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Kaylee Benton, Aryn Kodet, Rena Gregg, Chris Slaughter, Mark Looney
Mrs. Eisen
AP Government
17 February 2015
Oral Argument: VHS v. Frank and Joe
We are here to advocate for Verrado High school and the Agua Fria Union High School
District. Does the 4th amendment prohibit school officials from searching items found on
students? No it does not, the school administration has two jobs. First they are at school to
educate students. Second they are there to provide a safe learning environment for EVERYONE
on campus. If a school official has reasonable suspicion that one of their students has contraband
or something that could bring harm to anyone on campus, it is their duty to look into that
situation. Students on a school campus do not have as many 4th amendment rights as an ordinary
citizen. The searching of Frank and Joe was constitutional because the school officials were just
doing their job of providing a safe campus. After the searches, suspensions had to be issued to
both students based on their actions on school grounds.Do the facts of the case show that the
imposistion of suspensions with a delayed hearing violate the students 14th admendment due
process rights? The answer is NO, Joe was told he was going to be given a long term suspension
for his infraction and the hearing required for such a suspension was set to be heard before Joe
served a day of his long term suspension. In this case there were no legal breaches of the 4th
amendment nor the 14th amendment right to due process. Frank was under suspicion for the
possession of a narcotic on school grounds and therefore under the administrations rights of
reasonable suspicion they invoked the right to search him looking for narcotics. Franks sudden

change in friends paired with his suspicious and frequent trips to the restroom with his new
group of acquaintances that had them leaving in an altered state of mind, a little happier, raised
suspicion from teachers and resulted in a reasonable search. Teachers grew concerned over
Franks new group of friends because he had prided himself on being different since his first days
of high school. The monitors observing Frank were concerned about this change in behavior.
Doing their due diligence, the monitors brought Frank to administration to discuss the issues.The
Discussion led to a search which yielded no drugs. However frank was chosen for a random
search, which was within the schools rights because of Franks participation in the Math &
Science club. This second search resulted in a white powdery substance being found, inside of
franks ear accessories, later which was identified as cocaine. The police were immediately
called and the school officials began the process of a long term suspension,based on his many
years of experience, the Principal suspected that these drugs were intended to be distributed
among the schools population. To ensure the safety of all the students on the grounds of Verrado
High School the principal continued to reasonably search through Franks phone to identify any
connections to any other students on campus. This search turned out to be revealing because
Frank had sent out a message to another student to receive the cocaine. Seeing that the message
was sent to Joe,The principal immediately called him into his office to conduct an interview on
the events unfolding. While joe was being questioned, he willingly offered his phone to Verrado
administration to be searched. The search of Joes phone brought forth the text message from
Frank. Mr. Huffman requested to conduct a search of joes person to determine if he had any
narcotics on him as well. Joe consented to the search which resulted in no drugs found. He also
consented to a drug test. Joe was angered by the search and verbally lashed out against Mr.
Huffman by using several profane words,which Joe had previously been suspended for while

attending Verrado. Mr. Huffman was upset with joe and issued a punishment that was within the
parameters set forth in the district handbook for that particular offense. Joe was suspended that
day from school, however his hearing did not take place until the following week to allow time
to submit notice of the hearing to all relevant parties. Because joe had not served more than nine
days away from school on suspension, he was still on short term suspension before the hearing.
During the second search of frank,which was reasonably permitted by him being a part of the
math and science club, the school officials asked frank to remove his gauges to be searched and
frank obliged which is where the cocaine was discovered. The school followed every procedure
that every student has a agreed to at the beginning of the year. I now differ to my colleague
Christopher.
Frank had been different than others in his dress and appearance in school since his
freshman year, which is great for him. However it was the change in his image to be more
popular that concerned teachers at Verrado. The teachers had noticed that he began to associate
with people that he normally would not. After awhile of the abnormal communications with
frank and the other students on campus, which seemed to always result in the students being
changed from before their meetup. Monitors were suspicious of new habits Frank was
developing so they felt it would be in the best interest of all the students to bring frank up to the
office to talk with the administration. We are answering the question of if the search of frank
violated his 4th amendment rights, according to the 4th amendment which states, The right of the
people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches
and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause,
supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
persons or things to be seized. By entering the school every student and faculty member agrees

