Getting Searched: According To The Book

Jymirah Chatman and Nyla Mcdowell

There has been controversy over what hall monitors are allowed to do, and what they legally can’t do. A hall monitor is meant to protect students and prevent students from bringing any illegal substances or weapons into the buildings.

“Their number one job is like campus monitor, campus security is their number one thing,” Dean of students, Puvalowski says.

“I would say yes I think that our hall monitors are trained properly and are aware of their responsibilities and restrictions,” said Puvalowski. 

“We need reasonable suspicion…It can be an OK2Say tip or from a teacher or staff member, or if they smell like marijuana but we need a reason”…Puvalowski continues explaining how the hall monitors don’t have the same privilege as the police. Hall monitors usually need probable cause.

Jeff Valken, Hall monitor says,“ Hall monitors don’t search students.. we will take them to administration for cause… If you’re doing something questionable, or you’re with people who are doing something questionable.” Valken used the example of two people being in one stall.

Valken explains, “We can go anywhere in the school…males can’t go in females bathrooms just like females can’t go in males bathrooms.” Valken explains how easily suspicious you can look in the bathroom because there is a maximum of five stalls so if there happens to be a group of ten or more students grouped in the bathroom particularly in or closely surrounding the stalls it raises suspicion on everyone now in the bathroom. 

Guilty by association is very real, by law if you have involvement with a person that has committed a crime you are also considered guilty. Continuously hanging around people that make bad decisions naturally can raise suspicion or even make you seem guilty.

Ariel Nariah, junior, says, “I understand why they do it but I think that they do too much. I’ve been searched three times this year…Once they just thought I was suspicious, another time was because they reported me to OK2Say, and then the last time my friends and I were in the bathroom and Mrs. Shannon just came in.” They didn’t find anything on her but they found something on her friends.

Trentan Tanaliski, senior, says, “Coach will came in my classroom and told me to bring all my stuff..when I got to his office he said that somebody told him that I was smoking in the locker room but I wasn’t.” Tanaliski continues explaining how he was patted down, and eventually, his friends he was walking with in the hallways were searched as well, but nothing was found on him or either of his four friends.

In some cases, students get searched or falsely accused and the overall process can make students feel uncomfortable especially if they aren’t found guilty. Many students feel like they are a walking target and unfortunately get searched regularly. The main reason being, that anyone can make a report whether it’s true or false but hall monitors have a responsibility to investigate it for the school’s overall protection.