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When should a student be given the Miranda warning?

April 26, 2013

You have the right to remain silent…

You’re likely familiar with this opening line of the Miranda warning. Law enforcement officers are required to tell criminal suspects their constitutional rights at the time of their arrest and before they are questioned.

Here’s the rest of the Miranda warning: Anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law. You have the right to speak to an attorney, and to have an attorney present during any questioning. If you cannot afford a lawyer, one will be provided for you at government expense.

Since 1966, when the Supreme Court in Miranda v. Arizona established guidelines for how detained suspects are informed of their constitutional rights, giving the Miranda warning has become standard practice for police. The Miranda warning includes parts of the Fifth Amendment (protection against self-incrimination), the Sixth Amendment (a right to counsel) and the 14th Amendment (application of the ruling to all 50 states).

But should the Miranda warning be given to a student who is questioned by an assistant principal with a school officer in the room? That’s the question recently decided by the Kentucky Supreme Court in N.C. v. Commonwealth of Kentucky.

A student identified as N.C. was questioned in the assistant principal’s office about an empty prescription bottle labeled with his name that was found in a school restroom. An armed deputy sheriff who served as the school resource officer was present. The student admitted that he brought the pain medication to school because he’d had his wisdom teeth removed and that he gave two pills to another student. The assistant principal told N.C. that he would be disciplined for violating school rules. The deputy sheriff said he also had violated state drug laws. N.C. entered a conditional guilty plea to illegally dispensing a controlled substance and was sentenced to 45 days in jail.

The state Supreme Court ruled that N.C.’s incriminating statement must be suppressed, or thrown out. The court said its decision focused on whether N.C. was considered to be custody at the time. Because he was questioned in a closed room with an armed officer, the court said, he clearly was in custody.

“No reasonable student, even the vast majority of 17-year-olds, would have believed that he was at liberty to remain silent or to leave,” the court said. It also said N.C. was under the impression that he was facing school discipline and was never told he faced criminal charges. The court added that Miranda rights don’t have to be read when only school discipline is involved.

Writing for the majority in the 4-3 vote, Justice Mary Noble acknowledged that the case presented “a conflict between “the rights of a juvenile accused of a crime and the needs of school officials to maintain order ... and protect other children.”

Justice Bill Cunningham, who dissented, said he was concerned that school safety would be affected because principals would avoid using security officers. “In this day and age, we should not be impairing school safety by the enlargement of rights of the students,” Cunningham said. He also disagreed that a student should be considered in custody just because he is questioned by a principal with a school officer present. His dissent argued that students “are always in custody” when they are in public schools and that school resource officers are more like school staff than traditional law enforcement officers.

A concurring opinion (written when justices agree with the majority but for different reasons) pointed out that, under the public-safety exception, students can be questioned without being Mirandized to find a gun that may have been left on school property. Recently, federal investigators did not immediately inform Boston bombing suspect Dzhokhar Tsarnaev of his Miranda rights under the public-safety exception. That means law enforcement can question suspects without advising them their Miranda rights if it is believed they have information about an imminent threat to public safety. According to the Associated Press, Tsarnaev was eventually read his rights and he stopped answering questions.
 
What do you think?
Should N.C. have been read his Miranda rights? Was he “in custody” when he was questioned? How would you balance school safety concerns with a student’s constitutional rights? Should juveniles be treated differently from adults in criminal cases? Do you agree with the majority or the dissenting opinions, and why? Join the discussion!

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Comments
2/17/2014
Bristol/ Tn
Logan
Rollins/ Tennessee High School
Our class agreed with the majority. We felt like N.C. was in custody because an armed police officer was in the room. Due to the loss of liberty that was going to occur then the officer should have Mirandized N.C. This does not fall under a majority safety concern because the amount of medication and the school at large was not in danger.

9/27/2013
Watertown, Ma
Kelly
Rimas
People are citizens first and students second. Teens who may not know that they have certain rights when being questioned, might say something that gets them into further trouble. By not telling students their rights, schools are slipping around the fundamental laws of our country. Many times kids get nervous when being questioned by authority, and will often be bullied into saying something just for the people questioning them to relent. If students were read their rights, they would be more confident in protecting themselves.

