We, the undersigned, support the addition of a policy that states the School Resource Officer should not be able to question minor students on legal matters without a guardian present or without a guardian's permission. Legally, students under the age of 18 are parents' or guardians' responsibility. Which makes the parents make legal decisions for the minor. Although there is no federal law requiring a parent to be present during questioning on legal matters, we as a school are free to implement such a policy. The New Hampshire house recently attempted to pass House Bill 545, a bill to stop SROs from being able to question minor students without a parent present. The bill was tabled, however it goes to show the support from other NH citizens and representatives on the cause.
Currently there is no policy for SROs questioning students under 18 stating that they need a parent's presence or permission while questioning a minor student on legal matters. We would like to change this because anything a child says to the SRO can be held against them. The 4th amendment of our U.S. Constitution, clearly states, "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated..." In a situation where a child is being questioned on a legal matter, it may be stressful and cause them to say things they might not mean under the pressure.
Students under 18 should not be held accountable for what he or she says during a questioning on a legal matter with the SRO when a parent or guardian is not present. Any parent would want to be ensured their child receives fair treatment and that their parental rights are being respected when their child's future is on the line. Notification and invitation to the minor's questioning would give parents peace of mind and help to establish a relationship of trust and respect between parents, students, and faculty.