It’s odd, living in a remote, predominantly Mormon town, and seeing the local items that draw national attention.
Today, it’s this. I draw your attention to the following part:
Parents and faculty members had asked police to bring a K-9 to the scene before the bus departed to check students' bags for drugs.
Who was on the bus?
About 100 students from Canyon View High School in southern Utah had just graduated Thursday night and boarded the charter bus for their senior trip …
Where were they going?
… A bus full of recent Utah high school graduates headed to Disneyland …
Here’s what I wonder.
- Was there probably cause? If so, why wasn’t it mentioned?
- No doubt parents had to sign permission slips. Were they informed that this included submitting their kids to a search with dogs?
I’m all for parents policing the actions of their children, and schools avoiding legal liability. But, bringing the government in to do this under these circumstances violated the spirit of the First and Fourth Amendments.*
Also, what does this say about local students? About 80% are LDS. In this area, those who are not LDS are often immigrants who are unlikely to be able to afford a school trip. They were going to Disneyland. Have our moral borderlines shifted so far that we don’t see a problem presuming that a group of predominantly well-off Mormon kids going to Disneyland are violating the law?
Oh yeah … and who do you think they caught? The bus driver (queue Simpsons’ joke) … the local paper contained no reports of kids having drugs (although with Utah leading the nation in prescription drug abuse, this is kind of surprising). No kudos to the legacy media, who decided the most interesting thing about this event is that a bus driver was caught.
* The First Amendment reads: Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances. So, technically this would only be a violation if Congress passed a law saying that assembling for a school trip to Disneyland was a problem, thus a violation in spirit.
The Fourth Amendment reads: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. I’m not sure that this case doesn’t go beyond a violation in spirit to just a plain violation. Is it unreasonable for parents and teachers to ask the police to use dogs to search a bus full of kids without probable cause (other than they’re teenagers, and there’s a high probability of finding something)? I would say no.