Public High School Students Have The First Amendment Right Of Free Expression And The Fourth Amendment Protection Against Unreasonable

1277 Words Feb 11th, 2016 6 Pages
Public high school students have the First Amendment right of free expression and the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches while they’re at school. These protections extend a student’s social media and to the digital contents of their cell phones. At the same time, public high schools have special characteristics associated with their duty to educate students and provide a safe and orderly place conducive to learning and so students accept greater restrictions of their constitutional rights while in school. At issue with respect to Rocktown High School’s 2016 AP History class is whether the school’s “search” of history student’s social media “friends,” obtained under threat of suspension, was reasonable, whether the Principal’s subsequent demand, again under threat of suspension, that David Osborne, individually suspected of cheating, give her his cell phone and show her “text messages” violates his constitutional rights, and whether there is a better way for the school to have handled the matter.
First, where a school’s suspicion of cyber cheating is strong, slight intrusions of a student’s right to privacy in the form of reasonable and focused investigation in order to either confirm or dispel those suspicions is appropriate. Second, cyber “cheat speech” that substantially disrupts the school 's mission is not constitutionally protected. Third, if the schools suspicions are confirmed, the students who cheated can be disciplined, but have the right…
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