Pubdate: Fri, 09 Mar 2001
Source: The Estes Park Trail-Gazette (CO)
Copyright: 2001 The Estes Park Trail-Gazette
Contact:  P.O. Box 1707 Estes Park, CO 80517
Fax: (970) 586-9532
Author: Ronald E. Thomas


OK, it has been upheld in the courts that students have no expectation of 
privacy on school grounds, and therefore can be subject to locker searches, 
etc. But the comments by some of the young folks in Feb. 28's T-G, and 
similar comments from students along the Front Range in response to 
searches and video surveillance to the effect of "It's OK, we have nothing 
to hide" are very troubling indeed.

Hey youngsters, how about random pat downs in the hallways at school? Sure 
you might be uncomfortable being touched by strangers, but hey, you've got 
nothing to hide, right? How about strip searches, or maybe cavity searches? 
Gotta stop those druggies! And you've got nothing to hide, right?

Or, how about if "dedicated public servants" just stop by your homes 
occasionally and do a "walk through" of your yard, garage, kitchen, living 
room, bedrooms, checking your drawers, your computer files, your personal 
diary, etc. Must be okay because you've nothing to hide, right?

How about roadblocks where cops will bring over a dog to sniff around your 
car in a totally random search for drugs or whatever. Must be okay, right? 
Because you got nothing to hide! Buzzer  WRONG  the U.S. Supreme Court 
has recently ruled this kind of activity is an unconstitutional invasion of 
a citizen's privacy. Good for the court for getting this right, hurrah for 
us, and shame on those "dedicated public servants" who thought it was a 
good idea!

Paraphrasing Ben Franklin: those who give up liberty for a little security 
deserve neither.

Ronald E. Thomas

Estes Park
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