Is it legal for a principal to go through my phone just because he took it? 10 Answers as of March 22, 2013

My principal went through my phone because I had it out during class I thought it was illegal for them to through it because it’s a right for privacy.

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Edward  D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law
Edward D. Dowling IV Attorney at Law | Edward D. Dowling IV
This is not my area of expertise. You should consult an attorney familiar with this type of situation.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/22/2013
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg
Law Office of Eric Sterkenburg | Eric Sterkenburg
Checking a cell phone by a government official is a search. For this type of search to be legal there has to be a search warrant, consent of the owner of the phone or probable cause.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 3/21/2013
Lawrence Lewis
Lawrence Lewis | Lawrence Lewis, PC
Principal can go through the phone that you bring to school, because the principal is responsible for everything at the school, including your safety.
Answer Applies to: Georgia
Replied: 3/21/2013
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
Don't you give up some of your "rights" when you enter a classroom? Don't you have to obey rules or are your "rights" paramount and control over all else. Wherever you got the notion about illegality why don't you go there and see what they say about what the principal did. And how do you know what the principal did? And how can you prove anything. what are you trying to do. You want to be kicked out and go somewhere else to school? What are you trying to do?
Answer Applies to: North Carolina
Replied: 3/21/2013
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C.
Andrew T. Velonis, P.C. | Andrew Velonis
You can't claim a right of privacy if you had your phone out during class. If you are marching in a parade you can't claim a right of privacy if someone takes your picture while you are doing so.
Answer Applies to: New York
Replied: 3/21/2013
    Attorney at Law
    Attorney at Law | Michael J. Kennedy
    It is not legal!
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    David F. Stoddard
    David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
    You thought wrong. School officials are in loco parents while you are at school, meaning they are in the place of your parents and you have less right to privacy at school than adults, although the school does not have unfettered right to invade your privacy. If it is against the rules to be using the phone during class, he probably wanted determine if you were communicating with another student, who then would also be violating the rules.
    Answer Applies to: South Carolina
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Michael Breczinski
    Michael Breczinski | Michael Breczinski
    I would think that it was not wise. But it was not wise for you to have it out then either.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Lombardi Law Firm
    Lombardi Law Firm | Steve Lombardi
    I'm not sure, what do the school rules state? Have you read them, studied them and understand them? Read the school rules.
    Answer Applies to: Iowa
    Replied: 3/21/2013
    Law Offices of Ronald A. Steinberg & Associates | Ronald A. Steinberg, BA, MA, JD
    Didn't I answer this before? If there is a suspicion that you are cheating on a test by texting someone to have them give you answers, I guess there would be a legitimate reason to check some messages, but only to the extent of the time during which the test was being administered. I do not think that the principal can go "fishing." I am not sure about the phone numbers of people with whom you are communicating by phone. Obviously you would not be speaking to people during class or during a test, so I think that the phone list would be off limits. .
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 3/21/2013
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