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Palisades votes against so-called "strip search" policy

By Stephen Althouse, Reporter
Published On: Mar 20 2013 10:38:27 PM CDT

The Palisades School District Board of Director approved modifications to a student search policy that in essence prohibits school personnel from conducting strip searches during Wednesday night’s board meeting.

The revisions state that “searches involving the removal any clothing other than jackets, coats or other outerwear will not be conducted by school personnel.”

In addition the amendments approved Wednesday night noted that “searches involving examination beneath undergarments shall not be conducted by school personnel.” And that “parental notification will be consistent with the Memorandum of Understanding with law enforcement.”

Searches of students involving the removal of or examination beneath any clothing other than jackets, coats or outerwear are subject to stricter standards that are required to justify other searches of a student’s person or belongings.

In other news, the board received a presentation from Partners in Action for Community Togetherness. Known as PACT, the group attempts to keep district students from consuming alcohol and narcotics. Emily French, PACT community mobilizer, presented findings from a 2012 study of 294 district students in seventh, ninth and 11th grades that reported their consumption of alcohol and marijuana over a 30-day period.

The findings showed that about 60 percent of 11th grades students were consuming alcohol, while 15 percent of ninth graders were and 10 percent of seventh graders had indulged. The ninth grade number was down from 32 percent registered in a 2010 study and French attributed that to work the group had done with the youngsters. However the numbers were up slightly for 11th graders from two years ago.

One concerning statistic according to French was the consistent escalation of marijuana usage among young people at the school in each of the grades levels from 2010, averaging a spike of about five percent. About 38 percent of all eleventh graders admitted smoking pot during a 30-day, according to the presentation.