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November 24, 2017, 02:31:15 pm
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Author Topic: School requires registering e-readers  (Read 7654 times)
Ed W
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« on: April 19, 2012, 04:04:48 pm »

I'm ambivalent on this.  On one hand, it's objectionable for a school to inspect a student's e-reader regardless of the contents.  Yet at the same time, I can see how, say, a copy of Maxim on that same e-reader may be distracting.

From the Owasso Reporter:

The potential policy states a school may examine a student’s personal mobile device and search its contents if there is a reason to think the school’s policies, regulations or guidelines regarding use of the device have been violated; all e-Readers must be registered with the main office with the signed policy form; e-Readers and mobile devices are to be used for reading only school approved material; all material on the e-Reader must comply with the spirit and policies of OPS;...

http://owassoreporter.com/news/ops-board-to-implement-new-mobile-device-policy-for-e/article_94455962-857f-11e1-ab73-001a4bcf887a.html

What about a device with 4G connectivity?  A kid could be in compliance at 9AM and violate school policy minutes later.

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« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2012, 04:15:53 pm »

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The potential policy states a school may examine a student’s personal mobile device and search its contents...

No mention of devices only being searchable @ 9:00am
If it's on school property, it can be searched at any time.
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custosnox
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« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 04:34:48 pm »

No mention of devices only being searchable @ 9:00am
If it's on school property, it can be searched at any time.

I still don't see how this can stand up against the constitutional test.  I thought that all effects an papers were safe from unwarranted search and seizure. Personally I think I would make sure I had a password on mine and refuse to give the password.
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #3 on: April 19, 2012, 06:16:18 pm »

I still don't see how this can stand up against the constitutional test.  I thought that all effects an papers were safe from unwarranted search and seizure. Personally I think I would make sure I had a password on mine and refuse to give the password.

Not at school. They can check your locker for porn, they can check your iPad for porn. Our digital calculators were randomly searched when I was in school. Luckily for me, the teachers weren't good at inspecting them. *cough*

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custosnox
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« Reply #4 on: April 19, 2012, 07:02:58 pm »

Not at school. They can check your locker for porn, they can check your iPad for porn. Our digital calculators were randomly searched when I was in school. Luckily for me, the teachers weren't good at inspecting them. *cough*


Doesn't mean that it would survive the constitution test if ever tested.  If it's in your locker it's one thing, if it's on your person, it's another.
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #5 on: April 19, 2012, 07:10:55 pm »

From the US Dept of Education:
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The Supreme Court has held that students have a legitimate expectation of privacy in their persons and accompanying possessions. However, the Court also has held that schools have a substantial interest in maintaining security and order in the classroom and on school grounds. The Court has determined that this interest justifies a more flexible standard of reasonableness for searches of students that are conducted by school officials as opposed to law enforcement officers. Thus, the Court has held that school officials, unlike the police, do not need to obtain a warrant prior to conducting a search. Nor do they need probable cause to believe that a violation of the law has occurred.

Also keep in mind it says they have to agree to a school-specific policy to bring it on campus meaning they probably sign that they will unlock and present their devices when requested.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2012, 07:13:06 pm by sgrizzle » Logged
custosnox
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« Reply #6 on: April 19, 2012, 10:02:44 pm »

From the US Dept of Education:
Also keep in mind it says they have to agree to a school-specific policy to bring it on campus meaning they probably sign that they will unlock and present their devices when requested.
So now students have to sign contracts to bring personal property to school?  What happens if they refuse to sign?  Are they not allowed to go to school?  Or not allowed to bring personal property?  What if the e-readers are needed for class, but not provided by the school, then wouldn't it be a form of coercement?
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TeeDub
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« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2012, 08:24:09 am »

Our digital calculators were randomly searched when I was in school.


Seriously?    I can't remember that ever happening.
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Conan71
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« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2012, 08:35:24 am »

then wouldn't it be a form of coercement?

Not at all.  The school has to ensure that children are not bringing in items which will detract from their learning experience as well as those around them.  There’s a certain code of conduct which is expected of students.  If they don’t observe it, they can be kicked out.

I don’t see how it’s any different than a car being subject to inspection on school grounds or in a private employer’s parking lot.

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« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2012, 09:57:31 am »

Not at all.  The school has to ensure that children are not bringing in items which will detract from their learning experience as well as those around them.  There’s a certain code of conduct which is expected of students.  If they don’t observe it, they can be kicked out.

I don’t see how it’s any different than a car being subject to inspection on school grounds or in a private employer’s parking lot.



I'm no lawyer, but I'm not so sure they have this power.  The federal government requires that the "kids" attend school. . .The school practices search and seizure without probable cause. . .therefore the federal government is practicing/condoning search and seizure of property without probable cause. 

If you were to walk into a public library and a police officer said, I need to search your laptop to make sure you don't have any information or pictures we disagree with on it, that would probably be a violation of your rights?  Don't you think?

Now if the students agree via contract, or incident to be searched, that's another matter, however I still believe that probable cause would need to be the basis, and it would have to be criminally related.



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patric
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« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2012, 10:20:08 am »

It's going to get very expensive for the taxpayers to defend the school's actions.


PHILADELPHIA – The American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania announced today that it has settled a lawsuit filed in May alleging that the Tunkhannock Area School District (Wyoming County) illegally searched a student's cell phone, punished her for storing semi-nude pictures of herself on the device, and then referred her case for criminal prosecution to the district attorney's office.  Under the settlement, the school district denied any liability or wrongdoing but agreed to pay the student and her lawyers $33,000 to resolve the dispute.  The student's claims against the District Attorney's Office were not settled and will proceed through litigation.

The student, identified only as N.N. in court papers to protect her privacy, was pleased that this part of the case had settled: "I hope this settlement will lead school officials in the future to consider whether they have valid grounds to search students' private text messages, emails and photos."

