School searches

December 28th, 2012 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

School principals fear they could soon be powerless to confiscate weapons and illicit drugs from pupils, under changes to the Act.

The Education Amendment Bill, now before Parliament, includes changes to the surrender, retention, search and seizure powers held by schools.

Under the proposed changes, teachers would not be allowed to search pupils or their property but would be able to search property owned by the school, such as lockers and desks.

Dogs would no longer be allowed to search schools for drugs, and schools would not be able to test pupils for drug use.

Schools could suspend pupils for refusing to hand over a weapon or drugs.

Wellington College headmaster Roger Moses said the impact of the bill was still unclear, but any move to reduce schools’ ability to search and seize could make them less safe.

“If contraband of any kind is brought into the school we want the ability to search for that stuff. It is going to make it more difficult for schools to police internally.”

I’ve blogged on this before, and I agree with the concerns of principals.

I think the right to privacy should be limited when applying to students on school property. Generally, if you don’t want something discovered or searched – don’t bring it to school. Just brings your textbook and lunch.

Of course some students, especially females, need to have some personal stuff with them. So no one is saying there should be random searches of all property. But if staff have reasonable grounds to believe there could be weapons or drugs, they should have the legal ability to search items on school property.

Hopefully the Select Committee will modify the Bill, to take account of concerns.

Tags:

35 Responses to “School searches”

  1. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “School principals fear they could soon be powerless to confiscate weapons and illicit drugs from pupils, under changes to the Education Act.”

    The “liberals” drive another nail into the coffin of our once free and civil society.

    What depths we have sunk to.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  2. theodoresteel (90 comments) says:

    “Generally, if you don’t want something discovered or searched – don’t bring it…”

    Could apply this logic to anything David, schools, public transport, workplaces, the street. School staff are not police officers.

    Of course, schools should be able to confiscate weapons and drugs (and alcohol, and other things which interfere with other’s rights to learn and be safe etc), but I don’t think this should extend to a right of teachers to search students.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  3. HB (267 comments) says:

    I don’t get what you are saying theodore?
    How are teachers supposed to confiscate the drugs/weapons if they cannot order them to turn out their pockets and bags?

    Searching a student doesn’t involve a pat down (not where I work anyway).
    There are always at least 2 staff in the room and a female directs any search of a female student (avoiding awkwardness).
    We don’t touch them or their stuff. We get the student to turn out their pockets and empty their bags etc. Anything suspicious we ask them to pass it to us.
    We would call in the police if a more thorough search was required and let them deal with it.
    It would be a huge mistake to stop the drug dog searches. We already know that a sizeable number of students smoke weed outside of school on a regular basis. We need to do everything we can to keep it out of school.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  4. peterwn (2,939 comments) says:

    In the old days teachers could do what they considered appropriate to maintain order in schools and as long as things were done reasonably, they had the implied backing of parents, boards, police and magistrates. I do not ever remember teachers being taken to court for this sort of thing except one mum who sued a school when her son got the cane – the magistrate threw the case out.

    Nowadays if the kid complains to parents, police, lawyers etc may be called in whereas in the old days parental reaction would range from nil to a session in the woodshed.

    If people feel strongly they should make a Select Committee submission – due by 24 January – see my ‘General Debate’ comment.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  5. Nigel Kearney (747 comments) says:

    I don’t think teachers should even need reasonable grounds. They should be able to search based on a hunch, suspicious manner, failure to make eye contact, or whatever.

    I suggest a simple rule for what teachers can do: Anything that is not time-sensitive should be left for parents to take care of when the kid gets home. For anything that cannot wait that long, teachers should be allowed to do anything a parent can do.

    Children are not adults. QED.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  6. questions (132 comments) says:

    “Redbaiter:
    The “liberals” drive another nail into the coffin of our once free and civil society.

    What depths we have sunk to.”

    Its called freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, you stupid, thick, useless fuck.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  7. backster (2,000 comments) says:

    questions….Your last four words are self revealing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  8. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “Your last four words are self revealing.”

    Yes, and if I said that to questions, I’d be demerited off the forum.

    However cowards / liberals like questions are a protected species on Kiwiblog, and free to abuse any Conservative without fear of retribution.

    But that is Kiwiblog for you. Little true justice where liberals rule.

    The point I was making was that the complete disintegration of schools as an outpost of learning for a civil and free society has come about due to the efforts of those amongst us who portray themselves as “liberals”, but who are really mere enablers of a more and more authoritarian social structure.

