Local school district rejects proposal to randomly search students, visitors

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — The Volusia County School District has backed off on a proposed policy that may have been unconstitutional.

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The policy would have given school administrators the power to search anyone on campus randomly and without cause.

Some parents called it an overreach in general, but it appeared to violate some well-established laws in the United States.

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Under American law, students have only limited rights while attending classes. Still, the Supreme Court has ruled searches of students and their personal belongings, like backpacks, may only happen when there is “reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence they have broken or will break school rules or the law.”

Orange, Osceola, Seminole, Brevard and Marion counties’ codes of conduct all state students are allowed to be searched, but not randomly searched.

After a feisty debate Tuesday afternoon, district officials backed off the proposal to just warn visitors they may be searched like in any other government buildings.

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It did not mention cause or suspicion.

Following another round of talks Tuesday night, they scrapped the entire proposal.

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Adam Poulisse, WFTV.com

Adam Poulisse joined WFTV in November 2019.