Bill Allows Random Locker Searches 

Bill Allows Random Locker Searches 
Posted by FoM on February 02, 2000 at 10:33:44 PT
Staff and Wire Reports 
Source: Michigan Live
All Michigan schools could conduct random locker searches under a bill approved Tuesday by a state House committee.Some say the legislation is unnecessary because school boards already can adopt locker search policies - although many Jackson-area schools currently do not perform random locker searches.
Bruce VanEyck, superintendent of East Jackson Schools, said he welcomes the proposed law, saying he would likely recommend that periodic, random locker searches begin at the high school once the law is approved.The school system now searches a locker only when there is a suspicion a specific student possesses contraband or a weapon, VanEyck said."When I went to school in the late 1960s, they would do random searches of lockers," VanEyck said. "Times change with legal rulings."(Searches) would be a deterrent. It would contribute to an attitude of safety for students and their parents."Likewise, Northwest Schools does not currently do random locker searches."If there is suspicion of something that would be a concern to safety, we will check a locker," said Dennis Desmarais, the school system's assistant superintendent. "But we need to have some suspicion."Last fall, school officials hired a firm to conduct periodic dog searches at Northwest High School and Kidder Middle School; lockers are searched only if the dogs detect the scent of alcohol, drugs or gunpowder. So far, no drugs or contraband have been found."The safe schools issue is huge in all parts of the country," Desmarais said. "The community realizes we're trying to prevent drugs and alcohol on our campus."On Tuesday, administrators from the Port Huron Area School District testified before the committee. Last year, they said, a pipe bomb was found near Holland Woods Middle School.Four boys were charged with conspiracy to commit murder after being accused of planning a massacre at the school.One 14-year-old boy was acquitted, charges against one boy were dropped and the other two accepted plea bargains that will keep them out of jail.Tom Miller, assistant superintendent at the district, said current law makes school administrators stop and think rather than act quickly when their students are at risk."In many cases you don't have three or five minutes to call an attorney or think about what you can and cannot do," he said.But the Port Huron administrators admitted that a state law allowing locker searches would not have changed their investigation last spring.Some Democrats on the committee then questioned why the new law is necessary."I just don't know if we ought to continue making laws that can be set in policy at the school," said Rep. Irma Clark, D-Detroit.Published: Wednesday, February 2, 2000Copyright 2000 Michigan Live Inc.Related Topic:Another Small District Tests for Drugs - 1/30/2000
Home Comment Email Register Recent Comments Help

Comment #1 posted by Taylor Schelin on November 13, 2000 at 12:47:24 PT:
Locker searches are unjust
I totally think locker searches are unjust. and that just may be my opinion but i know in the world that many other people do agree with me when i say locker searches are unjust. I believe students should be able to have their privacy and they should be trusted not to bring weapons or illegal things onto school premisses. Thus having locker searches takes away the students civil liberties. What should be done is if you have some kind of evidence or proof stating that a student and or more students is carrying a weapon or an illegal item that is not supposed to be on school grounds then you should do what ever you can to find out if that is true. When you have random locker searches when maybe one or two people have stuff that totally invades the other innocent students privacy and they sometimes rebel and bring things to school. Often taking their own action and possibly hurting someone. I think that if i were to have my locker searched i would take action and make it to were there was some sort of law stating that you must have evidence or proof, because looking in my locker is taking away my civil liberties and is unjust.
[ Post Comment ]

Post Comment

Name: Optional Password: 
Comment: [Please refrain from using profanity in your message]
Link URL: 
Link Title: