Miranda Warning for Students Required

The New Mexico Supreme Court has ruled that students called to the principal’s or dean’s office with the possibility of  arrest must be given his/her Miranda rights. The court also said that the mere presence of a uniformed deputy or School Resource Officer (SRO) does not preclude the student’s rights. The court distinguished between questioning by a school official for discipline and questioning by a law enforcement official empowered to bring criminal charges.

The court’s ruling said that a child’s statement cannot be used “if the confession was elicited in the presence of a law enforcement officer or a school official  acting as an agent of law enforcement’ without advising the youth of his or her rights and there is a “knowing, intelligent and voluntary waiver.”

This ruling, if affirmed and used, in other states has a wide impact on school policy.