Is Haskell Indian Nations University Breaking The Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution?
With all of the talk from Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn about making Haskell Indian Nations University a "premier university", we can’t help but wonder why the school would possibly be stuck in the days of when it was a boarding school and continue with room checks?
Rooms checks at Haskell are done by housing personnel to see if students are keeping their rooms clean, if not the chance exist that they can lose housing and in the case of many Haskell students that would mean going home and not finishing school. With a nine percent graduation rate can Haskell really afford this?
Student rooms are checked for cleanliness and to see if the bed is made. These checks are done when most students are in classes. If a student is running late that day should they worry about making their bed or getting to class? Who wants someone in their living quarters when they are not there?
Is it really legal for dorm staff to be entering these rooms to see if a room is clean? These are not safety checks done by the safety officer and her staff, these are cleanliness checks. They are done once a week every week that school is in session.
They better be looking into this before some Haskell student wises up and sues the school over it.
Here is what the United States Constitution and FEDERAL LAWS HAVE TO SAY ABOUT IT:
“Virtually all room searches at public institutions are governed by the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, made applicable to the states by the Fourteenth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment protects “[t]he right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures,” and provides that no search warrants shall issue “but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” To be “reasonable” and thus lawful under the Fourth Amendment, a search must normally be conducted pursuant to a search warrant supported by probable cause. Conducting a search in violation of a student’s Fourth Amendment rights can render public university employees, and potentially the university itself, liable for damages under 42 U.S.C. § 1983. In addition, any evidence of criminal activity obtained in the search likely will be suppressed in ensuing criminal proceedings, and any subsequent investigation of criminal activity may be tainted as “fruit of the poisonous tree. Public institutions also may be subject to a state constitution’s analogous “search and seizure” provisions. These state constitutional provisions sometimes provide even greater protections against warrantless searches and seizures than does the Fourth Amendment. Courts will not uphold provisions in housing agreements that require a student to broadly waive all of his or her Fourth Amendment rights as a condition of campus housing”.
You would expect a Mormon man (Larry Echohawk) to keep his word, so far no changes, only tears. The same people who lost Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute by The North Central Higher Learning Commission are still in charge of Haskell.
Mr. Echohawk is an attorney having come from The “Y” BYU to The BIA.
Maybe ….he can at least get what appears to be, illegal room checks at Haskell stopped?
haskellnews commentary September 29, 2010
Since Haskell Indian Nations University is a federal school ran by The Bureau of Indian Education, we wonder, are they following federal policy ?
Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn and her posse ( the usual suspects, Dan Wildcat, Venida Chenault, Stan Holder, Chris Redman and assorted minions ( all of whom can travel on Haskell’s program dime) were at Haskell this past week trying to figure out how Haskell could “Give Back” the “Great Outdoors”. Say, shouldn’t that be “take back?” Maybe the activist VCEM and her think tank group in American Indians Studies should read Cobell v. Salazar ( www.CobellSettlement.com ).
If they want to work on something they should meet and to figure out how to keep Haskell’s accreditation since Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute just lost theirs with these folks at the helm. Or maybe figure out what those graduation rates, or lack of, are telling them. Maybe they could figure out that the more unqualified folks you hire? without advertising? the worse that place will get…We know, let’s work on a code of ethics for the Board of Regents, who wouldn’t meet and vote on it anyway.
Or maybe they should be figuring out what to do about the fact that someone in personnel might be recommending George Tiger’s ( for more on George Tiger google: thevoicesofcourage/georgetiger) unqualified friends for jobs?…..or maybe they should figure out how many people are going to get really hurt in those cells they call dorm rooms before the Bureau of Indian Education / Bureau of Indian Affairs gets sued out of existence? Actually, now that we think of it, the faction running Haskell right now has been unable to figure out anything productive to help the school.
What about housing? whoever, is currently in charge of Haskell ( if such a person exists)? needs to check and see if their federal employees ( specifically supervisors) are following federal guidelines? Which state: Federal employees may not solicit a contribution from another employee for a gift to either his own or the other employee's official superior. (b) Or solicit Gifts ( maybe borrowing money or asking for rides )? from employees receiving less pay. ( Link: ecfr.gpoaccess.gov). This could not be happening on the Haskell campus...could it???
With a nine percent graduation rate one might be inclined to think the employees at Haskell should in every way be towing the line right now, which should include following federal policy for their own school.
