Ashtabula County Technical School in Jefferson, Ohio called police due to Jordan Wiser, an emergency medical technician in training, having a three inch blade concealed in his vehicle. He is considering a lawsuit against the school.
Charged with “illegal conveyance of a weapon onto a school ground”, Mr. Wiser served a total of thirteen days in a county jail and was then released. The school claims to have seen a post Wiser had posted online claiming that he does in fact possess a knife that would go against the zero tolerance policy the school has in place. School officials then proceeded to go to Wiser’s car, search it and eventually call local authorities for possession of the weapon on school grounds. He was also removed from the school and must take special online courses to ensure his graduation.
School officials claim he gave full consent to the search.They also claim they had the proper authority to search his car based on probable cause regardless of consent to search. The zero tolerance policy employed by the Ohio school claims authority to search any student or their property with probable cause. It was outlined in the student manual for proper behavior on school grounds. Expulsion is part of the following proceedings after the rule has been broken.
The Ohio school was not granted permission according to Wiser to search his vehicle or his person until he had legal representation present. The Ohio school arrested him even though the knife was tucked inside of his EMT first responder vest to be used in car accidents where the victim is stuck n the seat by a seatbelt. The native Ohio student not only lost his place in school, but he was removed from the Army’s Future Soldier Training System program due to the criminal charge. His court date is set for April first. He hopes the case will clear him of all charges in order to follow his aspiration to join the US army.
His consideration of a lawsuit against his Ohio school is not warrantless unlike their search of his car and belongings. If it holds true that he had called for legal representation, the school can not legally search his car without his permission first or a warrant for search was issued by a court. A posting online does not serve as probable cause for breaking national law as stated by the fourth amendment of the constitution. There is no real way of knowing the origin of the post and finding any evidence to support their claim is unlawful due to their method of acquisition of said evidence.
Schools across America have been forcing students to leave their rights at the door for some sort of greater safety. Freedom of expression has been threatened as some children are suspended for even playing imaginary games involving guns or bows. Miniature plastic toy guns are also considered a threat to students and staff. The Ohio school arresting an EMT in training for a small knife needed for his job is criminal and will probably end in favor of the defendant.
Opinion by Andy Diaz