Students who pack their backpacks to head off to colleges and universities carry with them a bundle of legal rights – more than their younger brothers and sisters have in high schools or elementary schools, the National Constitution Center reports. If they go to state-supported institutions, they very likely will have more rights than those who go to private schools. But not all of the rights students have come from the Constitution, and not all of them can be enforced by the individual students themselves. For generations, the nation’s courts have been busy defining college students’ rights to free speech, to the free exercise of their religious faith, and to personal privacy for themselves and their belongings. Those rights do emerge in the Constitution – the First and Fourth Amendments, specifically. But they are enforceable for students at state institutions, since those campuses are the ones directly bound by the Constitution. More importantly, perhaps, those rights and not absolute: the administrators of colleges, and state and local police, retain a good deal of authority to maintain order and to ensure student safety, whether or not the campus is a part of a state system or is private…

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eCampus News staff and wire reports


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