Central Regional HS now allowed to search students’ phones if there’s ‘reasonable suspicion’
Schools are increasingly using technology to monitor their students. When the kids head to class, they largely give up their privacy.
Central Regional High School in Ocean County now allows school officials to search students’ phones when there is “reasonable suspicion.”
The school is empowered by a 1985 Supreme Court case that originated out of Piscataway High School. The ruling determined that it was legal for a principal to search a student’s purse.
A lot has changed since then.
"Now we have cameras that are capable of facial recognition, [artificial intelligence], they have software that can track your communications on school devices or personal devices that you connect to school devices, so the framework in the world of surveillance tech that’s out there now and the tools that schools have and police have are so much wider than they used to be,” says Joe Johnson, policy counsel for the ACLU of New Jersey.
WATCH: Full interview with Joe Johnson
The policy at Central Regional comes several months after a student died by suicide. A video of that student being attacked in the halls of the school went viral. It was unclear if this incident sparked the rule change.
School officials did not respond to a request for comment.