ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE)– An Albuquerque parent is upset after he says security searched every student in his son’s science class looking for stolen money. A big search like that would seem to violate Albuquerque Public Schools’ policy.
The parent says the teacher claimed someone stole from her purse. That’s when everyone in the class became a suspect.
Albuquerque dad Robert Connors is shocked over what his son’s science class went through last week.
“I think it sends a bad message,” said Connors.
He says he got a call from a security officer from Volcano Vista High School on Friday. The message said Connor’s junior class was searched after the teacher says money went missing from her wallet.
Connors went to his son to find out what he did wrong.
He says his teen told him he and his classmates were pulled out of class, three at a time. Then, their belongings and the students themselves, were searched in the hallway.
“They should have done it in private and then the more I talked to him, I realized, why did they even search you? They had no real basis to do that,” Connors said.
According to the APS handbook, a search can only be done when there’s a reasonable suspicion that the student searched committed a crime or violated school policy.
“You couldn’t reasonably think the whole class stole it,” said Connors. “I understand the teacher would want her money back, but that goes against the principals of the country. You can’t just search people in hopes of finding guilty people, so I became very offended by it.”
Connors says the district not only violated their own rules, but they also violated the U.S. Constitution, not to mention, he says the school sent the wrong message to kids.
Now, he says he’s worried what else the district might do.
“They’re children, but they have the same rights. If anything, they should have more protection,” said Connors.
Albuquerque Public Schools sent the following statement in response:
“We are looking into the situation to determine whether district procedures pertaining to student searches were followed and will address the situation accordingly.”