The US House of Representatives recently passed the so-called Student Teacher Safety Act of 2006 (HR 5295). The Student Teacher Safety Act requires all schools receiving federal funding to adopt authoritarian policies. It would essentially require most school districts to allow teachers and other school officials to search any student at any time for any or no reason at all. NYRA members are encouraged to contact their US Senators, and ask them to oppose this legislation, should a Senate version come to the floor. Rep. Geoff Davis, who is facing a tough reelection, introduced HR 5295. Among the groups opposed to the bill are the National School Boards Association, the American Association of School Administrators, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Great City Council Schools, Students for a Sensible Drug Policy, and of course, NYRA.

The bill made its way through the House of Representatives by an anonymous two-thirds voice vote, which would not have been possible without the tacit approval of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. Youth rights activists should demand to know if their Representatives voted for this atrocious legislation. A few members of Congress had the courage to stand up and speak out against HR 5295 – particularly Rep. Pete Stark, Rep. Lynn Woolsey, Rep. Danny Davis, and Rep. George Miller.