From the article:
The first reading of the new policy, which was unanimously approved at Monday’s board meeting, states, “By bringing a cell phone and other electronic devices to school or school sponsored events, the student and parents consent to the search of the device when school officials have a reasonable suspicion that such a search will reveal a violation of school rules.”
Assistant Superintendent Lance Gibbon presented the policy to the board. He pointed out that school officials already have the right to search lockers and backpacks with reasonable suspicion; now they’re simply extending that right to the electronic realm.
Apparently this new policy came from recommendations from a newsletter put out by the Washington State School Directors Association. The idea is that it would protect students and staff and administrators.
One student summed up what is likely to be the feeling among students:
“They say lots of people are suspicious when they’re really not,” Troy Sturdevant, OHHS freshman, added. “There are rumors going around all the time.”
Honestly, I see the issue. Kids simply do not realize the consequences to what could happen if they send off or receive nude photos of classmates. (Clearly, there needs to be a law about sexting in specific because I don't believe the overwhelming majority of these kids need to be labeled as sex offenders for sexting.)
However, I can really see the issue of an overzealous teacher or administrator and the point about rumors. There is a huge amount of talk that zooms through any high school and middle school in a given day. Sadly, I think some kids do get tagged as trouble and can never shake that label. What if administrators confiscate a phone, find no photos but do find evidence of discussion of some other crime? What if a student puts a PIN lock on the phone? Would a student have to open it for them?