School board votes to allow principals to search cell phones

School Watch

FILE – In this Thursday, Sept. 5, 2019 file photo a staff member holds a Huawei ‘Mate20 X 5G’ smartphone at the IFA 2019 tech fair in Berlin, Germany. German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Cabinet approved a bill Wednesday that would require companies involved in setting up critical infrastructure such as high-speed 5G networks to guarantee that their equipment can’t be used for sabotage, espionage or terrorism. (AP Photo/Michael Sohn, file)

WILSON, N.C. (AP) — A North Carolina school board has adopted a policy that will allow principals to search a student’s cellphone.

The policy adopted this week by the Wilson County Board of Education allows phone searches “whenever a school official has reason to believe the search will provide evidence that a student has violated or is violating the law, board policy, the code of student conduct or a school rule,” The Wilson Times reported.

The policy was introduced during an Aug. 16 board meeting. School board member Rhyan Breen had sought to narrow the policy in previous discussions. He voted against the policy, as did fellow board member Blake Boykin.

Board members were open to Breen’s suggestions but backtracked after Superintendent Lane Mills provided feedback from principals who cited safety concerns and also said they don’t search cellphones often.

Mills said authorizing the searches is necessary due to a national increase in school vi

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