Monday, September 18, 2006

School Search Bill Update

If you haven't heard, Congress is trying to pull a Drug War fast one on students by passing sweeping legislation that would coerce schools into allowing for large-scale searches of students. But it's not just students who are speaking up against this attack on the Constitution. A congressional office just forwarded us letters from the National PTA, the American Federation of Teachers, the American Association of School Administrators (AASA) and the National School Boards Association (NSBA), both expressing strong opposition to the school search bill. Here are some tasty excerpts:
National PTA:
"If we are serious about protecting students and teachers, we must provide ways for schools to address the foundation of these problems, not simply allow teachers the relatively unbridled authority to search a student under the veil of school safety."

American Federation of Teachers:
"...teachers are not trained or prepared to make determinations about when searches are 'reasonable and permissible.' This is a role more appropriately conducted by administrators, to whom teachers can report their concerns and suspicions. Finally, it is counterproductive to jeopardize the very federal funds intended to help districts keep schools safe and drug-free."

American Association of School Administrators:
“This is not the time for Congress to act like a local school board by creating policies and mandates beyond their jurisdiction. Schools need to focus on the requirements that have already been handed down from Washington. Now is not the time to be adding more.”

National School Boards Association:
“…this legislation does not do anything to create a more positive learning environment. Worse, H.R. 5295 could mislead school personnel into violating the constitutional rights of students in the errant belief that, as long as their actions conform with the Congress’s general description of “reasonableness,” they must be permissible.”
If school boards and administrators are taking action against this offensive peice of legislation, why don't you? Click here to send a letter to your rep today!

[Here's a link to NSBA's letter. The full text of the AFT, AASA and PTA letters are not yet available.]

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