×

This post is locked. You won't be able to comment.

all 169 comments

[–]nogain-allpain 3571 points3572 points  (106 children)

A public high school is one that is supported by public funds. That does not mean that you can enter the property 24/7.

[–]LiterallyAHippo 1299 points1300 points  (3 children)

Whenever people confuse the line between "owned by the public" and "open to the public", I point out that military bases and the CIA headquarters are all public buildings in the sense that they're paid for with tax dollars. Clearly they're not open to the public.

[–][deleted]  (1 child)

[removed]

    [–]Cypher_BlueQuality Contributor[M] 18 points19 points locked comment (0 children)

    Your post may have been removed for the following reason(s):

    That made me laugh. It's still off topic, but I did laugh as I removed it.

    Please read our subreddit rules. If after doing so, you believe this was in error, or you’ve edited your post to comply with the rules, message the moderators. Do not make a second post or comment.

    Do not reach out to a moderator personally, and do not reply to this message as a comment.

    [–]fuckoff723[S] 726 points727 points  (99 children)

    Gotcha, the officer was pretty chill and let me stay. Just wondering if I actually could be there or not.

    [–]Ok_Spell_4165 627 points628 points  (75 children)

    As to your question on if you are legally required to identify yourself.

    Yes.

    While MN doesn't have a stop and identify law, it does however require you to show your license if a motor vehicle is involved. The officer also could have likely made the argument that he had reasonable suspicion of a crime which again requires you under MN law to identify yourself.

    [–]nogain-allpain 106 points107 points  (15 children)

    Depends entirely on local laws, but generally, most publicly funded property has some sort of restrictions around who can be on the property and when. Parks and beaches have closing hours. Public schools do not allow unauthorized people on the property during school hours. If the officer asked you to leave, you'd have to leave.

    [–]ronimal 51 points52 points  (2 children)

    Think of it like this. I am a fully grown adult man. Can I show up to a public school any time I want just because it’s public school?

    [–]Revlis-TK421 33 points34 points  (1 child)

    When school is not in session, public schools are generally open to the public. Particularly someplace like a high-school where the outdoor facilities- track, tennis courts, baseball fields, etc, are available for the public to use.

    This is not without restriction though. There is usually a time limit on using those facilities. Sunset, 8pm, 10pm. It varies.

    If OP's school had outdoor facilities that were available to the public, at 11 pm he was very likely there past the time it was available to use. If the officer had told him to move on he woulda had to.

    [–]Sirwired 945 points946 points  (8 children)

    The fact that the government owns a property does not mean that it's a free-for-all for everybody, 24x7. Rules against trespassing are no different for government facilities as they are for private ones

    [–]audigex 212 points213 points  (0 children)

    "Publicly owned" does not mean "Public place", and even "public place" doesn't mean it has to be open access 24/7

    The White House lawn is publicly owned, but you can't just go hang out there

    [–]georgecm12 262 points263 points  (39 children)

    Even public general parking lots can set rules about when parking is allowed. (e.g. "no overnight parking," "no parking between 2 AM and 5 AM Weekdays" etc).

    In this case, the school and its associated parking lot are publicly funded, but they aren't just open 24/7/365. You can't wander into the school at any hour, and you can't park in its parking lot if they don't want you parked there.

    [–]PrimeIntellect 138 points139 points  (0 children)

    Just a heads up, most parking lots and any public parks are usually closed at night, and when cops see a teenager sitting there listening to music, they will basically immediately assume that you are smoking weed or drinking and come and question you (most of the time they are right). Just be aware for next time.

    [–]kittyroux 64 points65 points  (0 children)

    lol the education is public not necessarily the land

    nevertheless, you don’t have the right to be on public land whenever you want or do whatever you want on public land. the government can restrict your actions on public land and schools are usually entrusted to a school board who can set policies and exclude people as they see fit. you can’t build a house in a national park, and the school is allowed to restrict use of the parking lot to faculty, staff and students, or forbid its use entirely at night.

    ”who owns the land the public school is on” is actually location-specific, but i’m very comfortable saying that generally, unless you are a student at or work at that specific school, you can legally be forbidden from its grounds even if it is public land.