    School in this case is a microcosm of the society so called liberals have created. Once orderly and respectful and places of education, they are now dysfunctional and derelict, and places of indoctrination.

    So the solution is a kind of prison camp environment and these schools are really just a foretaste of what society will be like very soon if the liberals like questions (what a fucking idiot nick) continue to have their way.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  9. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    Pupils can have cell phones confiscated and not guns?????

    Anyway, where does this gun talk in schools come from ? What kind of media paranoia is this about?

    A strategy to disarm the NZ public?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  10. hinamanu (2,352 comments) says:

    ‘So the solution is a kind of prison camp environment and these schools are really just a foretaste of what society will be like very soon if the liberals like questions’

    FEMA camps all over America ready to contain the populace and re-educate non compliance. To keep the bankers safe of course

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  11. theodoresteel (90 comments) says:

    HB, whether you can take something and whether you can look for it are two different things. The police are able to confiscate any manner of illegal items, but cannot go door to door in any neighborhood searching every house for them.

    Redbaiter, so by being less authoritarian (no unreasonable search and seizure) we will be more authoritarian?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  12. gump (1,231 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter

    You are hilarious. You spend most of your time here moaning about the nanny state and its authoritarian interference with the lives of citizens. Yet when it’s proposed that the power of state institutions will be reduced by a law change, you start moaning that the government isn’t being authoritarian enough for your liking.

    Do you see the contradiction? You claim to believe in freedom, but you argue against it when it’s actually offered.

    The truth is that you want freedom for yourself, but not for other people. The worst kind of hypocrite.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  13. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “Do you see the contradiction?”

    Gump- you are an idiot, and one of the idiot’s favourite games is to presuppose a set of falsely contrived circumstances and as a result call someone else a hypocrite. So tiring dealing with such fuckwits.

    Schools should be privatised, and the matter of whether a pupil is searched or not then becomes a matter of the contract between the school and the parent. EOS.

    It is only commies like you, who have perverted our education system into a state indoctrination facility with ever collapsing educational standards, who support government being in control of education, and you do this because it provides you with a power base that you would otherwise never have.

    A well educated populace would be horrified by the amoral and destructive political ideas espoused by the totalitarian left wing. Students denied the opportunity to learn critical thinking skills and be educated in different political systems are easy meat for socialist crap. And this shows so well in NZ today.

    If schools were privatised, we would not behaving this conversation. If kids were educated, they would not fall prey to left wing liberal crap. If liberals ideas were treated with the contempt they should be, we would not be witnessing our society disintegrating before our very eyes. We would not be in need of police states in school yards.

    Take your small minded allegations of hypocrisy and stick them up your arse you appallingly stupid cretin.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  14. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “Redbaiter, so by being less authoritarian (no unreasonable search and seizure) we will be more authoritarian?”

    These are schools for fuck’s sake.

    What happens in schools should not be a matter for the government but a matter of the contract between each parent and each school. To replace this coperative free market action with a government Act that specifies that children can lawfully hide things from those adults who would run the schools is madness.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  15. Rex Widerstrom (5,129 comments) says:

    Redbaiter suggests:

    The “liberals” drive another nail into the coffin of our once free and civil society.

    I don’t know, Red… I’d consider myself a liberal, as I strongly support the freedom of individuals to do what they like without interference from the state. However I also support an individual’s right to do as he or she likes without interference from other individuals.

    If a child goes to school to learn they have a right not to be stabbed, plied with drugs, or annoyed by mobile phones. They have a right not to be at risk of assault by someone else who’s taken drugs, too, and to not be placed in situations where they have a difficult (and perhaps dangerous) choice of complaining about the activities of other students or sitting mute and putting up with it all.

    It’s a classic liberal dilemma – how far do you offset the right to a person to not have to undergo intrusive personal searches versus the right of everyone else not to have to endure their disruptive and perhaps dangerous activities.

    I liken this situation to visiting prisons; I’m prepared to undergo a reasonable search upon entry because that’s the price of stopping someone else smuggling in weapons which may be used to cause harm to others. But a school isn’t a prison, so the searches should not be routine and applicable to everyone, but rare and on the basis of reasonable suspicion.

    DPF, whom you scathingly refer to as a liberal above, says quite clearly:

    I agree with the concerns of principals. I think the right to privacy should be limited when applying to students on school property

    I don’t know from whence the push for change has come, but I think blaming it on “liberals” is inaccurate.

