Police in Schools

One Virginia School District Still Demanding Search Warrants


won't someone think of the children?

The Chesapeake School District in Virginia seems to have a grasp on the Fourth Amendment, demanding warrants on at least 12 occasions in the last 18 months before handing over material or information to police officers. According to the Virginian Post, this stands in stark contrast to practice in nearby school districts, which tend to happily hand over to police anything police may say they need. The Virginian Post reports:

Virginia Beach police Officer Grazia Moyers, a spokeswoman, said when city police have needed school surveillance video, schools willingly provided copies. Filing a search warrant, she said, is "just extra time for the investigators." When told that Chesapeake Police school resource officers sometimes had to go to court to obtain video surveillance footage or statements, Moyers said: "I'm shocked. I am in your school protecting you, and you're going to make me go through these steps?"

A large part of the argument centers largely around custody of school surveillance videos. Because they're held by administrators, the Chesapeake School District, rightly it would seem, considers them "student records," which are protected by law. and require warrants for release. But it's not stopping local police for trying to change the school district's practices:

[Police Chief Kelvin] Wright said in an interview Wednesday that he is aware other school systems readily provide video surveillance evidence to officers, and that he is talking with school officials in Chesapeake to see whether that can change. "We are trying to work out a solution between us and the appropriate attorneys," he said. "As to whether we get there or not—stay tuned."

But you don't need to stay tuned to know that the Fourth Amendment is increasingly becoming little more than a parchment promise.

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  1. Filing a search warrant, she said, is “just extra time for the investigators.”

    They’re infallible, so why should they waste time respecting the rights of those so obviously guilty?

    1. Whose rights are protected by requiring a search warrant?

      1. Those whose property is being searched.

        1. So the public school?

          It doesn’t have any 4th amendment rights.

          1. According to the article, these videos (and other documents they try to get) are considered student records under the law. The students do have 4th amendment rights, and apparently, have some statutory rights under some state or federal education laws that protect their records.

            1. The statute you’re referring to is FERPA, and yes, that’s what the school is claiming prevents them from releasing video willy-nilly. I’m not sure I buy that argument, but it’s their ass that would be sued, so I’ll let them have that argument.

              The students’ 4th amendment rights have nothing to do with this; those rights are insufficient to even prevent police from randomly searching their lockers.

              1. Are there random locker searches in your district? I don’t see how this doesn’t run afoul of TLO vs NJ (1985), In determining whether the search at issue in this case violated the Fourth Amendment, “we are faced initially with the question whether that Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches (purse and locker) and seizures applies to searches conducted by public school officials. We hold that it does.”

    2. Filing a search warrant, she said, is “just extra time for the investigators.

      That doesn’t really give me a warm fuzzy about the quality of judges in Chesapeake Virginia.

      1. A search warrant for a public school surveillance camera shouldn’t get the same scrutiny as a search warrant for, you know, private property.

        1. this was sort-of my thought on it. the purpose of the recordings would supposedly be to assist in disciplinary or criminal investigations. and as tupla points out, it’s not private property. there’s no expectation/right-to privacy in the public spaces of a public school, is there?

          1. need to read harder:

            “They have no expectation of privacy for visible actions in the hallways of a public school. The case law on this is pretty much settled.”

          2. You better learn from Cory Booker and walk those comments back, lest you too be labeled an authority-fellating troll by our resident glibsters.

            1. there’s nothing authority-fellating about the standard that also allows recording of cops in public spaces.

              goose, gander, etc.

        2. So “probable cause” means something else? Bullshit. They either have probable cause to believe the tape contains evidence or they don’t. The standard is the same no matter what.

          1. The probable cause requirement only applies to fourth amendment-related searches. This has nothing to do with the 4th amendment.

            1. If it had nothing to do with the 4th Amendment, they wouldn’t need a search warrant. They would only need a subpoena.

              Try again Tulpa. You are just dead wrong here.

              1. They don’t need a search warrant, that’s just the school CYAing.

                Whose 4th amendment rights are being supposedly protected here?

  2. Filing a search warrant, she said, is “just extra time for the investigators.”

    So? Is there an immediate threat that is not being acted on because an investigator can look at video from previous days?

    “I’m shocked. I am in your school protecting you, and you’re going to make me go through these steps?”

    If this were the case there wouldn’t be any need to view surveillance videos would there?

