School Safety Law News for 4/19/12

  •  Every fifth grade student gets a Droid Incredible phone. That is the new policy in Katy, Texas, where educators are counting on a simple approach to control student cell phone use: the phones can access the campus WiFi network, but the phones are configured so that they cannot neither make calls nor send text messages.
  • Minnesota educators and police increasingly deal with fake Facebook identities. They say that the law, and law enforcement training, both need to catch up with the kids.
  • In Pennsylvania, a school barred a sixth grade girl from orchestra practice and withdrew her from the math team. The school requires random drug testing of all students in extracurricular activities; her parents refused permission. Such searches are federally constitutional, but are not allowed under the state constitution.
  • Students keep brawling at a middle school in St. Petersburg, Florida, where educators explain how they will try to improve the school climate.

School Safety Law News for 4/18/12

  • California police and educators “don’t care to tolerate any kind of weapons on campus,” whether real or fake, and are reinforcing this message after a seventh grade girl brought a BB gun to school. She discussed using it to hurt herself and other students, as she faced a likely breakup with her boyfriend.
  • Law enforcement agencies, not educators, were behind the decision to place a 22-year-old undercover police officer in a California high school. Eight months later, the undercover officer’s drug probes led to student arrests.
  • A bullied Maryland student found her school’s response so lacking that she went online, writing that “[t]he cyber bullying has gotten to the point where the school will not take any action unless I kill myself.” Within twelve hours, the principal was inundated with emails from across the nation and had addressed the issue.

School Safety Law News for 4/17/12

  • When a student received a text message saying that another student was heading toward campus with a gun, the recipient notified an SRO, who promptly put the campus into an unusual Code Red lock down.
  • After students taunted black classmates with a noose during a fire and rescue class, their Maryland school district suspended at least several offenders and is increasing its diversity training efforts. The district, whose initial response was criticized, says it is seeking county-wide reform.
  • Arizona educators are asking parents to take more responsibility for student safety, away from campus and after school hours, particularly a private lot known as “Happy Hill” is increasingly the site of adolescent fights.

School Safety Law News for 4/16/12

  •  A Maryland high school principal is trying to balance student protests—which call for smaller class sizes, higher teacher wages, increased student involvement in education policymaking, and more—with the need to provide campus safety.
  • Cyberbullying is now illegal in Erie County, New York, despite the County Executive’s serious misgivings about the law’s enforceability. He believed that a veto would send the wrong message.
  • A West Virginia student compiled a hit list and was preparing for a school shooting. The high school’s SRO is praising a student who spoke with the SRO, and provided a tip, while the local police chief says that the investigation was completed quickly based on fast police work and on interagency collaboration with educators.

School Safety Law News for 4/13/12

  • One student’s comment about a classmate — “he’d be the type to bring a gun to school” — morphed via social media into rumors of an actual threat. A police investigation cleared the suspect, but both students and parents are harassing the suspect’s family via Facebook. The school has disciplined two students for the rumors.
  • Oklahoma educators, who found a gun at a middle school, say that the school safety credit goes to a student. He had seen a fellow student with the weapon, while in the restroom, and chose to report it.
  • While three Oregon students were suspended for racist tweets against a fellow student, his mother wants an apology from those involved. Other students helped identify the three students who originally wrote the tweets.

School Safety Law News for 4/12/12

  • Racist tweets lead to a police investigation and school reprimands for three football players. Students who created a fake Twitter account for the assistant principal, and wrote crude things online, were punished with suspensions.