Thanks Keith Moore and Larry Echohawk for “looking into the situation” at Haskell Indian Nations University.
haskellnews commentary Sept 27, 2010.
With no real leadership at the school, Haskell Indian Nations University in Lawrence, Kansas has had eleven arrests in 4 1/2 weeks.
Haskell has an approximate enrollment of 950 students this semester.
Not a wonder Haskell has one of the lowest graduation rates in the country, at 9 percent. Those details were released in Washington Monthly’s list of 50 four-year public and private not-for-profit colleges with low graduation rates.
Is Haskell doomed to follow in the steps of its, sister college, Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico, who lost accreditation by The Higher Learning Commission in July 2010?
Someone needs to be posing these questions to Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn, Deputy Director for Policy, Evaluations and Post-Secondary Education for The Bureau of Indian Education.
1. Booking#: 10-4344 Date/Time: 2010-09-16 15:10 CHRINumber: 68045
Name#: Name removed.
11/12/1986 Address: 155 INDIAN AVE; ROE CLOUD; RM 129B , Lawrence , 66044
2. Booking#: 10-4217 Date/Time: 2010-09-08 13:45 CHRINumber: 67994
Name#: Name removed. 163255 Name: DOB: 11/26/1988 Address: 155 INDIAN AVE; ROE CLOUD HALL; RM 313 , Lawrence , 66046
3. Booking#: 10-4154 Date/Time: 2010-09-04 03:17 CHRINumber: 67967
Name#: Name removed. 163408 Name: DOB: 11/29/1991 Address: 155 INDIAN AVE; ROE CLOUD HALL; RM 213 , Lawrence , 66047
4.Booking#: 10-4133 Date/Time: 2010-09-03 05:35 CHRINumber: 67958
Name#: Name removed. 163390 Name: DOB: 03/30/1992 Address: 155 INDIAN AVE; ROE CLOUD; RM 1033 , Lawrence , 66044
5. Booking#: 10-4113 Date/Time: 2010-09-02 04:06 CHRINumber: 67947
Name#: Name removed. 163377 Name: DOB: 01/01/1990 Address: 155 INDIAN AV; OK HALL; RM 2021 , Lawrence , 66046
6.Booking#: 10-4034 Date/Time: 2010-09-01 12:30 CHRINumber: 61236
Name#: Name removed. 151241 Name: DOB: 04/12/1991 Address: 155 INDIAN AVE; RM 2 , Lawrence , 66046
7.Booking#: 10-4082 Date/Time: 2010-08-31 05:34 CHRINumber: 63523
Name#: Name removed. 153724 Name: DOB: 09/29/1978 Address: 155 INDIAN AVE; OK HALL RM 1095 , Lawrence , 66046
8.Booking#: 10-4050 Date/Time: 2010-08-29 02:03 CHRINumber: 67922
Name#: Name removed. 162782 Name: DOB: 11/18/1990 Address: 155 INDIAN AVE; BLALOCK HALL , Lawrence , 66046
9. Booking#: 10-4034 Date/Time: 2010-08-28 06:45 CHRINumber: 61236
Name#: Name removed. 151241 Name: DOB: 04/12/1991 Address: 155 INDIAN AVE; RM 2 , Lawrence , 66046
10. Booking#: 10-3858 Date/Time: 2010-08-20 10:05 CHRINumber: 66887
Name#: Name removed. 160544 Name: DOB: 09/25/1985 Address: 155 INDIAN AVE BLAYLOCK #110 , Lawrence , 66046
11. Booking#: 10-3854 Date/Time: 2010-08-20 03:04 CHRINumber: 67843
Name#: Name removed. 163147 Name: DOB: 10/29/1988 Address: 155 INDIAN AVE; RM 476 , Lawrence , 66047
haskellnews commentary Sept 22, 2010.
*haskellnews commentary removed the names of the students who were arrested and because of space issues, shorten the arrest reports, which may be read in full on the Douglas County 's Kansas Sheriff's department's site.
It started with the detailing out of Haskell’s School President, Dr. Linda Sue Warner, almost a year ago and has continued on a slow, but, steady downcline every since.
We are speaking of leadership at the school.
First, one of the best, brightest and most distinguished presidents that Haskell has ever had, Dr.Linda Sue Warner, a women who holds a Ph.D from Penn State, was accepted in Harvard and has spent her entire life helping to educate Native Americans, was detailed out of the school, by Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn.
