Rob Marriott was a teacher at Bonner Springs High School in Kansas. In 2016 he found out that he had been spied upon seven years earlier. It turns out that the superintendent and the director of secondary instruction had secretly installed surveillance video in Marriott’s classroom.
They did not do this to keep an eye on Mr. Marriott. It turns out that the superintendent’s son and the director’s daughter were both in Mr. Marriott’s classroom. The administrators were not spying on the teacher—they were spying on their own kids.
Mr. Marriott liked to change clothes in his classroom after school. Moreover, his wife and their son often joined him there. The three of them would change clothes in what they thought was the privacy of the classroom, after school. They shut the door and locked it to ensure their privacy. You can imagine the shock they felt when they discovered, seven years later, that it was all caught on tape. Boxers or briefs? The superintendent now knows!
They sued the district and the administrators, alleging an invasion of privacy.
No dice. The court held that a person does not have a “reasonable expectation of privacy” in a public school classroom—even after hours with the door locked. Furthermore, the two school administrators were entitled to qualified immunity because the right to privacy, even assuming it existed in this situation, was not “clearly established.”
The Dawg does not recommend secretly taping a classroom, regardless of the reason. We wonder how the two kids felt about this, and how it all played out in the families. Alas, all of that will have to come out in the made-for-TV movie.
The case is Marriott v. USD 204, Bonner Springs-Edwardsville. It was decided by the U.S. District Court for Kansas on September 8, 2017. We found it at 2017 WL 3970776.
DAWG BONE: NEED TO CHANGE CLOTHES? GO TO THE BATHROOM!
Tomorrow: Toolbox Tuesday!!