Teens Rights According to the Fourth and Fifth Amendments

The Fourth Amendment states that the government (police) cannot search you or your property/belongings without your consent or without a warrant/reasonable cause for the search. The ultimate goal of this provision is to protect people’s rights to privacy and freedom from arbitrary governmental intrusions.

A popular Supreme Court case involving these rights is Safford Unified School District v Redding (2009). A student reported another girl, Marissa, had given him prescription pills. Marissa was searched and was found with more pills and weapons. She said everything was Redding's, and she was then searched, even inside her undergarments! Redding sued the school for violating her Fourth Amendment. The strip search was ruled illegal.

Another recent popular Supreme Court case involving the rights given in the Fourth Amendment was Rodriquez v U.S. Rodriquez was stopped for a traffic violation. The police officer happened to have his K-9 in the car. The policeman asked Rodriquez if the K-9 could walk around the car in search for drugs. Rodriguez refused, the policeman got upset, and he called for backup. This took 8 minutes. The Supreme Court found the policeman guilt for the violation of the Fourth Amendment.

The three basic things for teens to remember is that you have to right to remain silent, it's okay to say no to the police, and the only question to ask is, "Am I free to go?" These things go a long way when being stopped by the police and could save you a lot in the long run. This is completely reasonable and I agree 100%. Unreasonable searches are clearly wrong and it strips people of their freedoms. People’s assumption isn’t a reasonable cause for a search. It just doesn’t settle right.

The Fifth Amendment states that there has to be a grand jury for capital crimes, a prohibition on double jeopardy, a prohibition against required self-incrimination, all criminal defendants will have a fair trial, and the government won’t seize private property without paying the market value.

A recent Supreme Court case involving these rights is J.D.B. v. North Carolina (2005). A student  identified as J.D.B. The police showed up at his school to question him. The boy was escorted to a school conference room, where he was interrogated in the presence of school officials. J.D.B.'s parents were not contacted, and he was not given any warnings about his rights. The Supreme Court ruled that he was in fact not in custody when he was interrogated, and that is illegal.

The fifth amendment, in my eyes, can be tweaked and manipulated in a way that people don’t fully understand their rights. I feel that both of these, the Fourth and Fifth Amendment, are ones some of the ones to be memorized. They’re very important and useful for teens and even adults. Overall, know your rights!

Jasmine Rollins

I am a 11th grade student at Euclid High School in Euclid, Ohio. I'm extremely dedicated to my acedemics.

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