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    Searching Student Cell Phones

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    Imagine that the cell phone you have confiscated has readily visible sexually inappropriate messages on it. How would you handle the situation? Be sure to cite any applicable case law, school board policies, and state laws to support your answer.

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    If I confiscated a cell phone with sexually inappropriate messages visible on it, the first thing I would do is ask to speak with a higher administrative official and/or legal council for the school district. A confiscated cell phone with visible sexually inappropriate messages on it triggers a variety of Constitutional, legal, and policy related questions. In order to resolve these issues, many people need to be included in the discussion. (This is especially important as this is an area of the law that is still evolving and clarifying.)

    The first question implicated by this situation is whether or not the school has a right to search the phone. If any level of phone searching is done, a student's right to privacy must be considered. According to New Jersey v. T.L.O, 469 U.S. 325 (1985), students are protected by the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment protects individuals from illegal searches ...

    Solution Summary

    A discussion of the issues surrounding cell phone searches in schools.