While the district Superintendent claims: “I cannot imagine a scenario that would get a search down to undergarments,”, they still felt it necessary to modify their policy to allow them to do so.
The York Suburban school board on Monday approved a new policy that allows students to be strip searched — but not without reasonable suspicion.
Superintendent Michele Merkle repeatedly emphasized there would have to be an imminent threat to the health, safety or welfare of the student being searched or other students in the school.
“I cannot imagine a scenario that would get a search down to undergarments,” she said.
For example, a student carrying a small amount of marijuana would not fit the bill, Merkle said.
“A student with a small amount of marijuana wouldn’t be considered a concern to the health, safety and welfare of students,” she said.
It would take something major — like the suspicion a student was carrying an explosive device — to warrant a search in which clothing would be removed. Even in an extreme case like that, it might be asking a student to remove a jacket or hoodie, Merkle said.
If a student needed to be searched, an administrator of the same sex would perform the search, she said.
No incident in the school inspired the policy change. It is just part of a standard revision, the superintendent said. Until Monday night, York Suburban hadn’t updated its search policy since 1994.
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