9/25/2013
Watertown, MA
Kate
Rimas, Watertown Highschool
If a student is being arrested, then they, like any other person who is arrested, should be read their Miranda rights. That's what the Miranda rights are for, being notified of your rights relevant to the coming situation before being arrested.

9/13/2013
Sidney, Montana
Ashleigh McGhee
Mr. Faulhaber
I think that if a student does something bad and the cops are involved then they should be given his or her Miranda rights. They should do this because it doesnt make it any different if they are breaking the law in school or out of school.. its whatever really..

6/5/2013
Irving/TX
Dennys A.
Bradley/Nimitz
N.C. should have had his Miranda rights read to him because the court said they didn't have to be read to him when only school disciplined was involved but it wasn't school discipline anymore once the officer said what he would be charged. Juveniles shouldn't be treated any different from adults in the sense the rights should be told.

6/4/2013
Irving/TX
but nguyen
Bradley/Nimitz
The law is extended to protect the liberty of all citizens of the U.S. N.C should have had his Miranda rights be read to him because he was in custody once an officer was involved. Whenever the law and an officer are presented, the Miranda rights should always be read out loud. Juveniles shouldn't be treated differently from adults in criminal cases as long as the same crime is committed. Whether a minor or a major commits a crime, they both know well before committing it there will be consequences.

5/31/2013
Irving/Texas
Alan
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe N.C. should have been read his Miranda rights. There was a police officer ready to do something major, so they were ready to do something serious, like possibly arrest him. Schools should try to establish rules allowing for certain rights to be given. Many times, rights are taken away at school because they are "public", and they fear for the safety of other students and faculty. Juveniles should not be treated differently from adults.

5/31/2013
Irving/Tx
Adrian
Bradley/Nimitz
The SRO clearly had the intent of arresting N.C. if he plead guilty to having the pills and distributing them to other students. Therefore, he should have been read his Miranda rights. Any time a law enforcement officer is present during questioning, Miranda rights should be read to the accused. He was not in custody according to the law, but he was in custody according to school rules. It was implied that N.C. was in custody when he was questioned in the principal's office. I don't believe there is a balance between school safety and a student's constitutional rights. Each and every student should have full availability to both things. Juveniles should only be treated differently from adults if it is their first time getting in trouble or if the chaos caused by the student is only a misdemeanor.

5/30/2013
Irving/TX
Kenia
Bradley/ Nimitz HS
N.C. should of been read his Miranda rights as soon as the officer entered the picture. Since N.C. was being held in the vice principles office, with a deputy sheriff present, he was considered to be already "in custody." Thinking the worst that could possibly happen, to the student, would be school related, he went ahead and confessed to his crime. Students constitutional rights get reduced to a minimum as soon as they enter school grounds. The student should have been explained his rights before they began questioning him. However I don't believe that juveniles should be treated any differently from adults in criminal cases because they are at the point where their choices will define the type of person they become.

5/30/2013
Irving/Tx
Kevin
Bradley/Nimitz
N.C. should have had his Miranda rights read to him and he was in custody. The student couldn't just get up and leave. He had no choice but to stay in the principal’s office. It is completely unfair for a student not to be read his rights when there is a possibility of criminal charges. I believe that when a student is forced to explain himself to a teacher and there is law enforcement involved then the student should know his rights. I also think that juveniles should be treated differently than adults. Most teenagers would not have known that they didn’t have to talk; that they could simply stay silent and not confess to wrong doings. I personally dislike having police officers on campus. I understand that they are meant to protect students but I have always felt uneasy about them. Again, I understand why they are there but in most cases it seems like they exist simply for law enforcement to catch young criminals before they hit the streets as adults.

5/30/2013
Irving/Texas
Yessica
Bradley/Nimitz
Since he is an American citizen he should have the same rights as every American, age shouldn't be a factor that determines if he should be read his Miranda Rights or not. Since the teen was going to be charged with a crime, he was already in custody therefore he should have been read his rights. The fact that he is a teen should not unbalance his rights, especially if he is going to be found guilty. Criminal cases, and the "criminals" should always be read their rights, because there is a high possibility that they will be charged and convicted.

