Monday, August 29, 2011

Search and seizure and the Fourth Amendment

The Juneau School District Board of Education has yet to agree on updated policies regarding search and seizure in schools. Because of the pressure involved in coming to an agreement that can both protect students' rights as well as their safety, it makes a lot of sense that the board members are careful in making their decision.
Board member Mark Choate, an attorney, spoke to the constitutionality of the proposed changes, particularly in the general terminology of "reasonable suspicion" versus "probable cause". - http://www.chron.com/news/article/Juneau-schools-delay-search-seizure-policy-2133759.php
This distinction between what is considered "probable cause" as opposed to "reasonable suspicion" is the crux of just about any argument related to search and seizure. We take the Fourth Amendment very seriously in this country and, as a result, government encroachment on our privacy and personal property is rightly viewed with a careful eye.


In the case Juneau School District, the issue is more about school administrators searching students than police searching the public. Because a school needs to achieve its objectives, many agree that it should be allowed a degree of freedom in setting policies that require giving up some personal privacy to ensure a safe and orderly environment for students and faculty at large.
This is similar to security checkpoints upon entering a courthouse or before boarding a plane. One must give up the right to privacy of his or her personal effects to ensure that everyone's personal right to safety is ensured. This does not mean, however, that the Juneau School District's decision will not be scrutinized, and for good reason.
Over the years, the law offices of Peter J. Scuderi have encountered countless cases where Fourth Amendment issues have been a primary concern. Unlawful search and seizure is an important concern for a Philadelphia Search and Seizure Attorney because the prosecution's case is often built around evidence that was gathered in a manner that was legally questionable. The important point to remember is that we all have certain rights that need to be protected, whether in school, at work, or out on the street.

No comments:

Post a Comment