The New Mexico Supreme Court has thrown out a high school student’s admission to his principal that he was drinking alcohol at school. The boy had received no warning of his right to remain silent, and the statement was used against him in a juvenile-delinquency proceeding.
The state’s highest court ruled 5-0 that the student did not waive his state statutory right to remain silent about the alcohol use.
“Although a school official may insist that a child answer questions for purposes of school disciplinary proceedings, any statements elicited by the official may not be used against the child in a delinquency proceeding unless the child made a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his or her right to remain silent,” the court said in its Oct. 23 ruling.
A version of this article appeared in the November 05, 2014 edition of Education Week as New Mexico Court Tosses Confession of Alcohol Use