Hastings Law Journal


This Note examines public school students' Constitutional rights to due process, freedom from unreasonable searches and seizures, and freedom of speech in light of the numerous school shootings that have taken place nationwide during the past few years. It argues that Supreme Court stare decisis has gradually diminished student rights, effectively impeding students' ability to seek remedy for their Constitutional injuries in a court of law. Moreover, school administrators have begun implementing policies, such as zerotolerance, that inherently tend to cause infringement of student rights. Although safety in schools is a legitimate state interest, student rights do not need to be forsaken in order to achieve that end. This Note suggests a hierarchy of protection for different forms of student speech as an alternative to the deferential standards now invoked by the Court. Additionally, a community solution, involving students, parents, teachers, school administrators, and community leaders, is proposed as a means of responding to potentially disruptive behavior.

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