5/30/2013
Montgomery/TX
Keaton
Metzger/Montgomery High School
I think if the offense committed by a student is serious enough to require law enforcement then the miranda warning should be given to the student. I think N.C. was guilty since he was putting other students in danger and could have been sharing the drugs with other students, but should have been read his rights. I think overall the school needs to do whatever it has to do to protect the other students.

5/29/2013
Montgomery/TX
Keaton
Metzger/Montgomery High School
I think if the offense committed by a student is serious enough to require law enforcement then the miranda warning should be given to the student. I think N.C. was guilty since he was putting other students in danger and could have been sharing the drugs with other students, but should have been read his rights. I think overall the school needs to do whatever it has to do to protect the other students.

5/29/2013
Irving/Texas
Monica A.
Bradley/Nimitz
N.C. should of been read his Miranda rights since he was being being questioned over a serious legal matter. He technically "in custody" since he was being held in the office with a police officer. It would be difficult for the school should balance safety concerns with a student's constitutional rights. There's different rules in the school compared to the real world. Some, but not all juveniles should be treated the same as adults in criminal cases.

5/29/2013
Irving/TX
Kelly
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe the Miranda warning should be given to a student as long as a police officer is there. If it's not that serious and it's just a simple school matter then they shouldnt. But if its a serious matter then they should .

5/28/2013
Irving/TX
Kelsie
Bradley/Nimitz
I believe that N.C should have been read his Miranda right for the simple fact that he was questioned about a legal matter with a police officer present. Anything he said in the principal's office could have been used against him when he went into trail. It's hard to balance school safety concerns with student's constitutional rights because a lot of our rights are taken away from us as soon as we walk onto school property. I think juveniles should be treated differently from adults when it comes to criminal cases, when the juvenile is under a certain age,but I think ages 14-17 is too old be be considered a juvenile.

5/24/2013
Irving/Texas
Yeny
Bradley/Nimitz
NC should have had the Miranda right read to him because as a citizen he has that right since he was being questioned by the principal and a police officer. No law shouldn't have been violated no matter what the circumstance was. The school is responsible for trying to keep the other students safe. NC should still be responsible for the empty bottle of pills found since he put in danger other students because he could have had drugs there and gave it to other kids. Just for having school discipline shouldn't be a reason not to read someone the Miranda right.

5/23/2013
Irving/Tx
Elyssa
Bradley/Nimitz
If NC was going to be charged by the police than he should have been read his Miranda rights. I understand that since he could be endangering others by his actions he wasn't read his rights but since he was being charged by the police rather than the school punishments he should have been read his rights. When he was talking to the principle and the cop was present listening he was technically in custody being questioned even though the cop wasn’t asking the questions. A schools number one priority is keeping the students safe so if they questioned the boy outside of school and read him his Miranda rights that would have ensured his constitutional rights and the safety of the students. Juveniles should be treated some what equal to adults in criminal cases. Juveniles have the ability to change if people are willing to help them at their earlier age but adult criminals are already old enough to know right and wrong. But their rights should be the same and punishments should be the same also in order to teach these kids a lesson. I agree that if the crime committed is putting other people in danger they should do anything in their power to protect the society.

5/22/2013
Irving/Texas
Grace
Bradley/Nimitz
N.C should have been read his Miranda rights because it was not just a plain school security guard that found the drugs, but an actual sheriff. N.C was being questioned in a small room where he was unable to get out of so yes it seems like he was in custody. The Constitution of the United States is the framework of this country as has been for many many years. N.C may have had his rights, but also broke some. Juveniles should not be treated differently because even though they are still young, this is the real world whether they like it or not, and in this world, you don't always get the things you want.

5/22/2013
Irving/Texas
Edgar
Bradley/Nimitz
No he should not of been read his Miranda rights as he was not in custody. I would balance school safety concerns with constitutional rights by stating whether they are in custody or not.Juveniles should not be treated differently than adults in criminal cases.I agree with the majority as I would not like to feel like I was in custody anytime I walked into the school.

5/21/2013
Irving/Texas
Samantha N. S.
Bradley/Nimitz
Since the student was unable to leave the room and there was a police officer present- no matter if he is more like the "school's staff" rather than an actual law enforcement officer- the student should be considered to have been held in custody. With that in mind, and the fact that he was (unknowingly) in danger of possibly violating state law and receiving jail time, N.C. should have been read his Miranda Rights- especially at the point of arrest. Whether someone should be tried as a juveniles or an adult is depend on the situation/case, and in this case, I believe, N.C. Should be tried as a juvenile.

