The Shocking Lack of Student Rights

High school students believe that they are independent and freer than ever. After years of being tied down and always told what to do by their teachers in elementary and middle schools, students would be surprised to discover the utter absence of human rights they really acquire in high schools.

Student’s bodies, lockers, and personal belongings could be searched at anytime, according to Colorado law. It states that under reasonable suspicion, students can be searched. Also, teachers acting in good nature of implementing the rules can remain unaffected by the law.

“Any school official or employee acting in good faith in carrying out the provisions of a District’s conduct and disciplinary code will be immune from civil liability and criminal prosecution” the Colorado School District Law states.

“When we search kids, typically if you read the policy of the school district, we have the right to search anything that [a student] has on campus” Tharyn said. “If you’re in a school environment, we don’t have to get a search warrant like a police officer does; the more invasive the search, the more critical the situation”.

Teachers can also physically restrain students “if reasonable” when they need to insure that the students are following the school codes.

“Teachers and school officials may use reasonable and appropriate physical force upon a student to the extent it is reasonably necessary and appropriate to maintain school discipline and to promote the safety and welfare of students or school personnel.” the Colorado School District Law says.

And this isn’t just the Colorado School Districts, this is everywhere. These regulations were presented and passed in the Supreme Court. Students can be searched, physically attacked, and charged all with reason. On top of that, teachers that do conduct these actions on students are free of liability and warrants!

“There are cases where the administrators take [searches] for granted” Carolina Robinson, a freshman at Aspen High School stated. “I think with the laws that are completely unreasonable, like the physical violence one, I think those need to be removed because that’s just not okay”.

Tharyn is quite aware of all the laws, and is still very sure that the rights students possess on campus are fair and reasonable. “We have a very thoughtful administrative staff, there’s no way we’re going to do anything detrimental to a student” Tharyn said.

So, do students on school campuses in Colorado and in the US have rights? It really depends on the way one observes the rules. Some believe they don’t have enough freedom as minors in high school, some think they do. Share your opinions on this issue at [email protected]!