to a social contract that gives up a portion of their fourth amendment rights for the greater good
of the school community. These rights of the social contract and the fourth amendment were not
violated because of the reasonable suspicion by the teachers and Mr. Huffman. The first search
was a brief search that yielded no drugs. However the second random search was more extensive
because the administration asked frank to search his gauges. According to Safford Unified
School District V. Redding supreme court ruling schools do not have the right to invasively
search a student's clothes. However in our case the administration did not search under any of
Franks clothing. Their search was limited to the earrings in plain sight. By abiding by the
student handbook , section 13-3415 This section refers to the possession of any type of drug on
campus by a student, police were called to the school to have Frank put under arrest and the long
term suspension process was started. Mr. Huffman had to determine if his campus was now safe
from any other narcotics that could harm his students. He had suspicion that Frank was sharing
his drugs with other students and under the ruling New Jersey V. T.L.O, Mr. Huffman was within
his rights to continue the search of franks items on his person. The ruling in the New jersey V.
T.L.O case was that a search of the students bag was lawful because there was suspicion that the
search would yield contraband. Here at Verrado High School officials had suspicion that the
search through the phone would come up with results of who else on campus was handling the
illegal narcotics. This suspicion was correct because on Franks phone there was a text message
sent out to joe saying Hey dude, the gauges are ready to be emptied. Frank Sent a message to
say that the gauges filled with cocaine were ready to be emptied and frank believed that this
individual would like know they were ready. I will now defer to my colleague.
Upon seeing the revealing text from Frank to Joe, the Principal had reasonable suspicion
to call joe into his office for questioning. After being asked, Joe consented to giving his phone to

administration to be searched. Once the text from Frank was found concerning the narcotics,
administration asked to search joes person and joe agreed. This led to nothing being found.
There was evident reasonable suspicion from the exchange of text messages between the two
students concerning the narcotics. The fact that Joe consented to a body search further proves
that the students rights of the fourth amendment were not violated. In the Supreme Court case,
Board of Education v. Earls, the question was whether random drug testing to students involved
in extracurriculars was unconstitutional and violated the 4th amendment. The court ruled that it
is constitutional. According to this case, the school could not make joe take a drug test because
he was no longer involved in an extracurricular club, however joe COMPLIED to take the test
anyway because he believed he had nothing to hide. His consent to the drug test proves the
school did not violate the 4th amendment. Once the drug test proved Joes innocence, Joe
erupted with angry profane language calling the principal several bad names. Joe, already
having been suspended once before for this same misconduct, was suspended for 50 days to
match the severity of his misbehavior. Joe filed an objection and received a hearing on the 10th
calendar day of the suspension. According to district policy Student Due Process- Suspension /
Expulsion Disciplinary Record Keeping, students are notified 5 days in advance of their
hearing, so in this case, Joe was notified after serving 5 calendar days of suspension which does
not all include school days. Due to this, he was still on short term suspension when the hearing
resulted in the reversal of the punishment. The question in the supreme court case, Goss v Lopez
was whether due process requires public schools to afford a hearing or review to students prior to
their suspension. The court ruled that public school students cannot be suspended or otherwise
seriously disciplined without a required hearing in order for it to comply with due process. In
this case, the 14th amendments right to due process were completely followed in the fact that

Joe received a hearing to object and argue his innocence before the long term suspension began.
In examining the facts of the case and the accusations against my client, there is no clear
violation of the students rights to the 4th amendment, nor the 14th amendments right to due
process, and I ask that you uphold stare decisis. Thank you for your time.