LINDEN — Students in grades 6-12 in the city's public schools are subject to random searches under a long-time policy being enforced this month.

“The Board of Education policy for random searches has been in place since 2010, and they have been used frequently in the past, Linden schools spokesman Gary Miller said in a written statement Thursday. "We want to make parents at our high school and middle schools aware that this is one of many tools we are employing to maintain school security and ensure all of our students and staff are safe."

A letter dated Tuesday sent out by the principals of the high school and both middle schools in Linden said that the random screenings are not a response to specific safety concerns or special events, but are aimed at discouraging "students from bringing any type of contraband to school and to secure a safe environment."

According to the letter, trained school personnel will carry out searches using hand-held, metal detecting wands on students from classrooms being randomly selected.

Any student found to be in possession of a weapon or contraband faces "appropriate disciplinary consequences."

Lockers also are subject to search and inspection, according to the principals.

Any weapon or contraband found inside a locker would mean disciplinary consequences to the student to whom it is assigned, the letter also said.

Miller said the "renewed" use of random searches is one part of efforts to boost security.

Other actions involve the district's law enforcement security officers, security vestibules at the entrance to every school, stricter rules for entering and other "behind-the-scenes moves" the letter said.

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