Safety Law News for July 26, 2016

  • In Indiana, a Decatur County Community Schools official praised the impact police officers working in schools have had on students and said the presence of officers has changed the environment in positive ways.
  • In Illinois, Kane County educators are demanding full-time SROs for two high schools.  The sheriff’s office offered to provide part-time resource officers, but educators say that is not a satisfactory solution.
  • In New York City, public schools will no longer be allowed to suspend students in kindergarten through second grade under proposed updates to the Department of Education’s discipline code announced.  Educators want resources to be in place before the changes to the code are made.
  • In Indiana, a new survey of Indianapolis Public Schools teachers has found that the majority of the district’s teachers do not feel properly trained on the district’s new behavior plan intended to reduce student suspensions.

Safety Law News for July 21, 2016

  • In Virginia, the legislature has refiled a previously vetoed proposal on school safety.  House Bill 1392 seeks to allow school security officers to carry firearms.  The Governor vetoed the bill in April 2016 because he believes only trained, active law enforcement officials should be authorized to carry firearms in schools.
  • In New York City, teachers and staff in Queens speak openly about the failures of restorative justice.   An 18-year old student arrested on felony charges for assaulting a 14-year-old freshman wasn’t disciplined by school officials. A court order barred him from the school, but he was still allowed to attend by school officials.
  • In Pennsylvania, school officials in the Penn Hills School District have banned students from wearing hoodies in class.  All students may wear them to school, but must put them in lockers or bags once school begins.

Safety Law News for July 12, 2016

  • In California, the state court of appeal refused to get involved in a dispute on restorative justice discipline policies by deferring to a decision by the Commission on Professional Competence to reinstate an administrator for failing to call the police or report to anyone an incident involving the sale of marijuana on campus.  The reinstatement was based on the administrator’s promise that she would not repeat her mistake in the future. [Bellflower Unified School District v. Commission On Professional Competence].
  • In Texas, the Greenville Independent School District is proceeding with plans to form its own police department.  The plan would involve the hiring of a GISD Chief of Police and additional school resource officers.

Safety Law News for July 7, 2016

  • In California, the state court of appeal has ruled that school administrators had authority to seize and searched a student cell phone based on the student’s suspected involvement in an incident in which a firearm was discovered on campus.  The phone contained digital images of the student holding the firearm. [In re Rafael C.].
  • In Iowa, the state supreme Court ruled that the search of a high school student’s football equipment bag by a school official did not violate the constitutional limitations on searches and seizures under Federal and state law.  The bag, left behind when the student-athlete was injured during a game, contained a long-barreled handgun along with a bag which appeared to contain marijuana, rolling papers, and other drug paraphernalia. [State v. Lindsey].
  • In Maryland, the court of appeals ruled against school officials who searched a student after he was found in possession of a validly prescribed medication.  The court ruled that even though the student violated school rules by failing to give the medicine to the school nurse, such a violation did not support an inference or suspicion that the student possessed additional medication or contraband. [In re Kavon P.].
  • In California, the court of appeal upheld the practice of a local school to conduct a random search of classrooms from time-to-time. The school had a policy that school personnel would randomly select one classroom to search each day for weapons and drugs.  A student was found with a knife in his folder. [In re R.H.].

Safety Law News for June 30, 2016

  • In Georgia, the state court of appeals has ruled that a school district’s “zero-tolerance” policy of expelling students for fighting regardless of whether the student was acting in self-defense was not permitted by the Georgia self-defense statute. [Henry County Board of Education v. S.G.]
  • In Illinois, the teachers’ union at Fairmont School District 89 in Lockport, raised campus safety concerns with the school board after losing a school resource officer.  The union president, urged the board to reinstate the school resource officer program.

Safety Law News for June 28, 2016

  • In Alabama, the new interagency school safety agreement between Huntsville school officials and police is proving difficult. One point of contention is marijuana. Some officials believe any quantity is arrestable, while some are opposed to arresting children for small amounts.
  • In Georgia, a new chief of police and 67 new school resource officers were sworn in as members of the Atlanta Public Schools Police Department. The new police officers will be assigned to middle and high schools.