The tech savvy generation of today cannot imagine life without their smartphones and tablets and thus they bring them along to schools as well causing it to be of a major concern for teachers.

When Personal Devices Become a Problem:

Teachers and school authorities are well within their rights to confiscate the devices that disrupts the learning process in class. They can also ask the students to put away the electronic devices. It is when the teachers take a look at the contents that the student found to interesting that they may be violating the Fourth Amendment that protects people from unlawful searches and seizures.

Reasonable Suspicion:

The US Supreme court may permit searching smartphones if the school can prove reasonable suspicion of misconduct and that the search is not intrusive. Many judges siding with students and parents are of the opinion that the devices these days store a lot of sensitive personal as well as others personal data and thus cell phones contents should not be searched without a warrant.

What if Someone wants to Search a Student’s Phone or Other Personal Device? :

The use of personal devices can be limited by the school but they cannot look at the information inside. The Fourth Amendment although protects personal devices containing sensitive information but does not give students the right to disturb the class. A school can browse the contents of the phone in case of an emergency. An enforcement officer too can do so if he has a search warrant. In case the child feels that there is no probable cause of this search he is well within his rights to request his parents to be present.

Schools can limit when students can use their personal devices, but can’t look at the information inside them.