5/20/2013
Irving/Texas
Zachery
Bradley/Nimitz
N.C. Should have been read his Miranda rights when the schools officer started questioning him because he was in custody with no idea he had a right to not answer their questions in the first place. If he wasn't being held in custody their shouldn't have been an officer there questioning him about the drugs. Having prescription drugs aren't even a threat to public safety, if something did happen at a school that could harm others, then the officer could step in and start doing the questioning. I also agree on the side of the majority because plain and simple its against his rights.

5/20/2013
Irving/Texas
Emily P.
Bradley/Nimitz
What I think someone should do in this particular situation could be different from what I think should be done in a similar situation. In this case, I feel it was serious enough he SHOULD have been read his rights because the officers and administrators knew that if the student answered a certain way, he was likely to have consequences outside of school. It isn't fair to him because he had no reason to suspect he would get criminal consequences instead of only school consequences. If the administrators were worried about other kids at the school, all they needed to do was take the student into questioning and read him his rights FIRST. It wouldn't have taken much more time and he was already separated from the other students so he couldn't cause any more harm at that point. Students shouldn't be treated as adults or differently from adults uniformly, it should depend on the case and how much harm or destruction was involved. I agree with the majority because he didn't know how much trouble he was facing while being questioned and didn't realize the circumstances he was under.

5/20/2013
Irving/Texas
Darian
Bradley/Nimitz
N.C. should had been read his right his Miranda rights. He was in custody when the officer was in the room and he was getting asked questions. If a student violates a school rule a cop isn't needed. But when a student violates a law that's outside of the school rules then a cop is needed. Juveniles should be treated than adults because they are not adults.

5/17/2013
Irving/Texas
Misael
Bradley/Nimitz
N.C. should definately been read his Miranda rights and because of his youth he was totally oblivious to the severity of the punishment he was facing. he had no clue that he was under custody at the moment. He waas in custody because the resource officer was there and was being questioned. Drug related offences is not a public safety a hazard but guns are and should eahc be treated accordingly. As for criminal cases its always been understood that juveniles should not be tried as adults since their mental faculties are not yet fully developed. On this topic i stand with the majority of the Supreme Court justices.

5/16/2013
Aurora/Ohio
Michael C.
Paul Frankmann/Harmon Middle School
When should you be read your Miranda Rights? It is a interesting topic with many answers to it. I personally believe that it depends on the case in which the student is accused/ in trouble of but for the most part it should not be required. For example, when the police or federal government get involved, that's when I would say the person crossed the line a little too far. (ex: threatening to harm others) But if it is something as minor as, change your clothes or you'll be suspended. I don't necessarily think you need you Rights read because you are not being held in custody or bringing anything to the extreme.

5/16/2013
Irving/TX
Gabe
Bradley/Nimitz
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, (or in John Locke's version, protection of property). These are the unalienable rights that a government is responsible for protecting. There are, however, other freedoms that we give up in order to live together in a civilized society. The understanding is that if one can not exercise a freedom if it threatens the life, liberty, or pursuit of happiness of others. So when a suspect has information that is essential to maintaining public safety, that suspect must give up their Miranda rights, (or the right to be read their Miranda rights), so that tranquility can be kept.

5/16/2013
Irving, TX
TJ
Bradley/ Nimitz High School
N.C. should have had his Miranda rights read to him. He was in custody the moment he stepped into the office. Because the officer was there with knowledge that the boy was going to be charged on a state drug laws, therefore his Miranda Rights should have been read. If there was no officer in the room and the boy was only being charged with school conduct then there would have been no need to read him his rights. Any a police officer has to encounter with a students punishment because of federal or state law, then by the rights of the student they should be read their rights. Otherwise there would be no need for them to read the rights if no officer is involved. A principle does not have the same authority as a police officer, therefore, if questioned, the student does not have to answer. N.C. was treated unfairly although the charges were not unfair. If juveniles are going to do the crime then they should be treated equally as if they were an adult committing the same crime.

