Random searches are needed to ensure school safety

Sam Torres

Valery Barrera
A bright red notice was left in a locker after it was randomly checked by faculty on campus. This is a part of the LAUSD random search policy that occurs daily at Daniel Pearl Magnet High School.

School safety should be a top priority for students as we should focus on academics and not worry about getting hurt.

The. Los Angeles School board voted on June 18 to end the policy of randomly searching students with metal detectors during the school day. This came after mass backlash from Students not Suspects, a group sponsored by the Union of Teachers Los Angeles and American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Southern California. 

These groups have argued that the searches were biased, constantly targeting people of color. This is a small complaint that shouldn’t be the reason for stopping searches to jeopardize school safety. Our school doesn’t have a school security officer on campus, which may leave us vulnerable to potential threats. 

The random search policy has been used for decades in schools, since 1993. According to LAUSD, an alternative plan for school safety will be made by July 2020. The alternative to random searches must also include a decrease in police presence. Eliminating random searches is one thing. However, a lack of police presence on campus is a threat to school safety as it leaves us without security. 

LAUSD random searches have been proved to not find firearms but that doesn’t mean they don’t find other contraband. The most common contraband items found are sprays and markers. An analysis from ACLU showed that most items found in these searches were school items such as white-outs and sharpies, or personal hygiene products like body sprays or pain medicine. The searches should be kept, as there isn’t much else stopping or catching students from bringing hazards to school grounds. While most confiscated or found items are tools for vandalism, that doesn’t mean the searches prevent students from bringing weapons or drugs.

While students argue that the searches are an invasion of privacy, it is a necessity to search them anyway. If a student has nothing to hide, they should be okay with a search. 

Daniel Pearl Magnet High School has been bringing police dogs on campus to search classrooms for narcotics. By using police dogs, students won’t feel targeted in a search. This technique ultimately reassures students’ protection without randomly searching specific students. There should be more done to deter narcotics and weapons in school and more ways of keeping watch on students, not less.