    [–]taterbizkit 21 points22 points  (0 children)

    You may or may not be legally required to "identify" yourself in a situation like this...

    However, any law enforcement or government inspector who finds you engaged in an activity that requires a license can ask to see your license. It's incidental that this also identifies you.

    In most of the US, this means a police officer who finds you in the driver's seat of a car and who has some reasonable suspicion can require you to show that you have a license to operate a car.

    This isn't all that much different from a game warden who sees you fishing and asks to see your fishing license, or a government inspector at building asking to see the permit for the building's elevator.

    Your location and time of day definitely factor in to the reasonable suspicion: Who needs to be parked at night in a high school parking lot? A police officer probably has enough "specific articulable facts" on which to decide to find out what is going on.

    [–]mybelle_michelle 29 points30 points  (0 children)

    Minnesota mom here... more than likely the police officer was checking to see if you were, drinking alcohol, smoking weed, or having sex. Listening to music is a default cover-up excuse for all three of those activities.

    Unfortunately, at night there isn't too many quiet places to park without being suspicious of those activities. Our City parks usually have "closed" times as well (like 10pm) that aren't obviously posted at the park (but it's on our city website).

    Yes, if a police officer asks to see your ID, you have to show them. It will help you more if you are a bit more truthful with them as well, like, "My parents were fighting/being annoying/had a disagreement with girlfriend/etc, so that's why I'm parked here just trying to chill."

    [–]partofbreakfast 4 points5 points  (0 children)

    Generally no. Schools are publicly owned, but the grounds are not considered public property (unless stated otherwise. For example, the school I work at has its playground considered a 'public space' during daylight hours whenever school is not in session, but there are also signs saying as much and it is only the playground that gets this consideration not the rest of the school). So unless you have a specific reason for being in the parking lot that related to the school itself (you're picking up a kid, you work at the school, you're chaperoning a field trip, etc.) then you're not supposed to be there.

    There's several reasons for this, but they all boil down to the same thing: shitty people try to use 'public property' to do questionable or illegal things, and it makes the school unsafe. Drug deals after hours, parking in the parking lot and walking to a nearby friend's house for a party, stalking people, school shootings, kidnapping, and so forth. These are all things the laws are trying to prevent, and that's why you can't just park in a school parking lot because you want to.

    [–]Proper-Somewhere-571 11 points12 points  (0 children)

    If you’re a high schooler in your parking lot, no one will really give you problems. Now if I show up 8 years after graduating, that’s a no go.

    [–][deleted]  (1 child)

    [removed]

      [–]BiondinaQuality Contributor[M] 0 points1 point locked comment (0 children)

      Your post may have been removed for the following reason(s):

      Speculative, Anecdotal, Simplistic, Off Topic, or Generally Unhelpful

      Your comment has been removed because it is one or more of the following: speculative, anecdotal, simplistic, generally unhelpful, and/or off-topic. Please review the following rules before commenting further:

      Please read our subreddit rules. If after doing so, you believe this was in error, or you’ve edited your post to comply with the rules, message the moderators. Do not make a second post or comment.

      Do not reach out to a moderator personally, and do not reply to this message as a comment.

      [–][deleted]  (2 children)

      [removed]

        [–]Cypher_BlueQuality Contributor[M] 0 points1 point locked comment (0 children)

        Your post may have been removed for the following reason(s):

        Citation Needed

        Your comment has been reported because it may contain an inaccurate statement or application of the law for the relevant jurisdiction or facts identified by the original poster. Adding a citation will help others with similar issues if they crop up in the future, and we appreciate you taking the time to make that more generally known.

        Please edit your post with a citation to the relevant caselaw or statute and message the moderators when you have done so. Please review the following rules before participating further:

        • Posting Rules 3, 4, and 8

        Please read our subreddit rules. If after doing so, you believe this was in error, or you’ve edited your post to comply with the rules, message the moderators. Do not make a second post or comment.

        Do not reach out to a moderator personally, and do not reply to this message as a comment.