5/16/2013
Irving/Texas
Cody
Bradley/Nimitz
N.C. should have been read his miranda rights. The principal or officer should have told him he was in custody, and the officer should have then read him his rights. Then the student knows he can be held responsible in both school and criminal law. Everything is fair game, if the student is read his rights, AND he responds that he understands his rights. If N.C. was not read his rights, then he should not have been liable for his words by the officer.

5/15/2013
Aurora/Ohio
Alex
Mr.Frankmann/Harmon
I believe that students should be read Miranda Rights, but not the same Miranda Rights as what adults get. I understand why kids and teenagers would want to have equal rights as adults, but they are not equal to adults. Children's Miranda rights should be allowed to be less responsible for their actions, and be allowed to have their parents or guardians because children are less careful of their actions and are less responsible than adults.

5/14/2013
Irving/Texas
Crystal
Bradley/Nimitz
Students who are being punish beyond the school rules should be read the Miranda rights. It was pretty obvious that these two adults, the assistant principal and officer, knew that this incident is a huge crime for giving drugs to other students. This student, N.C., thought his punishment would be a minor thing. This was unexpected for a student like him or her.

5/13/2013
Irving/Tx
Joshua B
Bradley/Nimitz
Yes I think a student should be given the Miranda warning because since there is police officer in the room then they can't press charges against you if the Miranda warning was not given and they arrest you without giving it because the judge would dismiss it anyway.

5/10/2013
Irving/Texas
Maddie
Bradley/Nimitz
N.C. should have been read his Miranda rights. Since an armed officer was presesnt at the time of questioning, he was in custody. School safety concerns and students' contitutional rights both can be addressed in any instance, you just have to make sure they are both taken care of at the same time and not one before the other. I do not believe that there is a magical age when someone becomes an adult. I believe that there are many 17 year olds that are mature enough to be considered adults. However, since that isn't always the case, they should be treated differently in criminal cases.

5/10/2013
Irving/Texas
Tasia
Bradley/Nimitz
'once someone is pit into custody the should have the right to be read their Miranda rights so they can be informed on the things they can and cannot do and also what their being charged with. In criminal cases Jueniles should be treated a slight bit diffrent from adults because hopefully they juust made a mistake and is going to learn from it. Also the juvenile that broke the law should get a little taste of what he's getting into since he broke the law.

5/10/2013
Irving/Texas
April K.
Bradley/Nimitz
N.C. should have been read his Miranda rights since he was in custody with a police officer when being questioned. It is a right the student has and should be guaranteed by the law, even though he was in school. If students are being questioned to be disciplined by just the school and not by law then no Miranda rights should have to be read. It is not part of the law for students to be given Miranda rights when the student has no threat to be arrested. Juvenilles should be treated the same as adults in criminal cases. When a student is an imminent threat to all the other teachers and staff at the school, I agree with the majority that students can be questioned without being given their Miranda rights at that time. That is what happened to the man who was the Boston bomber suspect.

5/7/2013
Irving/Texas
Samantha S
Bradley/Nimitz
The Miranda rights should be given to any one who is getting arrested at any time. No matter what age group race, or gender they are the Miranda rights need to be told to any one getting arrested, point blank.

5/7/2013
Aurora, ohio
haley
frankmann/harmon
I believe that in every state each child should be read their rights. I believe this because if childern of the world arent read their Miranda rights then they wont know what they are and they wont learn what they ar efor the future and every child of the world should know what they are so they can learn from their mistakes and also to know what their rights are if they get arested.

5/7/2013
Irving/Texas
Helen
Bradley/Nimitz
Anyone facing any type of criminal charge should have their Miranda rights read to them, it doesn't matter if it is in a school or in their home. When a student is taking into an office to face interrogation on a criminal matter than he has the constitutional right to have his rights read to him.

5/7/2013
Aurora, Ohio
Ian
Frankmann/Harmon Middle School
I believe that NC should have been read his rights. If a student is just violating school rules, I do not feel it is necessary to read the Miranda Rights. But as soon as a student violates a law and gets the police or other law enforcement organizations involved, i think that the Miranda Rights definitely should be read to the offender.

