Springfield Public Schools in Missouri locked down the school and allowed police to randomly search through all of the private possessions of any student they wanted. The police did not have a warrant to conduct the search and neither the students nor their parents were notified in advance or asked permission.
When parents found out, many of them were outraged at the unlawful invasion of their children’s privacy.
John Whitefield, president of The Rutherford Institute filed a lawsuit against Springfield schools for conducting the lockdown and allowing the police to conduct the illegal search. Whitefield said
“Besides the invasive nature of these kinds of things, what it teaches students in the future is that you live in a police state, that the police can [do this] without a search warrant, without you doing anything wrong, without them proving [they have] probable cause under the Fourth Amendment, that becomes normal.
“That’s why the Fourth Amendment was put in our Constitution — it’s that we’re not supposed to be treated like we’re suspects, that we have bodily integrity, our homes are our castles. But increasingly the law and the way this country treats us is going against that founding principle, and I think it’s really sad and very unfortunate.”
Unbelievably, a US District Court ruled in favor of the school and determined that they did not violate any of the student’s constitutional rights including the Fourth Amendment.
Whitehead said The Rutherford Institute will appeal the District Court’s ruling and take it to a higher court.
The Fourth Amendment states,
“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”
In the case of the Springfield School, no probable cause was given and the search was completely unreasonable since there was no warrant issued for the search. So someone please tell me how the US District Court determined that the students’ Fourth Amendment rights were not violated.
If this ruling is upheld, it will become the foundation of a policy that says students in public and possibly private and charter schools have no constitutional rights of person or privacy and that schools and law enforcement can detain and search them whenever they want without any probable cause or the securing of a warrant.
Is this the educational environment you want to send your kids to? You need to make that decision and make it quickly.