Should district administrators be able to strip search students? A search policy at a York County School District is raising concerns among parents.
On Monday York Suburban school board members voted to update and expand their search policy. What's raising some eyebrows is this part: "Searches Involving Removal Of Clothing Or Examination Beneath Clothing"
"We are a district one school, we brag about it, so there's no need for such an invasion of privacy," said Bob O'Donnell who is a concerned parent. "My daughter came home crying and said dad can you believe this? And I said you have got to be kidding me."
The policy allows school officials to conduct strip searches of students in extreme cases, when there is a high level of danger to the school population. Searches will be conducted only after consultation with the District solicitor.
"Unless there is a clear and immediate danger to that student or other students, that student will be turned over to police and their parents," said York Suburban Superintendent Dr. Michele Merkle. Dr. Merkle said the policy is meant to protect students. "For a cigarette we are not going to strip search a student, for a cigarette tucked in their clothing. The policy defines what grave circumstances would cause such an intrusive search."
Dr. Merkle said the district is updating policies using recommendations from the Pennsylvania School Board Association. FOX43 looked into and discovered the strip search policy isn't unique to York Suburban. Other school districts such as Carlisle, Dallastown, and Northern York County have similar policies already in place.
For more information about the policy at York Suburban School District click here.