    In fact if I were a conspiracy theorist I’d note that one of the aims of the Gramascians – against whom you regularly caution other readers – is to create division amongst those they oppose (drawing on Machiavelli et al), so by dividing the non-socialist world into conservatives and liberals on every issue, you risk doing exactly as they would wish you to do, surely?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  16. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “so by dividing the non-socialist world into conservatives and liberals on every issue, you risk doing exactly as they would wish you to do, surely?”

    The divisions are put in place by the liberals who seek a new society. I am a Conservative, who knows of times when people had far far more freedom than today, before demagogues like Helen Klark or Barack Obama gained power, and before our society and our education system were both fucked completely by the onslaught of their mindless indoctrinated followers.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  17. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “FEMA camps all over America ready to contain the populace and re-educate non compliance.”

    Why did Barack Obama buy 450 million hollow point bullets?

    Do you know?

    I don’t.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  18. UglyTruth (3,142 comments) says:

    Rex Widerstrom (4,759) Says:
    December 28th, 2012 at 2:37 pm

    They have a right not to be at risk of assault…

    Or not. Life is not risk free, for adults or for students.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  19. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    I love the language of the left. I learn new stuff every day since joining KB. Here is a recent contribution from “questions” just dripping with morality and higher thought (because they care about us and know what is best for us)

    Its called freedom from unreasonable search and seizure, you stupid, thick, useless fuck.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  20. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    Students are going to school for fuck’s sake.

    Schools that, like our society, have been destroyed by liberals and made unsafe for the law abiding.

    This is not the same as adults going about their business in public being stopped by police (or other government armed forces) and searched for no reasons. As some idiots here would have it.

    How many of those idiots support the suspicionless stops at roadblocks where drivers are breath tested?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  21. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    How many of those idiots support the suspicionless stops at roadblocks where drivers are breath tested?

    Probably the same folks who want the Police armed so they can gun down kids who play-up at parties.

    So we can look forward to random stops by armed Police, who will demand to see our papers. You better not complain either, as that is resisting and grounds to be executed on the spot, without trial.

    I really do wish people would stop elevating the State to some sort of kindly all knowing deity. The State is nothing of the sort.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  22. gump (1,231 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter

    The Bill of Rights Act was enacted to protect us from freedom hating tyrants like you.

    If you had ever bothered to read the Bill of Rights Act then you would know that it constrains the Government from enacting laws that subject any person to “unreasonable search or seizure, whether of the person, property, or correspondence or otherwise.”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  23. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    Your “bill of Rights” is just worthless socialist cant, given that one of its specifications is that any such “rights” can be over-ridden by the government of the day.

    It is an artifice for fools, and it is just so typical that a useful uneducated ignorant of history socialist drone like you should revere it.

    I want to cut the size and power of government by 90% and I’m a tyrant?

    You sad commie fuckwit. Get an education before you come on here cluttering discussion with your ignorance, immaturity and stupidity.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  24. Alan Wilkinson (1,798 comments) says:

    This is a problem caused by state provision of education and consequential zoning and loss of choice and rights by both providers and students.

    In a proper world, providers get to set their own rules within the bounds of the law and clients get to choose which providers and which rules they prefer.

    But when the State sets all the rules and removes all the choices the laws and regulations get contorted into ways that cause problems rather than solve them.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  25. gump (1,231 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter

    You don’t know anything about the Bill of Rights or its enforcement through the Courts – yet you call me uneducated. Your cheek is breath-taking.

    Let’s examine the facts:

    You want to “cut the size and power of Government.”

    But you also want the Government to extend new statuatory powers of search & seizure to tens of thousands of untrained civilians.

    It astonishes me that you refuse to acknowledge this contradiction in your ‘philosophy’. You are calling for an expansion of the nanny state – this is what makes you a hypocrite and an enemy of freedom.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  26. Kea (10,451 comments) says:

    Let’s examine the facts:

    You want to “cut the size and power of Government.”

    But you also want the Government to extend new statuatory powers of search & seizure to tens of thousands of untrained civilians

    gimp, there is no contradiction there. Some powers will be removed, some new powers will be given. Overall, Red is advocating less government interference in our lives. Rather a lot of us agree with that idea. Not because we don’t care, but because the government makes such a mess of things. If their ideas worked, many of us would be happy for someone else to sort out our problems.