5/6/2013
Rudyard, MT
Dono
Mrs.Campbell. NorthStar
Well i think when a student did something really bad like bring a gun or drugs to a school, then they should read the student the Miranda warning. Know i agree with some of the kid from Irving, Texas that the students should of gotten they rights read to them. so Yea.

5/3/2013
Irving/Texas
Giancarlo
Bradley/Nimitz
N.C. should have been read his Miranda rights. He may have been in school, but he is still a citizen and should be read his rights. I do not agree with the "custody" of the school. He was under teacher and principal supervision but that does not apply to being read his Miranda rights. I am glad that he was put in jail. Although under age, this juvenile should still be treated like the adults. Some kids just do not learn and must learn the hard way!

5/3/2013
Irving/Texas
Jessica W.
Bradley/Nimitz
I think N.C. should have been read the Miranda warning. Just because he is not considered an adult does not mean that he should not be read his rights, or treated like an adult. Also, N.C. was in custody because like it says in the article, when your'e in a public school under the care of the teachers and the principle you are considered on custody. safety concerns could be in question due to the fact that this could have affected more than just himself but he should still have been read his rights because even though he is under 18, he is still a citizen. I do believe juveniles should not be treated as severely than adults in criminal cases because they are kids and sometimes do not know better as an adult should.

5/3/2013
Irving/Texas
Delaney
Bradley/Nimitz
N.C. Most definitely should have been read his Miranda rights! Just because he was under the age of twenty-one doesn't mean that he should have had any less access to his available rights than any adult. As for being in custody, when any officer closes a door to a room that is not a public room in order to question someone, they are in custody. Any teenager in their right mind would tell you that when the police are questioning you and you don't know that you can leave or remain silent by the rights listed in the Constitution, that because they are an authority figure that has power over you, you are in custody. Now safety concerns are also important to consider because there may be a lot more at stake besides stepping on someones rights. But, over all juveniles are just as much people as adults are and should not be treated any differently than adults in criminal cases.

5/2/2013
Irving/Texas
Leslie
Bradley /Nimitz
Many of the students do not know that students could have had the Miranda rights read to them. And so in N.C. Case, the officer should have had read the Miranda rights before questioning. Many people know that school is a place were some of students rights are protected in other to bring safety to students. But having to research over the case of questioning students when they have done something wrong. The best way is to read the Miranda rights because by that age of teens students know whats right from wrong but they are just people that do not listen to the consequences. And so the Miranda rights should be read to any students that gets in trouble. Because everyone should be treated equal with same rights that will protect the human. The only difference will be the punishment, students that are under age they will be taken to juvenile or other punishments instead of being taken to adult jail. So depending on the trouble the consequences will vary but the same rights of being questioned (Miranda rights) should be taken in place.

5/2/2013
Irving/Texas
Wesley
Bradley/Nimitz
If the student had had the option to leave the office, then he could be considered to not be in custody. Even though there is no evidence to suggest that the student had actually been arrested, the presence of the armed officer in the room is an immediate indicator that the student's offense superseded mere school discipline. Thus, it is hard to assume that the student could have just got up and left, leaving us with the understanding that he was in fact in custody. This realization is where this case should have stopped. Now that the student is in fact in custody as a result of his illegal behavior, the next steps taken should have mirrored normal procedure: arresting the criminal, reading them their rights, taking them down to the police station, etc. For some reason, since the setting is not in a police station and is instead in a school, the normal procedures were side-stepped. The student was not read his rights and as a result, fell under self-indictment. When a student breaks a school rule, there is no reason to read the student his rights. School rules, although constitutionally sound, do not follow the same legal measures as our judicial system. But, when a student breaks a law while at school, the discipline measures are now in the hands of the local police. In this case, the student legally has to be read his rights. Juveniles and adults are both citizens and are both succumbed to the same rights provided by our Constitution. There should be no reason why a student who has allegedly broken a law should be denied the simple right of knowing his rights. Informing students of this reality in no way enlarges their rights. It only makes them aware. Thus, I agree with the majority.

5/2/2013
Benson/AZ
Rhiannon
Sorensen/ Benson
I believe the student should been read their Miranda Rights. What is different between a student and an adult in that they don't have the same rights? Except for the fact they might not be 18.

