Teens have rights that they don't even know

As teenagers where do we belong in this world? Do we classify ourselves as kids, adults, or that somewhere in between? Because of this confusion, rights of a teenager gets lost in the midst of all the confusion.  The re Gualt 387 (1967) case defined rights of both adults and teenagers. Two minors were arrested for making a prank call. The arrest was very amature and unprofessional. So, his parents decided to take this case to the Supreme Court. Finally, the supreme court ruled that the boys under question, did not have the right to be charged as an adult. It was a landmark case that gave teens an understanding of these rights. Rights that to this day, are not well known or used.

Everyone in their youthful age is protected by the 4th amendment. This amendment protects us from unreasonable searches and seizures. This means that a police officer can not just randomly pull you off the street and start going through your stuff. There has to be a perfectly good reason for the search. If you are running around showing off your weed. A police officer has the right to search you. For example, Safford Unified School district v. Rodding (2009) was another case taken to the Supreme Court about an average teen. A highschooler by the name of Savana Rodding was accused of selling pills. The school officials searched Savana so thoroughly that they went inside of her under garments. The Supreme Court ruled that the school violated her 4th amendment right because there was no reason to suspect the drugs in the her underwear nor was the situation turning dangerous.

Our rights are applied everywhere, even in school. But, the school has less restrictions when it comes to searching for the safety of the school. The Supreme Court case Vernonia School District v. Acton (1995) established the right of testing athletes of illegal drugs. The Vernonia school district had a big problem with drugs. So, to get rid of the problem, the school drug tested all the athletes. A seventh grader, James Acton, refused to be tested and was not allowed to play football. His parents took the case to court because they believed it was violating his 4th amendment. The Supreme Court then ruled that drug testing athletes is constitutional. The drugs in the school were causing students to be in a dangerous enviornment. When there is a threat of danger, you lose the privilege of privacy.

You can easily be taken advantage of if you do not know these rights. Although teenagers are a small group compared to others, we are still very powerful. We are old enough to know what we can and cannot do. Don’t be alarmed when a Police officer comes up to you. Just remember, you are still a person in this world. This means, you have the same rights as anyone else. So be smart and make this right known to everyone.

Jessica Lisy

Jessica Lisy, a student at Euclid High School

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Volume 6, Issue 10, Posted 5:32 PM, 10.12.2015