Washington State Lawmakers Consider Expanding Police Search Power

By Steve Jackson

OLYMPIA, Wash. – Police officers could search students’ lockers, backpacks and pockets without permission under a bill in the Washington legislature. The measure has already passed the Washington state Senate and was the subject of a hearing Thursday in the House. Sen. Mike Carrell introduced the bill. He’s a former high school teacher. He says it would give trained officers greater ability to head off possible tragedies.

Mike Carrell: “We’re putting our schools, our children and our personnel at potential risk. You know what has happened in schools.” :08

But, opponents of the measure say it would have police officers get involved in a situation before school administrators can intervene. Last year, the Washington Supreme Court ruled that school officers could not search students without a warrant, making this measure potentially vulnerable to legal challenge.

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