On October 19, 2018, the school district had a serious problem.
It was early in the school year and already eleven times a student was caught with a weapon on campus.
Superintendent Jesus Jara announced a controversial plan. School District staff would randomly search students as they walked into school.
Few details were released when the program began. The first time parents we able to see the full details of the weapons search program was when they were emailed a link on November 1st, two weeks after the program started.
Our search into school district emails found the first time School Trustees were given full details was one day earlier on October 31.
The report showed a “computer program” would randomly select schools, classrooms, and students.
News 3 has learned that computer program is Microsoft Excel 2016. It took school staff just thirty hours to develop. The district’s COO runs that program which then spits out a number. That number symbolizes which school, classroom, and which student is searched.
As to the question of how do they make sure student’s rights aren’t violated, who polices this policing, according to a District Spokesperson when the COO tells a school they’ll be doing the searching school officials have to get staff members trained.
They learn how to use a wand from school police. We asked to see that training and our request was never granted.
We asked how they ensure that students are randomly selected and were told that these are not police searches, they’re administrative.
That means school administrators are the ones who conduct the searches and school administrators are the ones who make sure the rules are being followed.
We can report that zero weapons have been found during these searches but weapons have not stopped coming into campus. Since the beginning of the school year, there have been 15 weapons found on campus.