Safety, for all

March 3, 2013 

It is a shame that school officials actually have to have meetings about how principals and teachers and other administrators should handled fighting incidents in the Wake County schools. But it’s a fact of life, though a rare one. The school board’s policy committee seems to have acted with reason in clarifying guidelines with more specifics.

It might seem that a good principal or teacher would instinctively know what to do about fighting, and many do. But for legal reasons, and safety concerns, some things need to be spelled out. The policy will guide school officials to take “reasonable measures” when fighting occurs, whether that’s just speaking to students, clearing bystanders out of the way or having to intervene physically. Officials can do that if need be.

Rightly, the committee also sought to ensure students’ rights when it comes to searches. There are, appropriately, strict rules about when searches are appropriate, and students are going to be made aware of those. To conduct a thorough search, officials have to believe there is imminent danger related to something the student is carrying. Let us hope the rules rarely have to be applied.

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