Birdwell-Bighorn, a much lesser educated Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) (holds only a master’s in social work) employee, with no experience in the field of education, oversees all of the BIE schools (recent articles are proving that the BIE runs one of the most distressed school systems in the United States). Apparently experience in education is not needed, if one is only going to educate Native Americans. Can you name another United States school system that would tolerate this?
We are slowly watching Haskell lose its leadership. The latest casualty in the Haskell leadership fiasco is Deborah Thompson. Ms. Thompson is Haskell’s Safety Officer and one of the heads of its Facilities Department, she is also one of Haskell’s crème de la crème employees. Often working early mornings into late nights. Any threat of bad weather or danger at the school brings her running. Not to mention the millions of dollars that she has bought into the school through all of the grants, she has written. Her departure in October will be irrecoverable for Haskell.
As has been the lose of the following Haskell employees: Dr. Ted Wright (who admits that employees bullied him right off of the Haskell campus), Dr. Russell Blackbird (who also admits being bullied off of the school’s campus), Coach Ted Juneau (a wonderful man ,who is as much loved and admired by the Lawrence community ,as he was at Haskell), again, you have Stephanie Birdwell-Bighorn who oversaw Coach Juneau’s demise as well as the others.
One of the issues that the Higher Learning Commission quoted on Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute lost of accreditation, was, the turn over and lack of leadership at the school.
Apparently, it is not looking too good for Haskell either, with the lose of at least five of its key leaders in less then a year.
haskellnews commentary, Sept 14,2010.
WHITE EARTH, Minn. — The Bureau of Indian Affairs came in for some heavy criticism here Saturday at a rare oversight field hearing of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee attended by U.S. Sens. Al Franken of Minnesota and Byron Dorgan of North Dakota.
A new $16 million school to replace the Circle of Life School in White Earth village is now under construction, and has been in the planning stages since it made the list of schools to be repaired or replaced in 2006.
Vizenor said the process was slowed by the turtle’s pace at which the BIA answers email inquiries from tribes. One question took two months to answer. Others were never answered at all. All email inquires go to the bottom of a list at the BIA and are supposed to be answered within 21 days, but often aren’t.
Senator Dorgan said he has seen Indian schools that have no working fire alarms, or — like the current Circle of Life School — that have been functioning for years in spite of being condemned.
“Somebody’s got to be blowing the whistle here and saying something’s not right — do we have to wait until kids die in a fire? The current system puts kids at risk,” Dorgan said.
In exchange for Indian lands given up in treaties, the federal government agreed to provide for the health, education and welfare of Indian people “in perpetuity,” Senator Franken said. “We haven’t been keeping our end of the deal.” For full story go to: www.dglobe.com/event/article/id/40721/group/homepage
haskellnews commentary 9/13/2010
By CHRISTINE ARMARIO Associated Press Writer June 30, 2010 (AP)
Native American students at Bureau of Indian Education schools perform worse in reading, math.
Those in public schools, and particularly those in schools where Native American students represent less than 25 percent of the population, consistently scored higher than their peers who attend schools heavily populated by Native Americans. The most stark contrast was seen among those who attend Bureau of Indian Education schools, which were created to provide quality education to Native Americans.
"If I could pinpoint it, I could bottle it and sell it and solve the problem," said Bart Stevens, deputy director of school operations for the Bureau of Indian Education. "It's one that we keep plugging at, and a lot of things that impact our students are not necessarily within our control, as with any school system."
For full story:
Link: abcnews.go.com/US math, reading gap among native
haskellnews commentary Sept 12, 2010.
The Higher Commission sites Lack Of Leadership At Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute.
In a letter to Dr. Sherry Allison, president of Southwestern Indian Polytechnic Institute ( SIPI). The Higher Learning Commission sites several factors that contributed to SIPI’s lost of accreditation including, but not limited to: “The college has had four presidents and four interim presidents in the past ten years, which is a pattern of turnover that has failed to provide stable, long term leadership for the college”.
In Larry Echohawk’s response he states” Sipi failed to meet the first four of five criteria the commission uses for all post secondary institutions”.
Read the full The Higher Learning Commission Letter, and Larry Echohawk’s letter to the tribes at: Link: www.bia.gov
Echo Hawk Addresses SIPI's Change in Accreditation Status.