ACLU Urges House of Representatives to Protect Students’ Fourth Amendment Rights

September 19, 2006 12:00 am

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WASHINGTON – The American Civil Liberties Union today urged the House of Representatives to protect students’ Fourth Amendment rights and reject a bill granting schools broad authority to search students and their personal belongings. H.R. 5295, the “Student Teacher Safety Act of 2006,” would allow school officials to conduct random, wide-scale searches of students without having any individualized suspicion that a particular student is participating in criminal activity or breaking school rules.

The following can be attributed to Caroline Fredrickson, Director of the ACLU Washington Legislative Office:

“Allowing school officials to conduct mass searches of students with no particular or individualized suspicion turns our schoolhouses into jailhouses and violates their rights. Recent ACLU cases in Michigan and South Carolina detail all too well the ineffectiveness of large-scale school sweeps and the damage they inflict on the learning environment. We all understand the importance of keeping schools free from weapons and drugs, but this cannot be done in a manner that violates students’ constitutional right to privacy and freedom from unreasonable searches.”

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The ACLU’s letter opposing H.R. 5295 is available at:


For more on Alexander v. Goose Creek, go to:


For more on Wells, et al. v. City of Detroit, et al, go to:


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