LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — The nation’s second-largest school district today voted to end random student searches at secondary schools.
The board of the Los Angeles Unified School District voted Tuesday to end its use of wand metal detectors in daily random searches by July 1, 2020. The board also asked Superintendent Austin Beutner to come up with an alternative safety policy.
Random searches were instituted following deadly school shootings across the country, but critics said the wand searches were ineffective, intrusive and tended to target minority students. A coalition called Students Not Suspects released a report last year that said weapons were only found in a fraction of the searches, and none of them were guns.
“The vote was a victory for the Students Not Suspects coalition that had long fought the policy that unfairly targeted and criminalized students,” said the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California in a statement. “The random searches, which required staff to pull students out of classes to have their bodies and belongings examined with hand-held scanners, proved to be ineffective, as well as intrusive and excessive.”
Members of the coalition say they will continue to advocate for meaningful investment from the district in programs such as restorative justice, positive behavior interventions and peer meditations.
Schools can still search students if they suspect rule violations.
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