School Locker Searches: Protecting Your Children “The National School Board estimates that more than 135,000 guns are brought to school each day” (Debate). Besides weapons, drugs like marijuana are reportedly used by up to 22. 6 percent of 12th graders (Drugabuse). With rising danger in schools, locker searches seem like the right thing to do. A locker is owned by the school and loaned to the student, therefore entry is always legal. With this legal authority, schools should flex their rights and protect their students. With rising crime rates and high-profile shootings, firearms are often stored in the schools’ lockers.
If these are searched daily or even weekly, students would be in a much less dangerous setting. Finally, frisks can stop some of the biggest issues in school: drug dealing. A simple run-through can remove some of the most dangerous substances in school In short, locker searches prove to be legal, cause a safer-feeling environment, and prevent crimes. First off, lockers are school property, and therefore subject to any search. Although students are protected by the fourth amendment, lockers do not have to follow this guideline (Nytimes).
This reasoning has been tested in numerous court cases, namely in the Supreme Court’s decision of New Jersey v TLO (Nytimes). In this ruling, a it was stated that School officials do not have to follow the strict Fourth Amendment guidelines in school. Furthermore, lockers must also be maintained. This means that they require entrance for regular maintenance and custodial problems, like rotting food. If this isn’t done, health hazards could be a massive problem for students in the building. Finally, in every Lakeville South handbook, students agree to locker searches when they start school.
It is written that locker searches will be conducted at random. This gives a very civil warning for the students. For these reasons, locker searches are not only legal, but fair. Next, locker frisks can provide a peace of mind for individuals in the building. According to one New York Newspaper, 200 students were evacuated after a shooting threat was found in the women’s bathroom (Smithtown). Acts like this terrorize students, and disrupt the daily learning. Martha Kaufeldt, an established author and educator states, “The brain gives priority to processing incoming data that poses threat to survival. (Dialogueonlearning) This means that in threatening habitats, students will perform worse than average. To combat this issue, locker searches could help provide a feeling of safety, thus allowing students to fully apply themselves to school. Simply put, locker searches will create a safe and enjoyable atmosphere. Lastly, schools must protect against the use of lockers in serious crimes. In January 1999, a bomb explosion in a Kansas High School locker sent 11 students to the hospital (Schoolsecurity).
If a search had discovered the bomb, students could have been evacuated to a safe area and protected from the blast. Adding to the issue, a half pound of marijuana was found in a 13 year old’s locker (Thenewsdispatch). He later confessed to police that he intended to sell the drug. In both these cases, the school became a dangerous environment and disrupted daily learning. Had the school regularly frisked lockers, students could be confiscated of dangerous materials or even discouraged from bringing them in the first place. Actions like this can increase safety and student involvement in class.
In short, locker checks create a safer, more efficient environment for everyone in school. All in all, there is no reason a school shouldn’t search lockers. As its property, an institution can search anything it owns, without a reason. While removings drugs and firearms, these searches protect students and faculty alike, creating a safe and efficient workplace. Finally, locker frisks will promote a safer feeling environment, preventing unnecessary absences by students. With the dangerous crime rates, it only endangers students to skip much-needed locker frisks.
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