Oregon school officials accused a student of a crime after a confrontation with a staff member, calling police who arrested him on disorderly conduct and harassment charges, before they went around and deleted video evidence of the alleged crime from students’ smart phones.
In other words, they are going to have a hard time convicting the student under the following statutory presumption in Oregon:
But they may also be held liable for violating the Fourth Amendment rights of students.
However, like so many clueless public officials highlighted in the past on PINAC, Hillsboro School District officials claim a policy overrides the Constitution.
According to KATU:
Student Khloey Summers said kids are allowed to use their phones before class and didn’t think she was doing anything wrong when she shot video of the incident.
“She grabbed my phone and said I’m going to have to hold onto this for a while,” Summers said.
Summers said later that day, staff members collected all the phones from the kids who were in the gym and deleted any videos of the incident.
“When I opened the recent applications after I got my phone back all of my messaging and photos were open, which meant they were on it when they got my phone,” said Summers.
KATU reached out to the school district for comment. A spokeswoman said they are reviewing the matter and will have more information in the next few days. They also referred us to the Standards of Student Conduct handbook which allows staff to search and seize any property deemed “injurious or detrimental to the safety and welfare of the students and staff.”
The student in question allegedly became confrontational when asked to remove a cap. He has also been suspended. One student’s video survived the mass deletions. You can see part of it in the above video.
Here is contact information for R.A. Brown Middle School.
Last year, a similar incident took place in a Miami-Dade school when student journalist Joel Franco tried to record an altercation between a security guard and a student.