| Under what circumstances can administrators or police legally search high school students’ lockers or their belongings? When do a school’s attire restrictions infringe on students’ freedom of speech?
Nearly 200 high school students across five Boston schools and another in Cambridge are tackling such complicated issues of constitutional law as it applies to high schoolers through an innovative course launched this year. The class taught voluntarily by Suffolk University Law students uses a curriculum from a national project offered through 10 other law schools nationwide, and only one other in New England – Yale Law School in Connecticut.
Introduced jokingly as a “new student to the classroom” Monday morning, Mayor Thomas Menino, along with city school Superintendent Carol Johnson, listened to teams of students at Another Course to College in Brighton present opposing arguments on legal cases before their two law school student instructors – acting as judges. The debate around each case concerned the Fourth Amendment, which guards Americans against unreasonable searches and seizures.
“This is about learning what your rights are … a lot of folks don’t take advantage of their rights,” Menino told the class of seniors.