Safety Law News for September 2, 2016

• In Connecticut, the United States District Court ruled that no student rights were violated by a school policy that authorized a suspension after receiving a police report about the off-campus, non-school related arrest of a student for possession of drugs with intent to sell. [Chapman v. Ouellette]

• In Georgia, the United States Court of Appeals ruled that an assistant principal’s strip search of student was valid at its inception; but that forcing the student to strip until he was fully naked in front of his peers was unconstitutionally excessive in scope. The court held that the law was clearly established so that the educator was not entitled to qualified immunity. [D.H. by Dawson v. Clayton County School District]

• In Florida, the United States Court of Appeals ruled that the reasonable suspicion standard was applicable to the search of a party bus and students who rode to the school Prom. The student has no expectation of privacy in the party bus. The initial detention of students for breathalyzer testing was valid, but it was unreasonable for the educators to detain students as a group until all were breathalyzed – approximately forty-five minutes to an hour. [Ziegler v. Martin County School District]

• In Wisconsin, the Racine Unified School District is implementing a new, community-oriented policing model in its schools. The school resource officers are assigned to a specific campus. Each officer will receive training on conflict de-escalation, relating to students, understanding the teenage mind, and building trust.