My son has a no-phone policy at school during school learning hours. He was caught with his phone and the teacher took his phone, asked for the password and went through it. Is that legal?
Haley: It’s time once again for “The Law & You”! Joining us today, we have attorneys Molly Clark and Greg Fellerman back for more! So wonderful to have you guys here. How have you been?
Molly: Good, how about you?
Haley: Good! I’m excited to see what we’re gonna learn today from you, so let’s get to today’s question. This comes from Joe in Wilkes-Barre. He says, “My son has a no-phone policy at school during school learning hours. He was caught with his phone and the teacher took his phone, asked for the password, and went through it. Is that legal?” Well, I’m seeing some red flags there.
Molly: Yeah, I don’t think that’s legal, Haley.
Molly: I don’t think that’s legal. I will say that I have kids in school that have phones, unfortunately, and I fight with them every day about bringing them to school because I don’t think they should have them there but then, sometimes I need them after school, with their after school activities. So, I think this happens all the time, I think lots of kids, especially teenage kids, do take their phones to school. I do know that my kids also have the no-phone policy during school hours. I do not think, however, if, you know, your kids get caught with a phone and you take it from them, I do not think you can just read through it. I mean, that’s certainly not something that I would think was legal and I would definitely take issue with it. What do you think, Greg?
Greg: I don’t know. I think if you have a no-phone policy in school, they should follow it. And your kids should leave their phones at home, but I don’t know – you know, we haven’t encountered this. This is really our first question we’ve had and we take these kind of live, so I’m not exactly sure about that issue. But I think if you have questions and you’re not comfortable with what happened, then you should pick up the phone, call the superintendent, and try to find out what their policy is, and make sure that the teacher is following it. Because someone in the school district has to know that, and again, we could probably follow-up and get a more definitive answer on that. But that’s what I would do if you were unhappy as a parent – call the school district, make a complaint, and see what they have to say to you.
Haley: Right, cause there might even be more to that story, as to why the teacher wanted to go through the phone.
Molly: There’s always more to that story.
Haley: Always more. Depends what your kid really told you, you know, the whole story. So definitely give them a call, get a free consul, find out more information and if you have questions for “The Law & You”, go to PAHomePage.com
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