A federal district judge has thrown out the search of a Virginia student’s cellphone by school administrators looking for evidence of illegal drugs. It was apparently the first time a cellphone search in schools has come under scrutiny since a June decision by the U.S. Supreme Court giving strong Fourth Amendment protection to the contents of cellphones.
The judge did uphold a pat-down search and an examination of the student’s pockets, shoes, and backpack, saying they were reasonable in scope.
But U.S. District Judge John A. Gibney Jr. said the search of the cellphone “exceeded the scope of a reasonable search initiated to find drugs,” because “the cellphone could not have contained drugs.”
A version of this article appeared in the September 24, 2014 edition of Education Week as Judge Rejects Search of Student’s Cellphone