ONE News 28 Dec 2012
School principals fear they could soon be powerless to confiscate weapons and illicit drugs from pupils, under changes to the Education Act.
The Education Amendment Bill, now before Parliament, includes changes to the surrender, retention, search and seizure powers held by schools.
Under the proposed changes, teachers would not be allowed to search pupils or their property but would be able to search property owned by the school, such as lockers and desks.
Dogs would no longer be allowed to search schools for drugs, and schools would not be able to test pupils for drug use.
Schools could suspend pupils for refusing to hand over a weapon or drugs.
Wellington College headmaster Roger Moses said the impact of the bill was still unclear, but any move to reduce schools’ ability to search and seize could make them less safe.
“If contraband of any kind is brought into the school we want the ability to search for that stuff. It is going to make it more difficult for schools to police internally.”