School Climate & Safety News in Brief

Appeals Court Upholds ‘Dog Sniff’ of Backpack

By Mark Walsh — March 12, 2013 1 min read

A federal appeals court last week upheld a “dog sniff” of a student’s backpack for illegal drugs at a school in Springfield, Mo.

A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 8th Circuit, in St. Louis, held unanimously that the dog-sniff of student belongings in a classroom at Central High School in 2010, while students were not present, did not violate the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable searches and seizures.

The panel was not in full agreement that separating backpacks from students for the dog-sniff constituted a “seizure.” Even so, the court said, “we conclude that the seizure was part of a reasonable procedure to maintain the safety and security of students at the school.”

A version of this article appeared in the March 13, 2013 edition of Education Week as Appeals Court Upholds ‘Dog Sniff’ of Backpack

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