  3. I dunno about the whole video-as-student-records thing.

    but then there’s this: “I’m shocked. I am in your school protecting you, and you’re going to make me go through these steps?”

    …and suddenly whatever steps and paperwork are required could never be enough.

  4. I think you misquoted Moyers here: “I’m shocked. I am in your school protecting you, and you’re going to make me go through these steps?”

    What I think he actually said was:

    “I’m posturing. I am in your school teaching these little fuckers that we’re in charge, and you’re going to dilute our message of fear and control?”

    1. Oh God, another conspiracy.

      Can’t anyone just be lazy anymore?

      1. Conspiracies are hidden. What is hidden here?

        1. What is hidden here?

          It wouldn’t be much of a conspiracy if we knew that, now would it.

        2. Caps Lock guy is claiming that the intent of the cops is not to do as little work as possible, but to intimidate the students. Hidden motivation.

          1. What’s to say it’s not both?

            1. If it’s both with equal force all that matters is the stated motivation, since the presence of the other motivation is irrelevant.

              1. That makes no sense.

                It is a given that they officers are trying to intimidate, simply because that’s what they do. That the issue is going to attorneys is even more evidence that it is about intimidation and control.
                Are they lazy? Well, duh. They’re cops.

                1. My point is that if their laziness is sufficient to lead to that behavior, that’s all we need to concern ourselves with.

                  Any malice that exists in addition to the laziness is irrelevant because removing it would not solve the problem.

                  1. Who said anything about malice?

                    I really can’t tell what you’re talking about, spinning straw men around moving goal posts.


                    1. What I think he actually said was:

                      “I’m posturing. I am in your school teaching these little fuckers that we’re in charge, and you’re going to dilute our message of fear and control?”

                    2. Where’s the malice? They’re not out to harm anyone.

                      They’re just flexing their authority. Showing the little pukes who’s boss by expecting school officials to jump when issued commands.

                      You’re flailing at straw men as you move the goalposts.

                      Best to just give up.

                    3. Wanting to instill fear in people and control them is malicious. At least in my libertopia.

                    4. Wanting to instill fear in people and control them is malicious. At least in my libertopia.

                      A good way to achieve that is to be able to demand anything, any time, any where, without a warrant or probable cause.

      2. No consipracy is stated or implied. Or even necessary to explain the behavior. They don’t need to get together and conspire for them to collectively want to reinforce their own overblown sense of entitlement and exercise their need to control and intimidate our children.

  5. Er, this isn’t even a fourth amendment issue, as public schools don’t have fourth amendment rights.

    It’s an issue with the FERPA law.

    The attitude of police administrators is (as usual) appalling but let’s not dress this up as something it ain’t.

    1. FERPA law

      Successor to the wildly successful HERPA and DERPA laws.

      1. Thanks for that.

    2. public schools don’t have fourth amendment rights.

      But what about the students? Don’t they have fourth amendment rights? If you are gathering evidence, you should have a warrant, if for no other reason, to make sure the ‘quilty’ are held responsible rather than having evidence supressed.

      1. Yes, they do. Tulpa is flat out wrong.

        1. Um, no. Flat out or otherwise, they can search a kid’s locker if they want with no notice, no consent, no cause, and most importantly no warrant.

          1. Dude, just do a few minutes of research and you will find case law from across the country where searches in public schools have violated the 4th. Yes, the protections are not very strong in public schools but to say they don’t exist is wrong.

            1. Yeah, strip searching a kid without cause or without a parent present, for example, has been ruled constitutionally infirm. But this is NOWHERE near that level. It doesn’t even rise to the level of a locker search for God’s sake.

              I’m not saying that kids have zero fourth amendment rights, just that what fourth amendment rights they have are irrelevant to this case.

              1. Er, this isn’t even a fourth amendment issue, as public schools don’t have fourth amendment rights.

                Looks to me like you did claim they have zero rights.

                1. Point out where I said this. I said the school itself has no rights.

      2. They have no expectation of privacy for visible actions in the hallways of a public school. The case law on this is pretty much settled.

        1. Whether they do or not is irrelevant. The content of the video isn’t the test. The police can’t search and seize, without a warrant, surveillance video from a camera on the front of my house simply because it faces the public street.

          1. the camera on the front of your house IS private property ON private property.

      3. the ‘quilty’


        (I mix up ‘g’ and ‘q’ all the time. I think there’s a -lexia ascribed to it.)