    The fundamental difference is that the left is informed by ideology and the right by pragmatism.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  27. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “But you also want the Government to extend new statuatory powers of search & seizure to tens of thousands of untrained civilians.”

    No I do not want this. I want three things-

    1) Schools to be privatised

    2) The issue of whether students can be searched by teachers to be a matter for private contract

    3) The education system to be improved (ie removed from the control of leftists) so we don’t end up with a population of uneducated retards like you.

    It would be good too if we could reverse the impact of the social engineering the left have carried out over the last few decades, which would solve the problem of drugs and other criminal activities, and free us of a libertine society and the massive regulatory burden this has imposed or resulted in, but for the purposes of this discussion the above three will suffice.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  28. gump (1,231 comments) says:

    @Redbaiter

    1) You are proposing to take away the freedom to choose.The current education system provides parents with a choice – public or private schooling.

    2) If privatised schools receive public funding, then they are subject to the Bill of Rights Act (and the provisions of the Act cannot be contracted away). Are you seriously proposing that NZ schools not receive any public funding at all?

    3) My family’s business interests employ over 200 people and generate a yearly revenue of over 50 million dollars per year. Please keep the “uneducated retard” insults coming, I find them amusing.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  29. Redbaiter (6,482 comments) says:

    “You are proposing to take away the freedom to choose.”

    Go fuck yourself commie. If government education was ever a good idea it has been fucked for ever by being penetrated and taken over by commies like you.

    Not having a government ice cream factory does nothing to constrain anyone’s choice of ice-cream flavours..

    Government has no business in education, and here are you posturing as someone who cares about the size and power of government yet you want them to do so much for you, without a care as to the baggage that comes with letting such things happen.

    “Are you seriously proposing that NZ schools not receive any public funding at all?”

    Of course I am proposing that you sad brain damaged commie.

    “My family’s business interests employ over 200 people and generate a yearly revenue of over 50 million dollars per year.”

    I do not care what your family’s business interests are little boy. You are a half uneducated well brainwashed commie retard.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  30. theodoresteel (90 comments) says:

    1.02pm “Yes, and if I said that to questions, I’d be demerited off the forum.”

    4.10pm “You sad commie fuckwit. Get an education before you come on here cluttering discussion with your ignorance, immaturity and stupidity.”

    7.26pm “Go fuck yourself commie… you sad brain damaged commie… You are a half uneducated well brainwashed commie retard.”

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  31. edhunter (435 comments) says:

    As a fully functional, tax paying, never been convicted, mainly law abiding citizen I’m all about personal responsibility & the liberty of the individual. But to reach this point as an adult I had to learn as a child boundaries for which my parents & importantly my teachers were pivotal for installing in me, I learnt consequences. Without consequences you have what we have today in schools which is essentially the inmates running the asylum. Children are sponges & if we continue to fill them up with on a diet of entitlement & no consequences we as a nation are fucked!

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  32. nzd.gbp (130 comments) says:

    “Of course some students, especially females, need to have some personal stuff with them.”

    That’s great David. Of course the rest of us male folk have no use for personal stuff. Or are you specifically referring to tampons?

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  33. HB (267 comments) says:

    We don’t do ‘random’ searches at the school I teach at and I doubt any other school does it either.
    Searches are only conducted after info being received from parents, teachers or other students with regard to weapons/drugs etc.
    The only ‘random’ search I can think of that happens in a school is conducted by the police and their drug dogs(essentially all staff are subject to this also as usually only the Principal and the DP in charge of discipline will know about it beforehand).

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  34. HB (267 comments) says:

    sorry (no edit).
    When I refer to searching students above (after info received), I am talking about specifically named students.

    Also,
    Students and parents do have a ‘contract’ of sorts with the school. It is the enrolment agreement. When the students enrol at the school they and their parents sign the enrolment agreement, which among other things, states that they will obey the school rules. The enrolment agreement states specifically the schools expectations with regards to student behaviour, uniform and alcohol and drugs.
    I don’t know how it stands legally.

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote
  35. mpledger (428 comments) says:

    This is the blog of a teacher who works in a psychiatric hospital in Chicago where they are going full steam ahead with charter schools which means closing down underused public schools and busing the kids elsewhere. See what she thinks about privitising schools and choice.
    http://mskatiesramblings.blogspot.co.nz/2012/12/make-no-mistake-corporate-ed-reform-is.html?m=1

    Vote: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0 You need to be logged in to vote

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.