School administrators in Framingham, MA have recently instated a policy that enables them to seize student cell phones and search their contents. According to this article the policy was designed to:
…improve security and stop the sale of drugs and stolen goods, but students said that the edict is an invasion of privacy.
I agree with the students – this policy is a clear violation of their rights. What if a student has sensitive personal information on their cell phone, such as information pertaining to a health condition or their sexual history? Are you telling me that a school administrator should have on-demand access to potentially damaging data on the CHANCE that they may find information pertaining to the sale of drugs, or stolen goods?
I am no expert, but doesn’t the 5th Amendment of the constitution state that as American citizens we will not be deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law? Local law enforcement officials observe this constitutional edict when they await judicial approval prior to the attainment of a search warrant. Are we to believe that the school administrators at Framingham are so wise that they should not be subject to the same principles as the rest of America?
As digital communications technologies continue to proliferate, the debate surrounding the bounds of digital privacy will continue to escalate. At every turn, it is our duty as American citizens to defend our inalienable rights, or risk fundamentally destroying the foundations upon which this nation was built.