Teachers get power to search their pupils

Herald on Sunday Oct 3, 2010
Teachers are to get explicit powers to search children – potentially even strip-search them – for weapons. The Government is to release draft guidelines applying to the classroom, schoolyard and to extramural activities such as camps and field trips. In May, Te Puke High School mathematics head Steve Hose, 53, was knifed with a 10cm kitchen blade. A 13-year-old was taken into police custody. A Post Primary Teachers Association survey this year found at least two secondary teachers were seriously assaulted by pupils every school day. The Ministry of Education search and seizure guidelines will be controversial. While strip-searching will apply only when weapons are suspected, teachers will also be able to search for drugs. The guidelines come after the Herald on Sunday revealed pupils at Rotorua Boys’ High School said they had been asked to strip to their underwear and drink water before undergoing random drug tests.