ACLU Sues Over Student Cell Phone Expulsion

By: The Associated Press
By: The Associated Press

The American Civil Liberties Union has filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of a DeSoto County School District student who was expelled after officials confiscated his cell phone and found what they described as "gang-related" images.

The suit was filed Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Greenville. The suit names the school district, an unnamed district employee, Southaven Middle School coaches John Stevenson and Kenneth Walker, police Sergeant Nicholas Kennedy and the city of Southaven.

The suit seeks unspecified damages and for the student's record to be expunged of all law enforcement, academic and disciplinary records related to the August 2008 incident.


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  • by A mother and educator Location: GA on Sep 3, 2009 at 10:21 AM
    I have got to side with the parents and this student on this. While the student may have actually been involved in gang activity, if he didn't exhibit gang-like behavior on campus, then leave him alone. Confiscate the phone like usual, and have the parent to come retrieve it. As a parent, the school has absolutely no reason to go probing in my daughter's phone. Take the phone. Turn it off if it's not already off, and call me to deal with the phone and my child's conduct. I do believe this case violated the child's rights. And, yes, children do have rights. I am an educator. I'm not in the classroom though. I'd take phones and keep them until the end of the day. I would ask the student to turn it off. I rarely called the parent or took the child to the office. I dealt with it rationally and quickly. My kids appreciated me for it too. Those students never used the phones in my class again.
  • by Bob Location: Meridian on Sep 2, 2009 at 02:12 PM
    I agree with Ed. We cannot discipline our children anymore without somebody like the ACLU getting involved. It used to be that the only rights that kids had is what their parents allowed them. Now, you have parents who don't care unless they see an opportunity to file a suit against someone.
  • by ED Location: MERIDIAN on Sep 2, 2009 at 11:47 AM
    oh boy here we go.. enough of child rights...over kill is the name for it.. it has already been stated that contraband can be taken by the school... and is subject to searches... in reasonable cause... here is a fact kids have too repeat too much power over parents and all others.. between DHS and ACLU parents have lost control of the way they want the child brought up.. the same trash allowed V-Tech and all the other school attacks to happen ... the school finding this could step in and prevent another one in the future and/or prevent this child going down the wrong road..
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