Kentucky Supreme Court Case Questions whether Students Deserve the Right to Remain Silent

Friday, November 16, 2012

Kentucky’s Supreme Court will decide soon whether school officials must read students their Miranda rights before questioning them about a potential violation of the law. According to the 1966 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Miranda v. Arizona, suspects who are arrested must be informed that they have the right to remain silent and that anything they say may be used against them. The question is whether Miranda rights extend to students at school.

 

The issue stems from a case involving an unidentified high school student who was caught with a prescription painkiller on campus. The student was questioned by school police and an assistant principal, during which he admitted to bringing the drug to school and giving some of it to two students.

 

This admission resulted in the student being charged and convicted of illegally dispensing a controlled substance. He was sentenced to 45 days in adult jail.

 

But his attorney has argued that his client’s remarks should have been suppressed at his trial because he was not read his Miranda rights by the school.

 

Rebecca Ballard DiLoreto, litigation director for the Children’s Law Center, based in Ohio and Kentucky, supports the student’s case, saying principals should be required to Mirandize students before questioning them about suspected illegal behavior.

 

The Kentucky Association of School Administrators disagrees. It argues that a Miranda requirement would hamstring school principals and possibly make schools less safe.

-Noel Brinkerhoff

 

To Learn More:

Kentucky Supreme Court Considering Miranda Warning For Students (by Andrew Wolfson, Louisville Courier-Journal)

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