    3. You’ve been on a real stupid jag the last couple days, Neu Tulpa. You may wanna try a nice, hot cup of shut-the-fuck-up for a few – see if some sense seeps back into that dense noggin of yours.

      No need to thank me – just thinking of you.

      1. So stupid that it’s impossible to counteract my arguments with anything but ad hominems, apparently.

        You know I’m not going to shut up, so perhaps you should point to my error instead of wearing down your own keyboard unnecessarily.

      2. You should have learned by now that there’s no reason to talk to Tulpa, Almanian. He never argues in good faith, so just walk away and let there be an end to the horror.

        1. And I argue in such bad faith that you can’t even point out how I’m arguing in bad faith. I’m like an electronic libertarian Nyarlathotep.

          1. You are a champion goalpost mover.

            1. Every time you pay attention to his whining, a kitten gets strangled. Stop murdering kittens, dumbass.

              1. It’s not my fault you’ve got HPV in your throat.

                1. It is, though. Don’t you remember that one time when you chloroformed me and I woke up in the gay bar’s bathroom?

                  1. One time?

            2. So, Krayewski starts off in his FIRST FUCKING SENTENCE talking about how this is a 4th amendment issue, with numerous commenters immediately agreeing with him on that point.

              After I show that point is fallacious, now it’s all about FERPA (justly, since that’s what the school officials are actually concerned about).

              And I’m the one moving goalposts?

          2. Not to mention gladiator class straw man slayer.

            1. Well his pants were down around his goddam ankles.

  6. “What do you mean warrant? What are you hiding?”

    1. tangent:

      I was thinking about the soon-to-be drone-filled-skies of America, and realized that curtains/blinds/shades will have to be illegal.

      I mean, anyone who doesn’t want drones looking in their windows obviously has something to hide.

      Off to buy a really powerful pair of binoculars…

    1. 30 days in the Middlesex County

      in this case, “middle” refers to how he’ll be spitroasted by the other inmates.

  7. Because they’re held by administrators, the Chesapeake School District, rightly it would seem, considers them “student records,” which are protected by law.

    Not clear why Mr Krayewski thinks this seems right. FERPA usually applies to individual student records, not any and all records that administrators have knowledge of. Otherwise, football statistics and honor roll inclusions would be forced secret by law.

    1. Are you Tony, Max, Chad and teh Deryder, as well? You’re bringing it hard lately, Neu Tulpa.

      1. And I guess you’re Warty, SF, P Brooks, and Epi?

        Everybody who disagrees with the Reason take on an issue is not a troll. Just like everyone who dials the ad-homs up to 11 isn’t an Axis of Glib sympathizer.

      2. Tulpa has his own special brand of authority fellating, subtly different from the others.

        1. The difference between existence and nonexistence is hardly subtle; in fact, I characterized the attitude of police as appalling in my first post.

          My point here (and in other places this past weekend) is that you guys are crying wolf. You may find turning over school surveillance without warrants distasteful but the constitutional case against it is pretty weak.

          1. As I read the school administrator’s comments, they aren’t relying on a constitutional argument. They apparently believed, perhaps rightly perhaps wrongly, that there is a state or federal statute that makes these videos student records, which then entails a requirement for police to get a warrant. Maybe you’re some experts on this law, in which case I’m sure the police department will welcome your pro bono efforts to get the school district to back down.

            1. I do have to keep FERPA in mind quite a bit, unfortunately; it was intended to protect grade records first and foremost, but schools are very leery of even going up to the borderline of what constitutes an “educational record”. Hence I’m not allowed to distribute class rosters to other faculty so they can see who’s taken the prereqs and such, nor am I even allowed to grade exams in the same room as other instructors or TAs not part of the course I’m teaching. Plus a lot of other barracades to jump.

              This school strikes me as going way out into left field with that borderline, but as I said that’s their choice.

              1. What are the consequences for violation? Legislatures should know that the often times vague laws they pass have consequences, and sometimes those consequences fall on their beloved police departments. I’m sure police departments have a lobby in Congress- if this law is such an issue for them, then they can complain. I’m hardly crying for the police that have to do a little paperwork because a school doesn’t want to get sued/prosecuted for violating some vague law.

                1. There are no criminal consequences that I know of, but you can be sued for violations.

                  I really haven’t investigated the consequences for the educational institution itself, since I’m certain the consequence for me would be a pink slip and a spot on the academia blacklist if they got sued over something legit.

