A Nevada honor roll student has filed a lawsuit after an anonymous gun reporting hotline was abused to subject him to searches and harassment. Reno High School junior Lucas Gorelick, 16, declares that students are utilizing SafeVoice, a Department of Education threat reporting line, to file false reports about him– which prompts school authorities to search and “harass” him.
The claim, submitted in the U.S. District Court in Reno, alleges that school authorities have broken his constitutional rights to equal security and freedom from unreasonable search and seizure.
“I’m a student, not a threat,” Gorelick told The Associated Press. “I have rights. I want people to know what is happening, and I want to ensure safety for all future students.”
Gorelick says that his backpack and pickup were searched five times, and no weapons were ever discovered.
Two days after the suit was filed, District Court Chief Judge Miranda Du denied approving Gorelick an injunction to stop the searches.
The Reno Gazette Journal reports that in her judgment, which came simply after the primary school shooting in Texas, Du said the district needs to not stop the searches even if they had proven incorrect in previous reports.
“In the world we live in today, it is no longer unimaginable,” Du said.
The teenager declares that he has been targeted by bullies due to his “Jewish heritage, his work with Democratic celebration prospects and his school achievements,” according to the report. He is an active member of Students Need Action, a national group intending to end gun violence in schools.
The trainee’s daddy, Jeff Gorelick, compared the incorrect reports to whacking while speaking to local station KXXV.
The daddy stated that taking the word of confidential calls “provides people free rein to do abusive things to other people.”
“If the purpose is to provide safe schools, which I think was the intended purpose, having a little bit of control on abuse would have been a good idea.”
The station noted, “the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in 1985 in a case from New Jersey that school officials need only ‘reasonable suspicion’ that a student has violated the law or school rules to initiate a search. The Fourth Amendment requires ‘probable cause’ or a warrant.”
The lawsuit will continue, though Gorelick is graduating next month– a year early.
A spokesperson from the Department of Education told the Associated Press that false reports on SafeVoice can trigger a law enforcement investigation and eliminate the reporter’s anonymity. They have not commented if this has actually held true with the reports about Gorelick.
“If a person is found to be abusing the system that person may no longer be anonymous and there are potential consequences,” the department spokesperson asserted.
In a statement to the RGJ, the school district stated that “any reports of any student carrying a deadly weapon on campus must be taken very seriously. Not only should information concerning the safety of our students be investigated, Nevada law requires it.”