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Indecent Pictures Found in Student’s Confiscated Cellphone by School Officials

It looks like the Berne-Knox-Westerlo School District will not be facing a cellphone lawsuit.
The attorney representing the young man whose phone was confiscated in class last week, and then searched turning up indecent photos of an underage girl, tells CBS6 he expects to resolve this without going to court.

But it has still raised a tough question.

Does a school have the right to search the contents of your child’s cellphone?

Michael Macomber, an associate attorney at Tully Rinckey, says there’s no easy answer to whether Berne-Knox-Westerlo was infringing on the student’s privacy by searching the phone’s contents, because with the speed with which technology changes, there is no prior case to refer back to.

The district’s code of conduct cites that things like lockers and backpacks are searchable with suspicion, adding that students should expect no privacy in those areas. There is no specific mention of searching an electronic device.


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