The Instigator
Prince-Ali
Pro (for)
The Contender
David_Debates
Con (against)

Should probable cause be used in U.S. schools rather than reasonable suspicion on student searches

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 1/29/2017 Category: Education
Updated: 1 year ago Status: Debating Period
Viewed: 597 times Debate No: 99412
Debate Rounds (3)
Comments (3)
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Prince-Ali

Pro

BEFORE WE BEGIN PLEASE NOTE THAT THE FIRST ROUND REVOVLES AROUND BRINGING UP YOUR ARGUMENT, SECOND ROUND IS DEDICATED TO ATTACKS, AND IN THE THIRD ROUND NO NEW INFORMATION MAY BE INSERTED, THIS WOULD BE THE SUMMARY ROUND, WHERE YOU STATE ALL THE ARGUMENTS YOU HAVE WON USING INFORMATION YOU --->ALREADY<---- STATED.

I will start off with definitions:
Probable Cause: a reasonable ground for supposing that a charge is well-founded (Merriam-Websters dictionary)

Reasonable Suspicion: : an objectively justifiable suspicion that is based on specific facts or circumstances and that justifies stopping and sometimes searching (as by frisking) a person thought to be involved in criminal activity at the time
(Merriam-Websters dictionary)

My stance is with Probable Cause standards in schools, due to three major points.
1. The use of the "reasonable" suspicion standard undermines democratic socialization.
As stated by Sarah Forman, a professor at the Detroit Mercy School of Law, states that "the reasonable suspicion standard violates the 4th amendment protection against unwarranted search. " This absurdity expresses to the youth, that order and discipline are given priority over their individual rights. As a result of this, students are made to believe they are second class citizens. These pupils are taught their rights under the constitution in class, and yet they have them violated only to send conflicting messages about the constitution to them. School officials can not expect student to grow up as good citizens when the school authorities disregard these fundamental principles regarding our constitution.
2. "Probable cause would remove Qualified immunity, which would force school administrators to be held accountable for their actions."
-Rutledge Devallis of Police Magazine.
As the fourth amendment mandates, you need Probable Cause to obtain a search warrant. With this warrant, school administrators that wrongfully search a student may be punished without having qualified immunity to back them up as they would require a warrant to search in the first place, saving young innocent lives from utter humiliation.
3. Probable Cause offers the proper protection for K-12 students." Outside of the school context, a "probable Cause standard" is almost always required."
-Mckelwee, Washburn Law Journal.
Outside of schools, probable cause is almost always mandatory, and so criminals that have done wrong would receive more rights than innocent pupils that may be found of holding no crime. Comparing criminals on the streets to students learning in classrooms is not only disrespectful, but also alarming. The fact that I must compare criminals to students and their rights is absurd, but with probable cause we can end this and give our youth the rights that they deserve.
The points I have made are:
1. Reasonable Suspicion undermines democratic socialization
2. Probable Cause would remove Qualified Immunity
3. Probable Cause offers the proper protection for K-12 students.
David_Debates

Con

I agree with Pro's definitions of Probable Cause and Reasonable Suspicion, but I request him to allow me to use binding case law to further define these terms.

This in mind, I'll begin my constructive.

1) The reasonable suspicion standard is deemed to be consititutional.

In the Supreme Court case Terry v. Ohio (392. U.S. 1, 1968), a police officer noticed two strangers outside of a store, patroling it. A third man aproached, and the three began speaking to each other quitely, refering back to the store. This type of activity is known as "casing" a store, or preparing to rob it, so the officer detained the three individuals and searched them. He found two revolvers in two of the individuals overcoat, and promptly arrested them. He had no search warrant.

The court found that the 4th ammendment "protects people, not places," and thus it was irrelevant that they were out on a public street. In the same way, it would be irrelevant whether or not an individual that is frisked would be in school.

The court also found that this detainment and search (this stop and frisk) was completely constitutional, as the police officer reasonably suspected the individuals were preparing to commit a crime, and that this suspicion was based on "articuable facts rather than an unarticable hunch."

This shows that the Supreme Court has ruled that reasonable suspicion is the burden when it comes to stop and frisks, and that location is irrelevant when considering constitutionality.

Feel free to read more about Terry v. Ohio here (1).

2) Students are not given immunity.

There is no case law binding that prevents this same reasonable suspicion standard being used on students, as a matter of fact, it's quite the opposite. To quote from New Jersey v. T.L.O. (469 U.S. 325 (1985)):

"Under the above standard, the search in this case was not unreasonable for Fourth Amendment purposes. First, the initial search for cigarettes was reasonable. The report to the Assistant Vice Principal that respondent had been smoking warranted a reasonable suspicion that she had cigarettes in her purse, and thus the search was justified despite the fact that the cigarettes, if found, would constitute "mere evidence" of a violation of the no-smoking rule. Second, the discovery of the rolling papers then gave rise to a reasonable suspicion that respondent was carrying marihuana as well as cigarettes in her purse, and this suspicion justified the further exploration that turned up more evidence of drug-related activitiespo (2)."

Reasonable suspicion is the standard used on non-student searches and student searches alike, and neither violates the individual's 4th ammendment rights.

Based on these Supreme Court cases, I hold that reasonable suspicion is constitutional, and this standard is and should be applied to all individuals, and that no one should be immune from this law, as Pro would have you believe.

Sources:
(1) https://www.law.cornell.edu...
(2) https://www.law.cornell.edu...
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Debate Round No. 3
3 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 3 records.
Posted by David_Debates 1 year ago
David_Debates
I'll accept, I'm just waiting so I will have time to finish my R1 argument. I'm pressed for time this week.
Posted by Prince-Ali 1 year ago
Prince-Ali
Yes! Thank you so much! Good luck!
Posted by David_Debates 1 year ago
David_Debates
I'll debate this topic. Would it be alright if I accept?
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