LORDSTOWN - Brendan Husk said the Constitution Day observance at Lordstown High School on Friday gave him a new perspective on the importance of balancing public safety and an individual's rights.
"I can see it wouldn't always be easy," the 17-year-old senior said. "But it's important to think about and consider."
Husk was among the 10th-grade history and 12th-grade government students at Lordstown to participate in Constitution Day, which commemorates the signing of the U.S. Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787.
William Danso of the Trumbull County Prosecutorás Office and Lordstown High School senior Brendan Hu
William Danso from the Trumbull County Prosecutor's Office held discussions with students throughout the day, addressing several issues such as the right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure, freedom of speech, random drug tests and the USA PATRIOT Act.
Much of Danso's presentation focused on the "criminal side of things" regarding the Constitution because that's what his office often deals with.
"Search and seizure, for example, is something that could affect anybody," he told the students. "At the prosecutor's office we have to be careful ... we have to make sure those rights aren't violated because if they are, then the evidence that could be used at trial could be thrown out because it was obtained illegally."
He pointed out citizens have the right to refuse to allow a police officer to search their vehicles unless extenuating circumstances exist. However, because a school locker is considered the property of the school district, school officials have the right to search them. Still, school officials are not permitted to strip-search students unless educators believe there is a serious risk to others, he added.
He advised students that his presentation was "not a course on how to do bad things and get away with them."
"But it's about knowing your rights, and the rights of others, and making sure we all guard against infringing upon them," Danso said.
He said as students turn 18 they have to start dealing with adult court and adult issues, which can vary greatly from juvenile court and juvenile issue.
"It gives you a lot to think about," said Kyle Johnson, 17, a senior. "There are a lot of issues, a lot to consider. It's good to know that."