A Message from the Amsterdam High School Safety Committee

Dear Parent or Guardian,

Amsterdam High School is committed to providing an orderly, respectful environment that is conducive to learning: To create and maintain this kind of environment, it is necessary to regulate public conduct on school property and at school functions (COC, pg. 13). The school’s administration is responsible to, “address issues of any situation that threatens the physical health or safety of any student, school employee, or any person who is lawfully on school property (COC, p.6).”

To ensure the safety of all students, staff, and any person who is lawfully on school property, we are: instituting the random use of a metal detector. The purpose of this policy is to prevent and deter students from bringing weapons into the building. Per the Code of Conduct, the following weapons are not allowed on school premises: a weapon is defined as, but not limited to, having on a person; firearms, gravity knife, switchblade, cane sword, chuka stick, dagger, bludgeon, blackjack, billy, club, metal knuckles, explosives or firebomb (COC, pg.21).

Educational law 53.30 and 53.34 states that school officials are authorized to conduct metal detector screenings of students and searches of their personal effects with prior notification and established procedures. Random metal detector searches may occur at any time during the school day, and students must comply with instructions and directives from school officials during this process. The district will use both walk-through and hand-held metal detectors (wands). A student who refuses to comply with the search process will be subject to disciplinary consequences pursuant to the Code of Conduct.

The policy provides that district officials will:

  • Minimize inconvenience to students and interference with the educational process;
  • Maximize detection and deterrent value by regularly searching significant numbers of students;
  • Ensure that patterns are not established that would allow students to avoid searches by predicting the time and location of a search; and
  • Avoid instances in which any particular student or group of students are either being favored or targeted by adopting processes in advance of the search that leaves the operator of the metal detector(s) a minimum of discretion.

Random metal detector searches will ordinarily be carried out in the following manner:

  • ANIS staff will screen randomly selected students.
  • AHS administration, school resource officer, and monitors will set up and operate metal detector…
  • There will be two entryways: one for those being screened by the detector, and the other for those who have not been selected.
  • Students randomly selected will be asked to place their personal belongings from their pockets and person into an assigned container. Students will then pass through the metal detector and retrieve their personal items after being cleared.
  • If a student activates the metal detector, staff will attempt to determine the source of the alarm by asking the student to confirm that he or she has removed all metal objects and by using a hand-held metal detector.
  • If the source of the alarm cannot be determined quickly, the student will be escorted to a private area for additional screening to determine the source of the alarm
  • In conjunction with the metal detector screening, backpacks, bags and personal items capable of concealing a weapon will be opened and inspected for the presence of weapons.
  • If weapons are found, the Student Code of Conduct will be applied accordingly.
  • We are instituting the use of the metal detector the week of May 13.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation in this matter. If you have any questions, please contact the high school administration @ 518-843-4932.

Amsterdam High School Safety Committee