                  1. Well then I certainly don’t see any fault with the school’s actions. On the one hand, they can get sued and pay a bunch of damages and attorneys’ fees if they guess wrong in interpreting FERPA and unlawfully give the police records. On the other hand, they can insist on a warrant, which is no skin off their nose, but a minor inconvenience for the police. The choice seems clear.

    2. Well if the school administrators are incorrectly applying the law, then I have no doubt the police can convince a judge of that.



    When is this going to sink in, libertardians?

  9. Speaking of cops. This news item doesn’t make much sense to me.

    Investigators told The Item of Sumter that 26-year-old Antonio Dixon was shot in the chest Friday night by someone who kicked in his door.
    Deputies say Dixon ran to his backyard after the shooting and spoke to officers, but died before paramedics arrived.

    Cops were in his backyard moments after someone kicked in his door? Perhaps the police in Sumter have awesome response times?


    1. Hahaha, our newspapers here in SC are not really known for getting all the facts straight.

  10. Between the nonsense of in loco parentis, drug hysteria, school shooting hysteria, and the general death of civil liberties, Fourth Amendment rights for students are being trimmed away to nothing, much like it is for all of us. (DesRoches v. Caprio is particularly choice nugget of bullshit.)

    If the school doesn’t want to narc on its charges, just institute a policy of erasing the tapes at a set schedule. So far, at least, you don’t have a responsibility to retain “evidence” the police haven’t asked for yet. (Of course, I will be unsurprised if you guys know of a case.)

    1. It doesn’t appear that they care about narcing, but rather are being extremely careful in attempting to avoid FERPA lawsuits, since that’s the reason they give for demanding warrants.

      1. True, I guess I’m the one that cares about the narcing. CYA all the way

        1. Yep, definitely incompetence.

          Of course, if you immediately delete camera footage you’re pretty much negating the purpose of the cameras.

    2. That is exactly the response. The cameras exist to stop something in the moment. They have no responsibility to keep the tapes.

      1. They’re only going to stop something in the moment if someone is constantly watching the camera feeds.

        1. Or the kids don’t realize that there are no tapes.

          1. You’re a sneaky one! That’s almost as bad as the silver bubbles in Walmart with no camera inside.

  11. Stop feeding the troll, retards.

    1. Does anyone have any evidence of Epi or Warty posting anything other than insults in the past few months?

      SugarFree has frequently irritated me in the past but at least he’s contributing some good content to this thread. So I’m leaving him out of my opprobrium.

  12. Re: FERPA, from the donkey’s mouth:

    Generally, schools must have written permission from the parent or eligible student in order to release any information from a student’s education record. However, FERPA allows schools to disclose those records, without consent, to the following parties or under the following conditions (34 CFR ? 99.31):

    School officials with legitimate educational interest;
    Other schools to which a student is transferring;
    Specified officials for audit or evaluation purposes;
    Appropriate parties in connection with financial aid to a student;
    Organizations conducting certain studies for or on behalf of the school;
    Accrediting organizations;
    To comply with a judicial order or lawfully issued subpoena;
    Appropriate officials in cases of health and safety emergencies; and
    State and local authorities, within a juvenile justice system, pursuant to specific State law.

    1. That appears to say that the police need to be able to cite a specific state law that gives them the right to the records. If they can’t cite that law (and the article doesn’t have them citing one, instead they are bellyaching about what a pain it is) then they have to go get a judicial order per exception 7.

  13. But you don’t need to stay tuned to know that the Fourth Amendment is increasingly becoming little more than a parchment promise.

    I blame this in large part on Hollywood. How many buddy cop movies, or t.v. cop dramas feature cops who routinely violate civil rights? How many feature cops who follow the law, and try to stop the corrupt behavior of their brothers in blue? I don’t have actual numbers but I’d bet my rent money that there are at least twenty times as many of the former.

    Have you ever noticed that Internal Affairs detectives are always portrayed as pricks who are just out to get good cops instead of helping them to cover up their crimes? The hero cop is always the one who sees that “justice” is served, and often that involves summary execution of the suspect.

    This is what all the ignorant masses see on a daily basis. The media and politicians love to talk about how entertainment desensitizes people to violence, but you never hear a word from them about how it desensitizes people to corruption and tyranny.

    1. Corruption and tyranny are desensitizing me to corruption and tyranny.

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