teachers and schools have to tread so lightly on so many issues nowadays.  At the risk of sounding like an old curmudgeon, whatever happened to expecting children to comply with reasonable requests from the people that teach them?  Yes, I know, there are bad teachers now, as there were in the past, but for the most part they are well meaning, dedicated people.  I'd save my ammo for a bigger fight.

        ...each day the dread of learning who has fallen, who will not return from this terrible war.

        by althea in il on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 06:23:35 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Well, I can see your point too. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      althea in il

      I've actually had a kid call me a racist and threaten to sue me because I didn't let him go to the bathroom!  In which case I just rolled my eyes.  The eye-rolling had gotten down to an art form after a while.

      Guess you had to be there.  He was being disruptive probably and it was probably 5 minutes before the bell.  Trust me, kids have ample time to use the rest room and we let them go if they are in the class room for a while.

      It is true that kids have an attitude with the teachers and parents do too, some is warranted, some is not.  

      It's one of those things where I wish everyone had to try teaching for a year!!!

  •  "Teacher should keep better track belongings" (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    StrayCat, Dianna

    That's probably what would be told to the student who had something stolen.

    Secrecy breeds fraudulence

    by North Coast Ohioan on Wed Nov 28, 2007 at 06:29:20 PM PST

  •  Well, I had my phone stolen at a HS (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    busternjake, StrayCat, Lost Patriot

    When I was a sub.  During one period someone took it off my desk.  Some girl came up to me and told me to call the office but the period was over so I dismissed the students.  I think I knew who it was because I called it and heard it ringing but I wasn't 100% sure.  I just didn't want to accuse anyone and be wrong.  I couldn't live with that.  I'd rather give up my phone quite honestly.

    So I called the principal and she told me I should have kept the class, even after the bell and that they would have had them empty their backpacks or something like that, can't remember.  She said they usually throw whatever was stolen somewhere and people get it back.

    I was only upset for about an hour and then I was over it.  I felt bad for the student who did it, actually.

    It was the only time I ever had anything taken.  I saw a lot of students and they are actually  trustworthy and wonderful to be around.

    So I don't know.  It was my fault primarily for leaving it out.  I feel for the teacher who lost his calculator but we really can't go down that road.

    I do  think high schools are like prisons.  We treat kids like prisoners.  We need smaller schools and more teachers.  We need to respect our kids and our society and our schools instead of going in this direction in this country.  I am very fearful for where we are headed.

    Kids steal.  I did it too when I was young!  

    •  Very good post, thanks.. n/t (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
    •  But we also need to teach respect (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      althea in il, Dianna

      And respect means everyone ought to be able to have stuff out and not always locked up.  When I had my own class (6th) grade in elementary school, I NEVER locked up anything: my purse, my change, my calculators.  The kids all knew where I kept money (a few bucks and some change in case someone forgot lunch money).  And they knew my desk is a place that was NOT forbidden. I often asked kids to go into my desk, get me a black marker or some notecards or whatever.

      And they knew if I wasn't there, (like if I had to run to the ladies's room, they were allowed to get what they needed.  The classroom was our community.   If something went missing, I always said, "I can't find...." and my classes started looking.  Often I had misplaced it...sometimes someone had borrowed and forgotten.  

      Then I went to middle school.  My keys were stolen.  I was devastated.  Not only did I have to change all the locks on my house (because I really had no clue whether it was a kid, an adult in the building, someone who knew me) sense of trust was being eroded.  

      I imagine if I stayed in that environment I may easily have become like many teachers have become...
      It's not just the school/teachers' fault.  This is a societal problem.  Filing lawsuits against the school to me is not the answer.

      •  I could have handled it better, that's for sure. (0+ / 0-)

        It's just that the bell was about to ring and I didn't know the routine if something got stolen, because it had never happened, to call the office.  

        If I ever had my own classroom it would be a huge responsibility because I'd have to be there to teach them all those things like respect and that's a very very tall order.  Forget that standards, that's the challenging part I'd say.

        Schools/teachers too often take the blame and all the criticism for everything, I hear you.  Our educational system is not respected enough by anyone.  We need to restore it to something everyone can feel great about.

        I think the guy who presumably did it has to live with it.  I think the students knew who it was.  So in that sense there was a consequence.  It hurt him more than it hurt me, I'm pretty sure about that, whoever it was.

        99.999% of the kids I ever knew were honest and I never locked my stuff up.  Gotta keep it in perspective.

        Trust is very important to me too.  It can be hard in the year 2007 but it's it's worth it.

        Complicated and difficult subject, but an important one.

  •  When I was in Jr. High (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    back in the 70's, a girl said she lost $30 bucks in the gym locker. The gym teachers strip searched all the girls in the class in search of the money which never showed up.  Luckily I was not in that gym class. What a horror. Parents were quite angry to say the least.  Nothing happened to any of the teachers who did this.

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