Student Rights

June 5, 2009 • Volume 19, Issue 21
Have courts gone too far or not far enough?
By Kenneth Jost

Introduction

Savana Redding, 19, leaves the U.S. Supreme Court on April 21, 2009, after it considered whether Arizona school officials violated her constitutional rights when they strip-searched her for drugs when she was 13. A decision is expected at the end of June.  (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)
Savana Redding, 19, leaves the U.S. Supreme Court on April 21, 2009, after it considered whether Arizona school officials violated her constitutional rights when they strip-searched her for drugs when she was 13. A decision is expected at the end of June. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)

The Supreme Court introduced a new era in public education in the United States in 1969 by declaring that students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate. Four decades later, state and federal court dockets are dotted with suits by students or parents challenging disciplinary decisions and school policies and practices. The Supreme Court, which has upheld random drug testing of students, is currently considering whether an Arizona school district violated a teenaged girl's rights by strip-searching her because of what proved to be an unfounded accusation that she was carrying a prescription-strength pain reliever. Student-speech cases often pose difficult issues as administrators, principals and teachers seek to reconcile students' free-speech rights with the need to prevent disruption, maintain discipline and protect rights of teachers and other students. In recent years, judges appear to be giving more deference to schools — a trend applauded by many educators but criticized by student-rights advocates.

ISSUE TRACKER for Related Reports
Education Issues
Mar. 10, 2017  Charter Schools
Feb. 03, 2017  Civic Education
Sep. 05, 2014  Race and Education
Jun. 13, 2014  Dropout Rate
May 09, 2014  School Discipline
Mar. 07, 2014  Home Schooling
Dec. 02, 2011  Digital Education
Nov. 15, 2011  Expanding Higher Education
Dec. 10, 2010  Preventing Bullying Updated
Apr. 16, 2010  Revising No Child Left Behind
Mar. 26, 2010  Teen Pregnancy
Sep. 04, 2009  Financial Literacy
Jun. 05, 2009  Student Rights
Feb. 22, 2008  Reading Crisis?
Jul. 13, 2007  Students Under Stress
Apr. 27, 2007  Fixing Urban Schools Updated
Nov. 10, 2006  Video Games Updated
Mar. 03, 2006  AP and IB Programs
Oct. 07, 2005  Academic Freedom
Aug. 26, 2005  Evaluating Head Start
May 27, 2005  No Child Left Behind
Jan. 17, 2003  Home Schooling Debate
Sep. 06, 2002  Teaching Math and Science
Jun. 07, 2002  Grade Inflation
Dec. 07, 2001  Distance Learning
Apr. 20, 2001  Testing in Schools
May 14, 1999  National Education Standards
Apr. 10, 1998  Liberal Arts Education
Jul. 26, 1996  Attack on Public Schools
May 17, 1996  Year-Round Schools
Oct. 20, 1995  Networking the Classroom
Sep. 22, 1995  High School Sports
Jan. 20, 1995  Parents and Schools
Sep. 09, 1994  Home Schooling
Mar. 25, 1994  Private Management of Public Schools
Mar. 11, 1994  Education Standards
Apr. 09, 1993  Head Start
Nov. 30, 1990  Conflict Over Multicultural Education
Feb. 05, 1988  Preschool: Too Much Too Soon?
Oct. 23, 1987  Education Reform
Aug. 24, 1984  Status of the Schools
Sep. 10, 1982  Schoolbook Controversies
Sep. 03, 1982  Post-Sputnik Education
Aug. 18, 1978  Competency Tests
Jan. 26, 1972  Public School Financing
Nov. 03, 1971  Education for Jobs
Apr. 15, 1970  Reform of Public Schools
Aug. 27, 1969  Discipline in Public Schools
Dec. 27, 1968  Community Control of Public Schools
Jun. 14, 1965  Summer School Innovations
Oct. 28, 1964  Education of Slum Children
Jun. 05, 1963  Year-Round School
Mar. 28, 1962  Mentally Retarded Children
Dec. 17, 1958  Educational Testing
Sep. 25, 1957  Liberal Education
Jul. 11, 1956  Educational Exchange
Feb. 02, 1955  Federal Aid for School Construction
Mar. 07, 1951  Education in an Extended Emergency
Nov. 20, 1945  Postwar Public Education
Nov. 07, 1941  Standards of Education
BROWSE RELATED TOPICS:
Civil Rights and Civil Liberty Issues
Domestic Issues
Education Policy
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