Should Probable cause be alright in School K-12
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Probable cause should be alright in school K-12 to aide in maintaining a safe, secure learning environment. However, it is a decision that should not be made to schools across the board. In that, it should be decided at a local level involving parents and teachers. After all they would know whether the school their child/children attend is problematic.
It would be unrealistic to argue that a Probable Cause policy would eliminate potential life threatening or harmful events. A Probable Cause policy should be accompanied with an outlet source (e.g. upper grade levels peer to peer, all grade levels an outside agent brought in on sight for students). Schools with budget constraints can utilize school counselors to implement the policy without additional expense. School counselors could be more effective in serving their students when they are side-by-side in the trenches rather than behind a desk.
A Probable Cause policy could benefit a student (s), who may be contemplating suicide, a pregnancy prevention, identifying child abuse, drug use/sales, a frustrated failing student with no one at home to assist them with homework. Those are just a few ways students and schools can benefit from a Probable Cause policy that is implemented with a positive mindset to helping good kids rise to the challenges that stand in the way of being a good student (s), or hinders the ability to see beyond what's in front of them.
An improper approach to implementation begins with a negative mind-set that students are up to no good, profiling students: financially challenged, color, race, gender, etc. Students being subjected to policy without discourse for remedy.
20 years where the practice of assigning police officers to schools on a full-time basis has become
Criminal justice and education officials sought to expand school safety
efforts"which included assigning law enforcement officers to patrol schools"in the wake of a
series of high-profile school shootings in the 1990s.4
Expanding the presence of SROs in schools
was also partly a response to rising juvenile crime rates during the 1980s and early 1990s. S.R.O (School Resource Officers) are sworn, licensed police officers with the ability to exact Probable cause in school. Not only would the cost of the SRO be consequential to the schools funding but it creates a bad environment as well. The students are put into the justice system most of the time caused by minor offense, not only does that cause complications for both student and parent but it ruins there success in life by giving them a criminal record.
Probable cause, the 4th amendment, search and seizer.
School administrators face severe threats to school safety and are simultaneously held increasingly accountable to the public and policymakers to keep students safe. To keep schools safe, most administrators err on the side of searching rather than not searching. Administrators' judgments are protected by governmental immunity as long as the search is not knowingly or willfully illegal. In fact, an administrator will not incur civil liability unless his or her conduct violates clearly established statutory or constitutional rights Harlow v. Fitzgerald, (1982).
With that said, the question brought into light is the Constitutionality, it's application and protection's covering students in school K-12. There have been Supreme Court cases, post-New Jersey v. T.L.O.2 federal, Pennsylvania and other state court cases that had set precedent in the applied rights and/or protections related to search and seizure in K-12 public schools.
In the wake of parent heightened fears surrounding the deaths of innocent children who were murdered by various methods while walking to, from or on school campus parents and school officials sometimes rush to solve the problem. The solution or remedy is generally guided by emotion rather than sound mind. Also, creating a minefield of unforeseen consequences that begin to outweigh the benefits.
Sound policies guided and created using applicable law. and enforced by all affected party's would work towards reducing fear and tension. Education, communication, in addition to policy and procedural follow-up to steer the ship through clear water with confidence.
Probable Cause and Reasonable Suspicion. (n.d.) West's Encyclopedia of American Law, edition 2. (2008). Retrieved September 26 2016 from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com...
December 2001/January 2002 | Volume 59 | Number 4 Understanding the Law Pages 31-35; http://www.ascd.org...
in loco parentis. (n.d.). Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition. Retrieved September 26, 2016 from Dictionary.com website http://www.dictionary.com...
"Probable cause" means that the officer must possess sufficiently trustworthy facts to believe that a crime has been committed. In some cases, an officer may need only a reasonable suspicion of criminal activity to conduct a limited search. Reasonable suspicion means that the officer has sufficient knowledge to believe that criminal activity is at hand. This level of knowledge is less than that of probable cause, so reasonable suspicion is usually used to justify a brief frisk in a public area or a traffic stop at roadside. To possess either probable cause or reasonable suspicion, an officer must be able to cite specific articulable facts to warrant the intrusion. Items related to suspected criminal activity found in a search may be taken, or seized, by the officer.
Individuals receive no Fourth Amendment protection unless they can demonstrate that they have a reasonable expectation of privacy in the place that was searched or the property that was seized. The U.S. Supreme Court explained that what "a person knowingly exposes to the public, even in his own home or office, is not a subject of Fourth Amendment protection…. But what he seeks to preserve as private, even in an area accessible to the public, may be constitutionally protected." Katz v. United States, 389 U.S. 347, 88 S. Ct. 507, 19 L. Ed. 2d 576 (1976).
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