Animo Jackie Robinson High School in South Los Angeles and its parent organization, Green Dot Public Schools, are refusing to comply with a Los Angeles Unified School District mandate to conduct random daily searches of students using hand-held metal detectors.
LAUSD officials say the policy protects students from classmates who might be carrying weapons. But administrators at the high school and at Green Dot argue that random searches will undermine the safety that comes from strong pupil-educator relationships, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The charter’s standoff with district administrators has drawn an unlikely ally in United Teachers Los Angeles — the union generally opposes charters — as both groups joined civil rights organizations to craft a letter that was sent to the district May 25 calling on it to revise or rescind the policy, according to The Times.
“We live and work in a community where kids are profiled every day by different forms of authority, whether it’s police on the street or by shop owners,” said Kristin Botello, the principal at the high school, in remarks quoted by The Times.
Wednesday’s fatal shooting of a UCLA professor by a former student who then committed suicide has amplified the debate about campus safety measures.
Supporters of wand searches say they could help prevent school shootings, but critics argue that innocent children begin to resent the constant threat of electronic frisking by authorities whom they must trust if they’re going to learn from them, The Times reported.
—City News Service