Schools: Where Fewer Rights are Reasonable? Why the Reasonableness Standard is Inappropriate to Measure the Use of RFID Tracking Devices on Students


Alexandra C. Hirsch


VOL. XXVIII • Spring 2011 • NO. 3 (table of contents)

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28 John Marshall J. of Comp. & Info. Law 411


In an unsuccessful attempt to heighten security, schools are implementing a technology that offers access to children’s personal information and minute-by-minute location. Although not entirely new, Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology use has recently been expanding within the school arena. Skeptics knowledgeable about the downfalls of the technology, however, have reason to be concerned. In order to understand the true urgency of this issue, this comment will explain the background of RFID technology, specifically what RFID tags are, how they are used, their purposes, and how they have become unsafe. Included will be an explanation of the reasons that schools have implemented RFID technology as a safety precaution. This paper will detail the progression of the constitutional right against unreasonable search and seizure, beginning with the Fourth Amendment’s original, explicit language to its current application for students in schools. Finally, this comment will argue that requiring children to wear RFID tags while on school grounds infringes upon their Fourth Amendment right from unreasonable search and seizure, and that Courts should readopt the probable cause standard as the appropriate standard to be applied to the use of RFID technology in schools.

Author Footnote:

Author Alexander C. Hirsch is the Executive Production Editor of Journal of Computer & Information Law at The John Marshall Law School. She is also a J.D. Candidate, May 2012. She would like to thank the members of the Journal of Computer and Information Law for their editorial guidance. Ms. Hirsch would also like to thank, most importantly, her family for their bountiful support throughout her time in law school and in writing this article.

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