Random Searches


Article 1, section 28(C) of the California Constitution, "Right to Safe Schools."

"All students and staff of public primary, elementary, junior high and senior high schools have the inalienable right to attend campuses which are safe, secure and peaceful."

In October of 1992, the Attorney General issued opinion #98-201 which states:

"…The reasonable application of metal detectors in schools as a matter of law, which does not violate the fourth amendment or California Constitutional and statutory standards."

The Attorney General's opinion that schools may use metal detectors to deter weapons - under two independent legal theories:

New Jersey vs. TLO - "Where adequate safeguards are included, which minimize any intrusion into privacy."
Administrative search doctrine - "Which has provided the constitutional basis for metal detector searches in airports, courthouses, and other related contexts."

In July of 1994, the Board of Education for the San Bernardino City Unified School District adopted Policy 5144, finding that:

"Random metal detector searches offer a reasonable means to keep weapons out of the schools and to mitigate the fears of students, staff, and parents."

In or about September 1994, the random search policy was publicized via local newspaper and television stations. Furthermore, information regarding the random search policy is included in the school handbooks, and/or information handout at the beginning of each school year. This program provides a school safe environment for our students and staff.

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