News

‘No expectation of privacy’ for Bonner Springs teacher who undressed in classroom

A former Bonner Springs High School teacher sued after learning hidden cameras had been installed in his classroom. A judge dismissed his lawsuit.
A former Bonner Springs High School teacher sued after learning hidden cameras had been installed in his classroom. A judge dismissed his lawsuit.

A former teacher at Bonner Springs High School who sued the school district for installing a hidden video camera in the classroom where he sometimes changed his clothes learned a tough truth this month.

There’s no expectation of privacy in a public school classroom.

A United States district judge dismissed science teacher Rob Marriot’s lawsuit earlier this month after attorneys representing the Bonner Springs-Edwardsville school district argued that Marriott had not established a legitimate claim to privacy in his classroom.

The dismissal also means that four administrators named in the lawsuit are not liable for Marriott’s claim.

In his lawsuit, Marriott maintained that the district operated the secret video cameras from 2009 through the 2015 school year and that he learned he had been filmed in 2016 after taking another job.

The suit was first filed in Wyandotte County District Court, and then moved to federal court at the requests of the school district’s attorneys in January.

Marriott, who was also a track and cross country coach at Bonner Springs High School, said he would lock his classroom and change clothes before coaching. He also let his wife, another student and other school coaches change clothes in the room.

He also alleged that a visiting boys and girls basketball team used the classroom as a locker room during a tournament at the school.

Marriott said he and other teachers who used his classroom had an expectation of privacy, and should have known about the installation of the cameras.

But attorneys for the school district, and ultimately the judge, felt that Marriott failed to establish that his constitutional rights were violated by the filming, particularly because he did not have exclusive use of his classroom.

“Plantiffs had no reasonable expectation of privacy in the place they chose to undress — the public school classroom,” a motion to dismiss the lawsuit said.

Earlier this year, the current school district superintendent, Dan Brungardt, who was not named in the lawsuit, released a written statement saying that in his time as superintendent “no district cameras have been installed in classrooms for surveillance purposes.”

Katy Bergen: 816-234-4120, @KatyBergen

  Comments