PSA Parents, Students, and Staff!
For my October blog I’d like to discuss “searching students” at school. Unfortunately, we live in a society where drugs and weapons are readily available to people—even children. Searching a student at school for drugs or weapons is a touchy subject—are the lines blurred when it comes to safety and civil rights? At PSA, our goal is to keep kids safe above all, but to also respect our cadets’ civil rights, just as we would expect our own rights to be respected.
As stated, this is a touchy subject, so I would like to address how we deal with student searches at PSA. First and foremost, we abide by all State and Federal laws regarding searches. But the 4th Amendment is seen a bit differently in educational institutions, as, student safety supersedes everything. Students have the 4th Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches. However, whereas in society, law enforcement would need a warrant and probable cause to search someone, school administrators need only “reasonable suspicion,” per ed. code. This means that if we are given cause to suspect that a child is carrying something dangerous, we have the right to search that student’s backpack/belongings, as well as ask the student to shake out their boots and pockets. Under NO circumstances are schools allowed to strip search, or do anything of that nature.
I understand that this is a sensitive issue. I welcome any parents or family members to sit down with me to discuss this further if they have any concerns. I want my students and extended PSA family to know that I care about your children’s safety, and while searches are sometimes necessary, they are conducted within the confines of the law, are only conducted under reasonable suspicion, and in an effort to maintain a safe, drug-free, and weapon free campus.
Have an outstanding October!
—Mrs. Stickel, Principal
Principal Jennifer Stickel