5/2/2013
Irving/Texas
April S.
Bradley/Nimitz
N.C. should have been read his Miranda Rights. If there is an officer in the room at the time of a questioning, then the rights need to be read to the student. The Fathers of the Constitution were not concerned with school safety when they wrote the Constitution. It is more of an interest to protect ourselves than it is to protect others. School safety is important, but they still need to keep in mind the Constitutional Rights of the person that is making the school unsafe. Juveniles shouldn't be treated differently for the same crime as an adult would commit. Even juveniles know right from wrong without having someone to watch over their shoulders all the time. The dissenting opinion is most logical. It is unfair to say that students are in custody every time they walk into school. School is a learning facility, not a prison.

5/2/2013
Irving/Texas
Timothy Betts
Bradley/Nimitz
There are certain things that we as citizens of the United States of America hold dear: we call them rights. No matter what we do, no matter what heinous crime or infraction or other violation of law, we still have the rights that are--on principle--read to those who are being arrested or held in custody. As to the question of whether the student N.C. should have been read his rights: yes. As is stated in the article, the assistant principle was questioning the student in the presence of a school officer. Due to the officer’s presence in the room at the time the Principal was questioning him, N.C. ought to have had his Miranda rights read to him—else the evidence revealed in the questioning (even though it was only for school purposes) must be suppressed. The truth remains that, even if our rights are not read to us, we still have them. Bill Cunningham, in a dissenting opinion wrote that he was concerned of the balance between constitutional rights and school safety. This point is irrelevant. Constitutional rights and school safety are not in this case—and never ought to be considered—in conflict. The Miranda rights in question are read to inform one of the rights they possess and to protect them from violation of those rights by officers caught up in trying to uphold the law at all costs. Finally, should we treat juveniles differently from adults in the criminal justice system? I think that the wording of the question itself shows that, yes, we should. The reason that we have, in the first place, differentiated form juveniles and adults is evidence that we have to treat juveniles with more leniency because it is inhumane to take away twenty or thirty or forty years from a person who made a mistake in their teens. It is obvious that we have to treat adults and juveniles differently so as to ensure the legitimacy of our justice system and to better protect the citizens from cruel and unusual punishment.

5/2/2013
Irving, TX
Emina
Bradley/Nimitz
Every situation is different and North Carolina overreacted in this situation. If the deputy was going to question and have the student in custody, then they should have read the Miranda Rights to the student. The student wasn't aware that this was even taking place and that isn't fair. Technically he was not in custody while being questioned. The student has a right to have medication with him as long as it was a prescription from the doctors. I don't believe students should be treated differently from adults and that's why they should have told the student he was in custody. Since he is a juvenile, his parents should have also been in the room at the time. He should be punished for distributing the medication to another student but then again he is going to be punished based on the penalty for that made by North Carolina and that has nothing to do with the school. The principal shouldn't be questioning and having kids in custody in a school office if it's a criminal offense in the first place and he should have let the police deal with it and let them read the Miranda Rights to the student.

4/30/2013
Aurora/Ohio
Amairani
Harmon Middle School
Yes I do believe that the officer(s) should have read the rights to NC. In my mind if you are going to arrest a student like an adult why should students be treated differently? Yes, I do think NC was in custody at the time of the questioning and when he pleaded guilty. My opinion I think that the school should first question their students, this way the school decides if it is a greater issue that they would need police officers involved. Obviously if it were to be taken to the police then the student would have more consequences from violating school safety concerns, plus the consequences in which the student has violated the law. No, I do not think that students/juveniles should be treated differently from adults in criminal cases.

4/29/2013
Aurora
Christina
Harmon Middle School
I believe the student should be read their Miranda Rights. What makes the situation so different? In questioning a suspect, an officer is required to read their Miranda Rights prior to questioning them. If a student commits some felony in any way and they are to be questioned, they should be well aware and read their rights.

4/27/2013
Columbus, Ohio
Erik
North High
I agree with the majority. Cunningham makes no sense. Mirandizing a student does not "enlarge" his rights. It simply makes the student AWARE of his rights. And students are not "in state custody" in the miranda sense just because they are at school. The key question is whether the student feels free to leave within the school environment (like go back to class).

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