Superintendent Minister of the Methodist Church here is of the opinion that teachers should periodically search the bags of students.
Seth Ampadu believes that it is in the best interest of all students that drugs and weapons are not in school.
“The best way I believe we can ensure that such items are found and removed is for teachers occasionally to search a random selection of student bags and desks,” Ampadu said.
His comments follow recent reports of students with firearms.
However while calling for random searches, the Methodist Minister acknowledged that it may be thought of as an infringement on the rights of a student to privacy.
“I also understand that this could be seen as a violation of students’ rights and would not be welcomed by students. However, it is the school’s obligation to protect students and therefore, searching their bags will also ensure safety in our schools,” Ampadu declared.
“Children and teachers alike need a safe and disciplined learning environment. As we are all aware, a primary focus of going to school is to learn to be good. Students should be protected from evil things, such as the possession of knives and weapons, fireworks and pornographic images, the use of alcohol, illegal drugs, stolen items, tobacco and cigarettes. If a student were to bring these things to school, there is a great chance that his or her peers may be affected,” the Clergyman explained.
As far as he was concerned, teachers searching students’ bags would discourage students from bringing ‘such inappropriate things to school’.
“Once they enter school grounds, everything they do is under teachers’ supervision. Schools have a duty to care for their students. This responsibility is placed upon schools because the students in their charge are minors,” Ampadu stated.
“In view of this, without the ability to inspect student’ bags, young criminals will know that they can hide forbidden things there without fear of being caught. On the other hand, when their bags are being searched from time to time, it would means that students will think twice before bringing forbidden things to school. Students may indeed find other hiding places, but this does not mean that they should be given total control over the most obvious hiding place in school,” he said.
Ampadu observed that in some places, students have almost absolute freedom and teachers are not allowed to interfere in any way.
He observed that this results in drug abuse, school violence and even school shootings.
“Teachers should be firm and make sure that students understand that it is in the best interest of all students that drugs and weapons are not in school.”
But at the same time, he declared that teachers should also show restraint in exercising their power in order for it not to appear as though they are abusing their powers.
“Students’ bags should not be searched without reasons and I believe teachers know when and how to search a student’s bag,” Ampadu said.
He appealed to all parents to make sure that they help teachers to shape the children’s future.
“The teachers can do their best, but if parents fail to play their role, at the end of the day, nothing would be achieved. God commands parents to teach their children and the purpose is for the children to be matured in the Lord. Parents should take their children with them when going to church. Child delinquency is common in children whose parents or care givers neglect to give them the proper care and train them in the ways of the Lord.”