Friday, February 23, 2007

Principals in at least three suburban schools have searched students' cellphone text messages when they suspected the students of cheating, drug abuse or other school violations.

Officials in the Douglas and Jefferson school districts say policies that allow them to search lockers, backpacks and cars parked on school grounds also authorize searches of cellphones when there is a "reasonable suspicion" of wrongdoing.

"We have found instances of texts that revealed both drug transactions ... as well as pornographic material stored in pictures," said John Stanek, an attorney for Douglas County schools. That includes phones with "downloaded material as well as pictures of other unsuspecting students," he said.