Thursday, September 30, 2004

Possible New Limits On Police Questioning of Students In Schools

Arnold Schwarzenegger
The Sacramento Bee is indicating that Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger is poised to sign a bill that would require police to notify parents before authorities question their children while on school grounds. The proposed legislation, AB 1012 will codify procedures. A separate process would be used for elementary and high school students.

High school principals would be required to inform students that they would have the right to have a parent or guardian present during any questioning. If a parent is unavailable, then the student would be able to choose a school staff member to act as witness.

Elementary school students would need to have parental consent. If a parent cannot be reached, then a school administrator must be present for any questioning by police. There are exceptions to the proposed rules. For example, should the parent be a subject of police investigation, then parental consent would not be needed.

California is often thought of (and thinks of itself) as a trend-setter for the rest of the nation. It remains to be seen if this extension of parental rights spreads to other states. The EdWonk will continue to monitor developments.