Policing Students - Policing Students.pdf - FOURTH...

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FOURT H AM EN DM EN T Policing St ud ent s Development s in the La w APR 10 , 2015 128 H a r v. L. Rev. 1 747 J ason Shade was a student at the Apple Valley Alternative Learning Center, an alternative high school in Minnesota. On the way to an off-campus shop class, Shade’s teacher stopped at Burger King so the students could buy breakfast. Back on the bus, Shade had trouble opening the orange juice that he bought to have with his breakfast, so he asked the other students if anyone had something he could use to open it. 1 1 . Sha d e v. City of Fa r mington, N o. C I V. 99 - 206 7, 2001 WL 50119 7, at * 1 (D. Minn. May 9 , 2001 ) , aff’ d , 309 F. 3d 105 4 ( 8 th Ci r . 2002 ). 2 2 . Abo u t U s , d i s t r ict 196 a r ea l ea r ning c ente r , http:// www . d i s t r ict 196 .o r g/alc/abo u - t us .html (http:// www . d i s t r ict 196 .o r g/alc/abo u t us .html) (la s t vi s ite d Ma r . 1 , 2015 ) [ r ma.cc/WA 2 V-CPYZ ( r ma.cc/WA 2 V-CPYZ) ]. 3 3 . Sha d e , 2001 WL 50119 7, at * 1 . 4
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A nearby student handed Shade his folding knife, which Shade used to open his or- ange juice before passing it back. Shade’s teacher, who was also driving the bus, saw Shade with the knife in his hand, but did not see the surrounding events. Three police officers, two of whom served as school resource officers (SROs), were contacted and came to search the bus and the students. The knife’s owner admitted to the police that he had a knife and turned it over. For his brief use of the knife on the bus, Shade was charged with and pled guilty to felony possession of a dangerous weapon on school property. R E LAT E D Policing an d P r ofit (/ 2015 / 0 4/policing-an d -p r ofit/) Con s i d e r ing Police Bo d y Came r a s (/ 2015 / 0 4/con s i d e r ing-police-bo d y-came r a s /) 4. Id . 5 5 . Id . 6 6 . Id . 7 7. Thi s Chapte r us e s SRO, s chool police, s chool office r , o r s chool liai s on office r to r efe r to any police office r employe d in a s chool, r ega rd le ss of the pa r tic u la rs of the p r og r am. 8 8 . Sha d e , 2001 WL 50119 7, at * 1 2 . 9 9 . Id . at * 2 . The office rs p r ocee d e d to s ea r ch all of the s t ud ent s d e s pite the a d mi ss ion. Id . 10 10 . Id .
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Shade’s story is not particularly unusual. In recent years, the connection between schools and police departments has become ever closer. As a result, not only are children “being treated like criminals in school, but many are being shunted into the criminal justice system as schools have begun to rely heavily upon law enforce- ment officials to punish students.” While the Supreme Court has extended limited Fourth Amendment rights to stu- dents in public schools, it has yet to acknowledge the rise of heavy-handed policing in schools, the costs of such a system, and how either factor might impact the de- termination of the scope of students’ rights. In trying to follow the Supreme Court’s limited precedent in this context, most courts hold that reasonable suspicion that a student is violating a law or school rule is constitutionally sufficient to search. This is true even if the search involves a police officer, so long as the officer doesn’t initi- ate the search independently from school officials or a concern for school safety.
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