Friday, December 15, 2006

Searching Students

I don't understand the ACLU sometimes (OK, much of the time). Their ability to balance out different interests in society seems out of whack. In a case that happened the other day, during a fire drill at a middle school, an eighth-grade teacher had his MP3 player stolen. The obvious conclusion was that one of the students in the class going on at the time was the culprit, so they searched the students. Specifically, the search was carried out as follows:
Students stood by their desks and exposed their pockets and ankles. No one was touched during the search. Provenzano and Cooper also searched the backpacks.

To me, that seems like an approriate response. But the ACLU is up in arms, with a spokesman saying:
"If someone came forward and said, 'I saw an iPod in Jimmy's bag,' that would be reasonable suspicion. They could search that one student," Hensler said.

But a mass search is not legal unless an administrator can prove reasonable suspicion that each student broke a school rule or violated the law, he said.

It's ultimately up to a judge as to what is "reasonable" in these circumstances, but the school's actions seem reasonable to me.

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