they took my phone away and i saw the dean looking through my phone and he said that he was going to give it to the police to investigate it . all this happend because i was texting the teacher and i was accused of cyber bullying and now they are investigating other texts with other people ? but when really me and the teacher had inappropriate language in the texts but they defend her . and since they have more power they decided to suspend me for it .Note: i was accused of harrasment which doesn't make sense and my mother asked for it but they refused to give it back instead they kept it for police issues and when i came back to the office because i forgot something i saw him going through my phone, i never gave him my consent to go through it .
What is driving strict school policies for confiscation of cell phones is, of course, their utility in creative methods of cheating. In most circumstances, the school is allowed by law to seize the student's phone because there is an existing published school policy/rule strictly limiting the circumstances for possession of a device on school property. But whether the school officials can then examine the contents of the phone is a close call and, in different contexts, different fact-finders may well decide the issue differently. The question may turn on what nature of advance notice is given to students who violate the school rule about electronic devices.
Caution dictates that you assume that the school will virtually always be able to articulate a reason for suspecting that a prohibited electronic device was suspected to have been used in a way that constitutes a violation of school rules or integrity standards. So, if you bring your phone to school, you must assume that it may be subject to thorough inspection by school officials. That is not to say that practice is sound or even lawful. But in many cases it will be acceptable based on a post-hoc articulation of a sound reason.
You may want to discuss the circumstances of a specific incident with a skilled civil rights litigator. In a specific situation, there may be a sound legal claim against the school for searching the contents of the student's phone. But that lawsuit will be expensive and time-consuming and that may mean that you are not the student who will bring that suit.
Nothing in the law prevents the school from providing to police information learned by an examination of the contents of a student's phone once the device has been confiscated by the school. Whether the evidence provided to the police can be admitted in a criminal action against the student depends on a great many factors not set forth here.
My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.
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