Back in June, a school principal in Rosedale, Maryland called the police on a 5th grader because he had some toy guns hanging on the wall in the background of his “virtual classroom.” Recently, the family of the student obtained a copy of the principal’s 911 call.
According to the 911 transcript, someone spotted what they believed to be a firearm in the background and, according to principal Jason Feiler, even if it was fake, the schools had to “follow whatever rules [they] would have in the building.”
Police responded to Feiler’s 911 call and upon entering the student’s bedroom, almost immediately recognized that the “firearms” on the wall were toys.
Thanks to Fox45, you can watch a video of the officers’ body cams at this link.
It would be an understatement to say that this incident is alarming, but with students continuing to attend classes online, it will likely become more common. By calling 911 and having the police “check in” on the property contained in the homes of students, schools are trying to circumvent Fourth Amendment protections that traditionally apply to the home.
Not only is this an invasion of privacy, it puts the welfare of students and their families at risk, and for what reason? A student can’t shoot up a Zoom meeting.
If education will continue to be delivered online against the will of the People, schools and inevitably, courts, will have to set ground rules to ensure that the right of privacy is honored until things get back to normal.