There have been 74 school shootings in the United States since the Sandy Hook shooting. This number is extremely high and causes heartbreak to our country, students deserve to attend school with no fear. Security guards and rules are not enough. Targeted bookbag and locker searches should be allowed because it would lower the amount of deaths and injuries in schools, lowers the amount of drug use in schools, brings a positive look to schools, and communities. Believing that these searches or maybe even metal detectors will help with the danger in schools today.
According to Kate R. Ehlenberger, “Officials conduct random or blanket searches not because of individualized suspicion, but as a preventive measure. Examples of random searches include the use of metal detectors in school entrances and sweeps of parking lots and lockers. The legality of a random search depends on whether the school has a compelling interest or special need that warrants the use of a search without suspicion. ” All schools should be allowed these random searches without suspicion just for simple safety.
Bookbag and locker searches should be done primarily because it lowers the amounts of deaths and injuries occurring in schools. Multiple families have lost loved ones in result of school shootings. For example, twelve students killed by students in the Columbine High School shooting; Twenty students killed in the Sandy Hook shooting. However, students are not the only ones in danger teachers are greatly affected by this, for their efforts to protect their students. For Example, one teacher killed in the Columbine and multiple injured, six teachers killed in the Sandy
Hook shooting. This is only two of the many school shootings occurring in the United States. When people know they’ll be searched upon entering a school or randomly searched throughout the day they’re least likely to bring weapons. Not only is this a danger to others this could be dangerous to one’s own self. According to Jennifer Mascia, the main idea about this subject is too many students are bringing weapons to school. Mascia states, “5. 4 percent of students nationwide bring a weapon to school. A 15-year old accidentally shot himself in school.
This is just one of many incidents that occur in the United states. In the article given by Access Continuing Education, Inc it states “From July 1, 2001, through June 30, 2002, there were 17 homicides and 5 suicides of school-age youth (ages 5-19) at school. ” A scary fact that not many people think about the fact that some students don’t even know they’re carrying a weapon. Jennifer Mascia states “A second grader discovered loaded gun in backpack. ” Many can say it was placed by a parent, family friend or students placed it in themselves.
However, these are all harmful things to schools with the help of bookbag and locker searches the death rate and students bring illegal weapons to schools will lower. In addition, to the lowering the death rate this can also lower the drug rate in schools. The percentage of teens who use drugs is 81%, peer pressure has caused 42. 5% of teens to try them. These searches could save someone from being a victim of peer pressure. In 1993-1995 the percentage of drugs being sold in schools were 24%-32%, In 2013,this was tested again however the number did decrease to 22%.
Although searches are done when something or someone seems suspicious or if the school is notified of something. Bookbag searches need to be done daily upon entering schools and locker should be searched randomly. As for student athletes they’re victims of steroids and in many ways, they can be harmful to one’s body, no one know they’re taking them because their bags and lockers are not being searched and drug tests are not used. In an article from WAFB, it states “A 13-year-old from West Baton Rouge Parish is suspended for four days after his prescription drugs were found at the school.
Tristan Chauvin was suspended from Devall Middle School for the rest of the week after his prescription medication fell out of his book bag. ” Both incidents were said to be accidents however, officials don’t know how long the students were bringing them to school. With bookbag and locker searches we can prevent these incidents. On the other hand, some may say it violates one’s privacy and personal space. Schools don’t trust their students; some ask why schools provide lockers if they want to search them. Ehlenberger states in her article that “The Fourth Amendment to the U.
S. Constitution guarantees “the right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures. ” Before 1985, doubt existed about whether this right applied to students in the public schools. Schools argued that administrators acted in loco parentis in the place of the parent—while students were at school. In 1985, the U. S. Supreme Court determined that the Fourth Amendment applies to students in the public schools (New Jersey v. T. L. O. , 1985).
The Court concluded, however, that the school environment requires an easing of the restriction to which searches by public authorities are normally subject. School officials, therefore, do not need probable cause or a warrant to search students. ” Although, this may disturb one’s privacy students don’t need as much privacy in schools as they do at home. People who think like this don’t understand how many lives are being saved by simply checking someone’s bag or locker. According to Christopher Cascio “In 1985 the U. S. supreme court ruled that schools can search lockers with probable causes.
Lockers are school property as for book bags they’re students own personal property but if your personal safety matters to you than a quick search is no harm. ” At this point, privacy is out the picture when it comes to the danger of lives. Many lives can be saved because of these searches. No privacy is being taken away if you aren’t hiding anything; out of every ten students only three mind being searched. Furthermore, a positive school brings a positive look to the community. This allows people to be interactive within the community.
Helps welcome new people into the community, places with bad school reputation are least likely to attract families. Parents look at school to find a good place for their children this affects the enrollment, “One of the most important factors in school growth is the overall quality of the experience. Parents are investing significant resources to provide the very best education for their child and because of this, they expect the best. A high-quality experience must be integrated throughout your school in order to grow your enrollment” stated by Ricky Newberry.
Reputation is the role in enrollment the things said about the school draws people in or away from the school. If the school is not a good, safe fit for students then the community loses residents. Not only does it affect the community it also affects how many teachers are working in the schools; Not many teachers want to work in a place they know is a possible danger. Newberry also states, “The experiences of parents, students, graduates, faculty, staff, and donors will fuel word-of-mouth, whether positive or negative, in your community.
In turn, this will create the reputation, and word out on the street, about your school. This general buzz and reputation in the community will affect enrollment. ” A positive school helps maintain a positive community. In the end, do schools have the right to search students’ lockers? There have been debates on this issue. During this debate, research shows that 47% said “Yes” and 53% said “No”. The questions and reasons to these questions are: 1. Who does the locker belong to? Is it the students or the school? Yes, lockers are indeed the property of the school and they are used for school use only.
Therefore, each student needs to follow the rules that school set in place. Yet, others say. “No” this could cause isolation to some student that could develop into mental health issues, for those students who is feeling isolated this could develop into another Columbine incident, by taking away their sense of security in the school environment. 2. Does it benefit the student to have drug and weapon free school? Yes, students should feel safe during school hours, and they would be safer if random lockers searches are conducted to assure that weapons and drugs are removed from school.
On the other hand, some student says “no” that school personnel could be just searching just to the find anything. Which could be a violation of their Fourth Amendment Rights? 3. Do the students trust the teachers to protect them and not abuse them with their authority? Yes, some school personnel would misuse their authority, but for the most part school personnel would use their authority to protect the students. Having this power would outweigh the bad for the good. No, some would say that it is embarrassing to have their lockers search for the sake of personal items that will exposed to other.
Which would give school personnel the ability to use what they found in a negative manner. Schools are more dangerous without them then they are with them. Lowering death rate, lowering the use and distribution of drugs and giving the schools a positive look. It’s a simple way to save a life and maintain a positive community. Everyone needs to help the schools and government enforce these searches to protect everyone. No one deserves to lose their life or get injured in a school shooting or drug problem, schools is supposed to be a safe learning environment.