An inter-level private school in Dak Lak Province, located in Vietnam’s Central Highlands, has stopped conducting full-body searches on each of its students before they are allowed to enter its classrooms, after the media reported on the controversial pratice.
Le Ngoc Son, principal of Dong Du Private School in Dak Lak’s Buon Ma Thuot City, said on Friday that he had notified all parents of his school’s students about the discontinuation of the procedure.
“The school’s board of directors and pedagogical council would like to extend our heartfelt apologies to all parents for the school’s enforcement of security measures upon students’ arrival,” Son wrote in an open letter.
“The school has effectively managed security concerns, establishing a welcoming, safe, and healthy educational and living atmosphere that provides reassurance to both parents and students, particularly those in boarding or semi-boarding arrangements.”
Son evaluated that the bag and body search measures, which involves a relatively simple process where students raise both arms to shoulder level while staff scan them and pat them down, have successfully prevented the intrusion of negative influences into the school environment.
The negative influences include banned stuff, such as knives, scissors, and cigarettes.
“It has resulted in an absence of school-related violence and fostering a sense of security among children during their academic pursuits, instilling confidence in parents regarding their children’s safeness at school,” the school principal stated.
“The widespread support for these measures among parents and students is a testament to their tangible positive impact.
“However, a minority of parents and students still hold reservations about the school’s approach to implementing these measures.”
In response, the school has temporarily suspended the entry body searches on students.
Instead, the school will engage in research to introduce more suitable methods for ensuring students’ adherence to school regulations in the future.
Son also urged parents and students to contribute their ideas and recommendations to the school regarding safety measures, aiming to eliminate the need for bag and body searches.
“Feedback and suggestions from parents are highly valuable to the school’s efforts to enhance students’ compliance with rules,” Son conveyed.
Do Tuong Hiep, deputy director of the Department of Education and Training of Dak Lak Province, previously called for an immediate halt to the full-body searches on students at Dong Du School on Thursday after Tuoi Tre (Youth) newspaper had reported on the procedure.
According to Hiep, this approach fails to effectively deter incidents of school violence.
The measure has also sparked mixed opinions among students and parents regarding the balance between safety and privacy.