How private is your cellphone? If you’re an adult, police need a warrant to search your phone. The addresses, contacts, photographs or texts are private and can’t be perused without approval from a judge. But if you’re a high school student, the rules are different. School authorities feel perfectly entitled to confiscate phones then search them for evidence of broken rules, cheating or even schoolyard fights. Considering that young people document so many aspects of their lives on their phones, there can be any number of items that students would rather keep private or share only with friends. So, who has the greater need – the schools for maintaining order and honesty or students for maintaining their privacy? Ruben Villalobos has a unique perspective. Not only is he an attorney specializing in defending constitutional rights issues, he is also a member of the Modesto City Schools Board of Trustees. He speaks tonight about these issues during the American Heritage Scholarship Series lecture at the Stanislaus County Office of Education board room, 1100 H St., at 7 p.m. After the free lecture, high school juniors and seniors are invited to submit an essay (by Oct. 17) stating the case for or against the rights of schools to search students’ electronic devices. Or, put another way, the rights of students to keep those devices private. Scholarships ranging from $100 to $2,000 will go to those who write the best essays. Several Bee writers have offered tips on writing in a 14-minute video at www.modbee.com/video. More information on the essay requirements and entry form are available from high school counselors or on the county Office of Education website, www.stancoe.org/scoe/admin/american_heritage/index.html. The American Heritage program is sponsored by the Stanislaus County Office of Education, Modesto City Schools and The Modesto Bee.