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May 2004
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More students’ rights violated

From WTOP News:

CHESTERTOWN, Md. (AP) – Authorities entered an “unclear” legal area when they sent four dogs into the local high school for a drug search without a warrant, patted down 16 students and ordered two female students to partially disrobe, the Kent County sheriff said.

“We were acting under what we thought was probable cause, and we still believe there was probable cause,” Sheriff John F. Price IV said Thursday of the search April 16.

“At the same time, it was an area that was unclear,” Price told The (Baltimore) Sun. “We didn’t know it was a gray area.”

Ah, so as long as you are ignorant of people’s rights, it’s OK to violate them?

Sixteen students were subjected to “pat-down” searches, while the other two received what the sheriff would describe only as “more thorough searches.”

One of the two, Heather Gore, 15, said Thursday that a female deputy ordered her to remove her skirt, then lifted her tank top, exposing her breasts. Gore said she was then told to spread her legs while the officer checked her underwear.

“I’m still just so embarrassed,” Gore said.

Her mother, Patricia Gore, said she would push for a change in policy regarding searches.

“I certainly have a lot of things besides lawyers’ fees I need to spend money on, but my daughter shouldn’t have had to go through all this, and neither should anyone else,” the mother said.

Maryland regulations bar police from searching a student unless the student is under arrest or believed to be concealing a weapon.
Additionally, the United States has a regulation in an apparently seldom read document called the constitution. It reads in part:


The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

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