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July 2006
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Goose Creek students receive money… and something better —

— they received the right to be treated as citizens of a free country.

GOOSE CREEK, SC — The American Civil Liberties Union announced today that a federal court has approved a landmark settlement in its lawsuit challenging police tactics in the high-profile drug raid of Stratford High School in Goose Creek, South Carolina. The settlement includes a consent decree that sets a new standard for students’ rights to be free from unreasonable search and seizure.
Absent a warrant, police will now need either to have probable cause and pressing circumstances or voluntary consent in order to conduct law enforcement activity on school grounds – effectively granting Goose Creek students the essential privacy rights enjoyed by all Americans.
“Goose Creek students now have a unique place in our nation,” said Graham Boyd, Director of the ACLU’s Drug Law Reform Project. “They are the only students in the nation who have complete protection of their Fourth Amendment rights of search and seizure.”
The November 5, 2003 police raid of Stratford High School was recorded by both the school’s surveillance cameras and a police camera. The tapes show students as young as 14 forced to the ground in handcuffs as officers in SWAT team uniforms and bulletproof vests aim guns at their heads and lead a drug dog to tear through their book bags. The ACLU represents 20 of the nearly 150 students caught up in the raid.

My earlier posts on Goose Creek are here and here. Here’s the terms of the settlement, and you can also view the video of the raid with narration by the principal.

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