Schools Increasingly Constitution-Free Zones

Reason rightly highlights this story about a kid in Georgia facing 10 years in jail because his school found his fishing tackle box in his car and in it was, gasp, his fishing knife.

But what the local news story fails to make a point about is the absurdly low bar school officials have to clear to search student's cars.

Williams, a senior at Allatoona High School, became the subject of a warrantless search after a fellow student told a campus police officer that he or she saw smoke rising from Williams’ car in the student parking lot and it smelled like marijuana. An assistant principal searched the car and did not find any marijuana but did find a pocket knife in the center console, enough to get Williams suspended for 10 days and possibly expelled, while facing felony criminal charges.

Smoke was rising from the car?  Really?  Like Spiccoli's van in Fast Times for Ridgemont High?  I am sure glad this kind of administrative lawlessness was not allowed when I was in school.  I wouldn't be surprised if the original student report to the school wasn't a pure fabrication out of spite against this student.

  • CTD

    Note that in one case the K-9 unit "alerted" on the kid's car. No drugs were found.

  • jimc5499

    Our school district considers parking on campus a privilege. You have to go through a lottery to obtain a parking pass and if you are chosen one of the requirements is that you consent to a search of your vehicle at any time for any reason.

  • MikeyAZ

    The Supreme Court agrees that constitutional rights are the second priority at schools.
    http://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/historics/USSC_CR_0469_0325_ZS.html
    This is the same reason why student publications do not have free press rights.