Is this permissible by state and federal law under the U.S. Constitution?
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06-02-2014, 06:16 PM
Is this permissible by state and federal law under the U.S. Constitution?




Enter Oakville High School, in Saint Louis Missouri, the high school in which I learn, but also where I am subjected to random seizures and searches.

After the posting of this video, and the logical and inarguable comments that ensued (you can look at those for yourself), this video has gone absolutely viral throughout the school community, gaining 3,000 views (which is a lot considering the youtube channel only has 241 subscribers).

My real question - and I can only hope that some of you may be righteous enough to research this for me - regards whether or not this search is justified under the 4th amendment of the Constitution, and whether or not this amendment is void (somehow) by state law.

Now, this has happened before, last semester, a semester in which I could not care less about my rights, for that was before I actually understood my rights (and, I cannot say that this epiphany exists for all).

When this action was taken place, and while I was heading into the hallway in order to place my book-bag in the hallway, I suddenly realized that under the 4th amendment, there cannot be unwarranted searches of private property (which I believe my book-bag is under).

Now, this is where it gets scary, for in this video that I have linked you to, you can see school officials reaching (almost in a violent manner) into others' private bags (are non-police personnel allowed, by law, to do this?).

I had previously thought that this procedure was done to attain probable cause by having the dog actually smell drugs, am I not right?

The thing I find most hilarious, throughout all of this drama, is that no drugs were actually found, yet, the children say they are "safer" because of it (as if drugs are an immediate danger to their lives).

Before you research, let me give you a quick run-down on how this procedure was undergone. But, I guess we must be "guilty until proven innocent".

EDIT: Could you please provide sources for any research regarding the permissibility of these unwarranted searches?
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06-02-2014, 06:26 PM
RE: Is this permissible by state and federal law under the U.S. Constitution?
This happened in my school all the time. No students allowed out of class while drug dogs roamed the locker hallways. I think there is a loophole in this re the 4th amendment, it is school property (government property) and they have strict rules about what is, and is not allowed on school property. As long as they don't search lockers that dogs haven't hit on, I think they are legally within their rights.

I do know that if in a traffic stop, you refuse a search of your vehicle (which is within your legal right, if there is no probable cause), they can call for a dog to come sniff around your car. Here is my problem with that: it has been proven that no matter how good the dog is at his job, there are still a lot of false positives. Also, the cop can just say that the dog hit on something. Bottom line: if a cop wants to search your vehicle, they are going to do it, and that isn't right IMO.

sorry, too lazy to look up the research and articles I've read on this in the past. If I'm wrong about any of this, I apologize (folks, please correct me if I'm wrong, I'd love to know more on this topic myself). This is all just what I've observed.
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06-02-2014, 06:36 PM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2014 06:51 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Is this permissible by state and federal law under the U.S. Constitution?
Ain't a lawyer but there are a few here. The Fourth Amendment prohibits "unreasonable" search and seizure. If it's a public school it ain't much different than setting up drunk driver checkpoints. Don't see anything unreasonable about it. Same as walking a drug-sniffer through a mall.

(06-02-2014 06:16 PM)UndercoverAtheist Wrote:  I had previously thought that this procedure was done to attain probable cause by having the dog actually smell drugs, am I not right?

The Supreme Court has ruled that bringing a drug-sniffer onto your personal property up to your front door to smell the blunt you're smoking to try and establish probable cause is unconstitutional. They also found that the use of thermal imaging to see if you was growing the weed inside your house using high-intensity grow lights was also unreasonable and therefore unconstitutional.

(06-02-2014 06:16 PM)UndercoverAtheist Wrote:  EDIT: Could you please provide sources for any research regarding the permissibility of these unwarranted searches?

Exercise left for the student. Write a paper on it. Tongue

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06-02-2014, 06:40 PM (This post was last modified: 06-02-2014 06:53 PM by GirlyMan.)
RE: Is this permissible by state and federal law under the U.S. Constitution?
(06-02-2014 06:26 PM)Smercury44 Wrote:  I think there is a loophole in this re the 4th amendment, it is school property (government property) and they have strict rules about what is, and is not allowed on school property. As long as they don't search lockers that dogs haven't hit on, I think they are legally within their rights.

I don't think it's a loophole, QuickSilver. I think they also have the right to search any locker at any time without any reason whatsoever. It's their locker. They don't have a right to search your backpack though unless a drug-sniffer hits on it.

As it was in the beginning is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
And I will show you something different from either
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Or your shadow at evening rising to meet you;
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06-02-2014, 08:25 PM
RE: Is this permissible by state and federal law under the U.S. Constitution?
No idea about the law in your situation... But other than the time and hastle... What the hell could you have in your bag that you don't want seen? You're in a school. Keep the drugs and porn at home or a stash spot.
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06-02-2014, 09:49 PM
RE: Is this permissible by state and federal law under the U.S. Constitution?
(06-02-2014 06:40 PM)GirlyMan Wrote:  They don't have a right to search your backpack though unless a drug-sniffer hits on it.

The interesting thing to keep in mind, though, is that these dogs are also trained to "hit" on cue, drugs or no drugs, thus providing a reason to search a suspect's property whether there is justified cause or not. I think drug dogs are great when used appropriately, but a tactic like that is underhanded and I would think unconstitutional. Of course proving it would be near impossible. I'm sure these school searches are straight up, but I can imagine plenty of other opportunities where law enforcement might abuse something like that.

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06-02-2014, 10:58 PM
RE: Is this permissible by state and federal law under the U.S. Constitution?
I have a problem with the argument that you are on school property. This isn't a private school, this is a Public School, owned and funded by the tax payer. So I can see how this could be considered a violation of the 4th amendment, I could be wrong though.

Also, DUI check points are not mandatory, your right to not be stopped without probable cause is protected. You can refuse to answer questions. I am not sure how to embed video, but here is a good example of that.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HZeGIT_RDsI
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07-02-2014, 12:02 AM
RE: Is this permissible by state and federal law under the U.S. Constitution?
Sadly, in 1985, the Supreme Court screwed students to the wall.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_Jersey_v._T._L._O.

Quote:New Jersey v. T. L. O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985), is a decision by the Supreme Court of the United States addressing the constitutionality of a search of a public high school student for contraband after she was caught smoking. A subsequent search of her purse revealed drug paraphernalia, marijuana, and documentation of drug sales. She was charged as a juvenile for the drugs and paraphernalia found in the search. She fought the search, claiming it violated her Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches. The U.S. Supreme Court, in a 6-3 ruling, held that the search was reasonable under the Fourth Amendment.

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07-02-2014, 12:38 AM
RE: Is this permissible by state and federal law under the U.S. Constitution?
When I was in high school we had to line up in the halls when the did sniffs.

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07-02-2014, 12:02 PM
RE: Is this permissible by state and federal law under the U.S. Constitution?
A school is government property and the government can search it's own property as much as it likes. Your locker is not yours, it is loaned to you by the government.

They can not search you or items in your possession without cause.
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