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CAN THE VICE PRINCIPAL OF A HIGH SCHOOL SEARCH MY PHONE HELD

Customer Question
BY MY DAUGHTER WITHOUT NOTIFYING...
CAN THE VICE PRINCIPAL OF A HIGH SCHOOL SEARCH MY PHONE HELD BY MY DAUGHTER WITHOUT NOTIFYING ME?
JA: Because education law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?
Customer: cALIFORNIA
JA: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: NOTHING SHE WAS CLEARED OF WRONG DOING, I JUST FEEL AS THOUGH I SHOULD HAVE BEEN PRESENT AS IT IS MY PHONE.
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: NO
Submitted: 1 year ago.Category: Legal
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Answered in 9 minutes by:
11/15/2016
Lawyer: Ely, Counselor at Law replied 1 year ago
Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102,919
Experience: Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. By continuing, you confirm that you understand and agree to these terms.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. On this website, I do not always get to give good news, and this is one of these times.

The school stands in loco parentis, meaning that it has most of a parent's powers while the student is under the school's care. And the school shares, in matters of school discipline, the parent's right to use moderate force to obtain obedience as well as perform searches of students' items. See In re Donaldson, 269 Cal. App. 2d 509 - Cal: Court of Appeal 1969.

While no case precedent discusses phones in California specifically, the courts have okay'd the schools searching lockers and bag packs as long as it was for purposes of discipline and maintaining order. Even if the cell was yours, the school will likely try to justify that the search the phone for improper text messages and photos as part of school discipline.

Is this taking it too far? Maybe. However the Court has not yet made a precedent decisions about this in CA, leaving this subjective. The presumption is that it was proper(under justification of discipline) until/unless you challenge this in Court, and the Court agrees.

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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 102,919
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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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