16 Comments

  • dr v says:

    I like the bold move of having a picture of a burning flag. Gene, you’re totally going to be shot by a redneck now.

  • Kristina says:

    Does this study really show that kids have different attitudes about the 1st Amendment, or more that our nation’s schools suck and high school students are spoiled, self-centered brats.

  • sean says:

    I disagree that high school kids are spoiled, self-centered brats, but I will defend to the death your right to call them that.
    I bet if you tried to do a study like this about the Fourth Amendment, the results would be even more disappointing. Self-centered brats of America, never consent to a police search!

  • gene says:

    never concent to a search. This is from one of my favorite sites, I happened upon it and ended up reading the entire thing for the next 5 hours. Check out the Just Cause Law Collective. It’s fantastic, and I think should be required reading in highschool.

  • gene says:

    Hehe, turns out Just Cause Law Collective is 2 blocks from where I work. I think I’ll head over at lunch tomorrow and thank them for fighting the good fight.

  • gene says:

    AAAaannnd, after looking around, the site is hosted at riseup.net by our own David Taylor (who you may know through Katie Vigil). Man small world.

  • Kristina says:

    I think people who take their civil rights for granted are spoiled and people who don’t respect the rights of others are self-centered – teenagers and adults alike. As for people consenting to searches, I’ve just never understood why people do it! Of course, there’s the sad facts that many people don’t know what that rights are or they’re afraid of seeming like they’re hiding something (as if merely acting nervous will give the cops probable cause to do the search without consent)… but, really the cops only ask if they can search if they don’t have probable cause. If they did, they’d either do it without asking or take the time to get a warrant. Personally, I don’t think that cops should even be allowed to ask to conduct searches, betting on the “suspect’s” ignorance and fear of police “authority”… but, as my Crim Procedure teacher would say, I’m a Due Process junkie.

  • didofoot says:

    speaking as a mouse, i would have a tough time refusing an armed and angry man entry to my home/car/whatever, since i can usually barely defend my right to my half of the subway seat. so i can sympathize with people who consent to searches.

  • Kristina says:

    Cops scare me, too… except for asian cops – they rock.

  • holohan says:

    kristina, did you read the bus drug search cases in your crim pro class?

  • holohan says:

    sorry, that probably sounds like it came out of nowhere. there are a couple of cases that illustrate the absurdity of the consent issue, where guys are sitting on a bus, police officers board the bus, loom over the passengers and ask if they can search, and the passengers have no idea that they don’t have to say yes.

  • gene says:

    In answer to your question of why people consent to searches, you’ve asked and answered it. People don’t understand their rights, and cops know this. It’s in a cops interest to walk as close to the line of demanding something and asking for something in order to confuse you as to how to respond. I really REALLY recommend people check out the Just Cause Law Collective. They’ve got fantastic plain english explanations of how people (like you and me) should interface with the law enforcement system should we have to. This information is stuff you should get now when you don’t have a cop at your front door, or driver side door, etc. When you need the information, you won’t have an opportunity to do anything but panic and sink yourself.

  • Kristina says:

    I’m only in my third week of Crim Pro and we haven’t gotten to consent waivers yet – we’re still on the components of a valid warrant. My professor is visiting and wrote his own book, so of course we’re going through it page-by-page, line-by-line, so I predict we’ll get to consenting to searches in about 2 weeks.
    I fully agree with Gene – people should know more about their rights and feel more empowered to stand up to police officers. Their training in civil rights law is minimal and their training in how to effectively do their jobs without infringing on those rights is even more sad. Additionally, whatever training they do receive seems to be negated by police culture, which looks down on civil rights as arbitrary limitations on their ability to do their jobs and regards “criminals” as not being worthy of civil rights protections. However, this assumes that they have special criminal-identification skills that allow them to determine who should and should not have their rights respected in certain situations. Moreover, most police aren’t well educated, so even if they are smart enough to fully grasp the concepts and reasoning behind civil rights protections, it’s highly unlikely they’ve been exposed to them in a structured and thorough way that would help them fully understand and respect those rights.
    All this just makes it more important that citizens inform themselves about their rights so they can exercise them. However, I would say that attempting to give a cop a lecture about your rights, rather than just stating that you’re choosing to exercise them, would just piss him off…

  • Danny says:

    This country needs more multigenerational, multi-school websites where students are free to discuss their schools without fear of administrative censorship.
    Who will teach the children?

  • Kristina says:

    That is so utterly awesome. (I laughed out loud in class and got a good staring-at by the prof.)

  • Jay says:

    Hey thanks for the recognition. yeah the first amendment is all we got left and to all the people who think young kids are spoiled all i have to say is fuck you.

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