The Kentucky Supreme Court is deciding a case that tests the limits of self-incrimination in a public school setting.
From the Kentucky Enquirer:
The Kentucky Supreme Court is considering a case from Nelson County that could require school officials to give the Miranda warning – You have the right to remain silent. Anything you say can and will be used against you … – when questioning a student with a school resource officer present.
Principals frequently work with such officers – there are 254 sworn police working in Kentucky schools, according to the Kentucky Center for School Safety, and up to 60 percent of schools nationwide have one on campus….
The case involved a student who copped to giving a fellow student two prescription pain pills after being questioned by his school's principal and assistant principal. Also along for the ride was an armed "school resource officer," who ultimately charged the student, known only as "N.C." with "illegally dispensing a controlled substance." N.C. ended up doing 45 days in jail. His lawyers argue that he was never read his Miranda rights and hence his admission of guilt to the authorities should have been tossed.
"If a crime is being committed in school, if somebody is handing out pain medication, I don't think we should be troubled with constitutional niceties."
In a similar case from last year, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that a kid's age should be taken into account when determining whether Miranda applies. The idea is that kids are more likely to feel pressured to cooperate than adults, so they should be given more information about their rights and whether they can leave an interrogation or not.
Headline allusion is to the 1969 decision in Tinker v. Des Moines, a student free speech case in which the Court ruled that students don't shed their rights when they show up for compulsory edumication.