Neely, J. Dissenting - Opinion, Case No.21254 State of West Virginia ex rel. Cathy Galford v. Mark Anthony B. & Bonnie L.B.

NO. 21254     --    STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA EX REL. CATHY GALFORD v. MARK ANTHONY B., A JUVENILE, AND BONNIE L. B., HIS MOTHER

Neely, J., dissenting:

        Based on the precedent so ably set forth by the majority, I dissent. Indeed, had the appellant been suspected of stealing an elephant, searching his underwear would have been "unreasonable." But where else would a guilty child hide $100? I suppose that he could have taped the hundred dollar bill to his forehead on the theory that the best place to hide things is in plain view, and, of course, he could have placed it in his desk where a less intrusive search would have easily uncovered it.

        However, nine out of ten experienced thieves believe that the best place to hide something is where it is unlikely to be discovered. If any search is justified, then a search reasonably calculated to discover hidden contraband is justified. Children are not adults. Schools stand in loco parentis and are entitled to do anything that a parent could do under similar circumstances to protect the health, safety and morals of a child and to maintain the proper functioning of the school. If we wonder why our schools are going to hell in a handbasket, it's probably because of decisions like this one.