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Ormond Beach Observer Tuesday, Jun. 21, 2022 3 days ago

'Search without cause' leads to split vote on Volusia County School Board

Linda Cuthbert believes searches are needed for school security.
by: Guest Writer

by: Mia Striegel

Should visitors to Volusia County Schools be subject to searches without cause?

The Volusia County School Board approved the advertisement of amendments to 10 of its policies at the June 14 meeting, including Policy 208 E, which is the Student Code of Conduct (Elementary). The board is keeping the same safety and security protocols regarding searches in the policy but are removing the proposed statement that all visitors to Volusia County schools may be subject to searches without cause. That specific sentence is not required by the Department of Justice.

The vote passed 4-1, with Linda Cuthbert, who represents District 3, saying nay; she did not agree with the removal of the proposed statement about searches without cause.  

“Parents will come on to campus, but we don't know what the intent is and that's the problem that we've been seeing around the country; we need to protect our children,” Cuthbert said. “I want to be able to enable our employees to protect our school campuses and our children. … Subject to search is just a warning; that's all it is.” 

The Volusia County School board moved forward with policy changes ahead of a July 30 deadline from the Department of Justice.

The board also approved the proposed amendments to School Board Policy 208 S "Code of Conduct and Discipline" (Secondary). The same proposed statement regarding searches without cause that was removed in Policy 208 E, was also removed here. The vote passed 4-1, with Cuthbert saying nay.

Other amendments passed unanimously.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Volusia County School Board Chairman, Ruben Colón said, “I look forward to continuing to revisit our policies as is our duty as board members.”

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