Volusia County Schools debates new random search policy

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — Volusia County Schools is set to debate and possibly vote on a new measure that would allow the police department to conduct searches through campuses without warning.


It’s called a random search policy, and it’s creating some controversy.

“If it’s just for the metal detectors, I think it’s good. They can catch either knives or other weapons in the school. For the search, I’m not so sure,” said Yaritza Lopez, a student parent at University High. “Because you can choose anyone, and they can feel not protected.”

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The random search policy is now up for debate. According to the proposal, any person entering or present at Volusia County School sites or events is on notice that randomized screenings may be conducted.

That means any student at middle or high school, any classroom, on any day of the week could be subject to a search.

“This is just one more tool possible in the safety toolbox to keep our students and our staff safe ultimately,” said Danielle Johnson, Director Community Information for Volusia County Schools.

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If the measure is accepted, whenever a school is randomly selected, staff from the district will show up with metal detectors.

For teachers, the measure is a double-edged sword.

“We, as an organization, don’t support just a random search policy. We are asking for clarification,” said Elizabeth Albert, President of Volusia United Educators.

“If we believe that having children monitored using a wand or metal detectors is the route we want to go, then fine. Let’s invest in the machines and hardware we need so we can do it correctly.”

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If approved, that language would be added to the district’s student code of conduct.

“If the item is approved tonight to authorize this advertisement, it would go to be advertised for 28 days to the public, then it would come back to a future board meeting, it would have to be voted on again to make it final, and then go into effect immediately,” said Johnson.

During those 28 days, parents, teachers, and students can voice their opinions on the district’s website.

A vote is expected some time Tuesday evening, stay with WFTV for the latest updates.

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