Montgomery Advertiser, AL
Students at Robert E. Lee High School were surprised Monday by a random security search by Montgomery police and school officers.
"I didn't know what was going on," said Michael Scott, a parent whose son attends Lee. "I had just dropped him off after a doctor's appointment, and there were officers and dogs searching lockers and backpacks and clothing. Some students were patted down."
Officials with Montgomery Public Schools said they are conducting the random searches with the Montgomery Police Department as a proactive way of keeping students safe.
"We are making sure that our schools are drug-free, weapon-free and contraband-free," said Mona Davis, public information officer for the district. "This is not something new. It's something we've been doing for quite awhile."
Davis said the search at Lee confiscated between 100 and 200 cell phones, a few CD players, a BB gun and a small amount of a substance believe to be marijuana.
Similar searches at Bellingrath and Capitol Heights junior high schools conducted last week also netted a number of cell phones, Davis said.
"Cell phones are not allowed on campus. It's clearly spelled out in our policy," she said. "If a cell phone was confiscated, the parent of the student will have to come to the school to reclaim it. The phones will be given to the parent or guardian only."
Davis said the searches are random and can take place at any of the district's 59 schools.
"Obviously, we don't want the kids knowing ahead of time that there will be a search at any school," she said. "The bottom line is keeping our students safe. We've had a lot of incidents lately where people have perceived that some of our schools are unsafe. This is just one way we are trying to assure parents that we are taking the safety of their children very seriously."
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