N.N.'s lawyer, Witold Walczak, the ACLU of PA's Legal Director, also praised the settlement: "We're pleased that the school district resolved the dispute quickly and amicably, but much work remains to educate school officials across the country about the importance of respecting students' significant privacy interests in the contents of their cell phones."

The case began in January 2009 when a teacher confiscated the cell phone of N.N., a 17-year-old senior, for using the phone after homeroom began, a violation of school policy. Later that morning, the principal informed N.N. that he had found "explicit" photos stored on her cell phone, which he turned over to law enforcement. He then gave her a three day out-of-school suspension, which she served.

The photographs, which were not visible on the screen and required multiple steps to locate, were taken on the device's built-in camera and were never circulated to other students in the school. N.N. appeared fully covered in most of the photographs, although several showed her naked breasts and one indistinct image showed her standing upright while fully naked. The photographs were intended to be seen only by N.N.'s long-time boyfriend and herself.

The ACLU-PA hoped to use this case to help alert school officials across Pennsylvania to students' privacy rights in their cell phones.  Very little case law exists discussing student-cell-phone searches.  While the settlement forecloses a court ruling, the case has led the ACLU-PA to contact the Pennsylvania School Boards Association (PSBA), which this week agreed to work with the ACLU towards crafting guidelines for teachers and school officials to help them better handle situations involving student cell phones and other electronic devices without unlawfully invading student privacy. Walczak noted that the goal was to prevent future violations of students' constitutional rights.

The lawsuit, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, will continue against former DA George Skumanick, who threatened to prosecute N.N.; Police Detective David Ide, who investigated and viewed the images; and Jeff Mitchell, the current Wyoming County District Attorney.

N.N. is represented by Walczak and Valerie Burch from the ACLU of Pennsylvania.  The case is N.N. v. Tunkhannock Area School District et al., 10-cv-01080-ARC.  More information about the case, including a copy of the complaint, can be found here: aclupa.org/legal/legaldocket/nnvtunkhannockareaschooldi.htm
« Last Edit: April 20, 2012, 10:24:49 am by patric » Logged

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Conan71
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« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2012, 10:31:02 am »

I'm no lawyer, but I'm not so sure they have this power.  The federal government requires that the "kids" attend school. . .The school practices search and seizure without probable cause. . .therefore the federal government is practicing/condoning search and seizure of property without probable cause. 

If you were to walk into a public library and a police officer said, I need to search your laptop to make sure you don't have any information or pictures we disagree with on it, that would probably be a violation of your rights?  Don't you think?

Now if the students agree via contract, or incident to be searched, that's another matter, however I still believe that probable cause would need to be the basis, and it would have to be criminally related.





Based on the way the policy is cited in the OP, if the student wishes to use the device on school property, they sign a form.  No need for probable cause, as the student has signed an agreement essentially waiving certain rights.

Aside from that “probable cause” is whatever a police officer, campus cop, or school administrator wants to say it is.  “We heard a rumor you had photos of naked pygmies on your Nook!”.  “Where’s your proof you heard a rumor?”  “Sorry we have to protect our sources."

Quote
The potential policy states a school may examine a student’s personal mobile device and search its contents if there is a reason to think the school’s policies, regulations or guidelines regarding use of the device have been violated; all e-Readers must be registered with the main office with the signed policy form; e-Readers and mobile devices are to be used for reading only school approved material; all material on the e-Reader must comply with the spirit and policies of OPS; an acceptable use policy form is required for students who borrow a school-owned device too; e-Readers and mobile devices must not distract other students and be used at appropriate times; the device may be used before school, at lunch and after lunch in adult supervised areas; the student must know how to properly and effectively use the device to not burden the teacher; students are responsible for their personally owned devices if accessed material outside of the school’s filtered and monitored network and they may not loan or leave the device unsupervised during the school day; and the district assumes no responsibility for loss, theft or damage to a personal device.
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custosnox
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« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2012, 08:43:01 pm »

Based on the way the policy is cited in the OP, if the student wishes to use the device on school property, they sign a form.  No need for probable cause, as the student has signed an agreement essentially waiving certain rights.

Aside from that “probable cause” is whatever a police oStill same conceptfficer, campus cop, or school administrator wants to say it is.  “We heard a rumor you had photos of naked pygmies on your Nook!”.  “Where’s your proof you heard a rumor?”  “Sorry we have to protect our sources."

So let me get this right, it is a new digital age, my daughter decides to do like me and start reading some books on her phone.  The policy also says that they have to register mobile devices, so unless she signs away her constitutional rights, she isn't allowed to read her copy of Huck Finn?  And this is supposed to be okay?  Even if they restrict it to just e-readers such as a nook, how is it different to carry a book in it and one in her purse?  Still the same concept, and same violation of rights. 
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sgrizzle
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« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2012, 09:20:59 am »

So let me get this right, it is a new digital age, my daughter decides to do like me and start reading some books on her phone.  The policy also says that they have to register mobile devices, so unless she signs away her constitutional rights, she isn't allowed to read her copy of Huck Finn?  And this is supposed to be okay?  Even if they restrict it to just e-readers such as a nook, how is it different to carry a book in it and one in her purse?  Still the same concept, and same violation of rights. 

Schools can search her purse too.
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Ed W
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« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2012, 12:15:48 pm »

What happens if a kid wants to read one of the frequently banned books, like Huck Finn, Slaughterhouse Five, or Catcher in the Rye?  Kids aren't dumb.  They'll put the books on a micro SD card and slip it into the ebook reader when no adults are nearby.

Some schools are embracing ebook readers as a way to keep down text book costs.  That opens up a whole 'nother can o' worms.
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Ed

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