** Update: this bill was amended to instead create a task force to study the issue of students' privacy on their personal electronic devices in school. **

The U.S. Supreme Court has found that before searching a student, a school official needs "reasonable suspicion," a specific, articulable reason to believe the student has broken a law or school rule. Yet many Connecticut schools do not abide by these privacy principles when it comes to electronic devices. Connecticut must keep up with technology and Constitutional jurisprudence by enacting legislation to make it clear that the U.S. Supreme Court's guidance applies to students' personal electronic devices. This bill would protect students' privacy rights by preventing school administrators from going on fishing expeditions in students' personal electronic devices. H.B. 5170 prohibits unlawful searches of students' electronic devices, which helps to protect students' constitutional rights, and the ACLU-CT believes it could be improved with amendments to further protect these rights. 


Passed both chambers



Bill number

H.B. 5170

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