Monday, September 15, 2014
Your son's and daughter's rights have been reduced while in school.  Pursuant to New Jersey v. T.L.O., the Supreme Court altered the wording of the 4th Amendment for your children while they are in school.  Here is the gist of the decision.  “Ultimately the opinion of the court established a “reasonableness” approach to search and seizure rather than a “probable cause” approach as outlined in the constitution. This Supreme Court decision reinterpreted how the law applies in school with such wordings as: “reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence,” “reasonably related to the objectives of the search,” or “reasonably related in scope.” Clearly the court has created a new way to apply this law based on no precedent or prior interpretations. The court has thrown out the probable cause clause of the Fourth Amendment and invented a murky, dangerous classification of reasonableness. Clearly this will have the effect of further limiting the rights of students in public school.”

Though the helpful tidbits were a plenty in that article, the most positive aspect of this report was found toward the end of the article.  It is an excellent strategy on how to fight back and what to and what not to expect.  Under "Parents & Students: Taking Action," it reads:

Students, if you ever feel that your person or belongings have been unreasonably searched at school, work with your parents or guardian to make a plan of action.  Be sure to write down everything as soon as possible, connect with witnesses, and alert your local branch of the ACLU.

Taking action won't likely lead to financial payout, but it might help change your school's policy or simply prevent others from having to go through the same situation.  

If you and your driving-aged child could use some help on dealing with the police, please be sure to check out these posts here and here.  In almost every case, you want to remain silent.  The only time you speak is to ask "Are you conducting an investigation?"  But you can read all of the comments and watch each of the videos to better prepare yourself for police encounters, what to do and what not to do.  Good luck.

Thursday, June 13, 2013
John Whitehead at the Rutherford Institute in North Carolina does some amazing work to push back on federal laws affecting parents and children in the nation's public schools.  Here he calls for the Supreme Court to end search and seizures at schools.  I witnessed assistant principals and principals conduct unlawful search and seizures in my classroom.  The presumed authority demonstrated by these administrators was criminal.  They would always justify their unethical and illegal conduct by citing the incurable urgency for safety.  Argue against that and you'll be viewed with suspicion as an teacher who does not care about the well being of the students. It's set up to prevent opposition or conflicting views.  So they perform illegal searches of students' backpacks, purses, and pockets on their clothing.  I thought "What pathetic adults."

Kids are a captive audience.  They do not like school.  It is boring.  They like certain teachers; that is different.  Kids who like school like a social arrangement that requires little thinking or decision-making on their part and it says that society's highest form of ethical and moral intelligence rests with the teacher.  It does not.  One's real teachers are those people we learn from, not whom the teacher declares or anoints as smart.  Often the information delivered in a school is irrelevant to survival or helping their family to survive.  So they accept helplessness and surrender self-ownership to the group or school authority.

As a classroom teacher, I didn't see all of the searches conducted outside at the entrances and exits or in the Dean's Office.  A few searches were conducted randomly inside the classrooms.  These searches were intended  to strip the teacher of authority.  If a principal didn't like a teacher, she would send underlings into that teacher's class and conduct unwarranted and illegal searches always on the premises of intervening on some potential crime like "We're looking for weapons" or "We're looking for drugs."  With all of the different offices--the Dean's Office, the Counseling Office, the assistant principals' office and the principal's office--all were subservient to the principal.  In turn, the principal would back each of those individuals when they had a conflict with a teacher, parent, or student.  The assistant principal is the most vulnerable individual on campus.  Why?  They're looking to become a run their own school and are at the mercies of the principal they are currently working under.  They need that ever-important endorsement from the principal.

Public schools are a racket, a lucrative racket.   

To student rights.  Students have no rights.  It's the parents who have the rights and need to speak on their behalf.  But many don't.  Even when the kids leave their home in the mornings, at that point they are property of the state.  The schools are an extension of state authority and in the name of education, learning, and discipline, the state does horrible things to the kids while the parents unknowingly give their consent.

Jeff Berwick writes about the abuses in public schools.

"There is no fundamental right of parents to be the exclusive provider of information regarding sexual matters to their children, either independent of their right to direct the upbringing and education of their children or encompassed by it. We also hold that parents have no due process or privacy right to override the determinations of public schools as to the information to which their children will be exposed while enrolled as students." ~ Fields v. Palmdale School District PSD, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals (2005)

That excerpt introduces the article below.

I taught high school.  The school administration was required to get the teacher's permission via a signature on a sheet as to whether it was okay to distribute condoms to students in his class.  I always checked "No."  I didn't think that it was my role to be scoring condoms for the kids.  This was an end around the parents and the teachers were complicit in encouraging promiscuity.  Condoms implied protection from pregnancy and disease.  They do neither.  People still get pregnant and kids still get sick even though they wear a condom.  But these were the institutional issues of secondary education.  At one school where I taught there was a debate amongst teachers on the sensual experience when wearing a condom as though moral consideration was negligible or relegated to the home or the parish.  Public schools are a morally sick place.  Schools districts think they own your children.

If you think that you'll finally have a real chance at free speech once you're in college, think again.

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