School Staff Invading Students Privacy


Drew Hannon

Drew Hannon

Athletics Editor

Did you have your backpack checked when you entered campus at the start of the school year? For the school week of September 7-10, Millikan’s Campus Security Officers (CSO) were checking students’ backpacks before they entered campus. Rams might have had their backpacks checked or they were just completely skipped by the school staff. In order not to hold up entrance lines, CSO’s began to check every few students. 

Personally, I don’t like the backpack checks because I feel like my space is being invaded. It makes me feel uncomfortable that people I do not know are squeezing the outsides and looking through my personal belongings at school. But I understand the reason why they had to happen.

Misinformation on why these backpack checks happened spread rapidly, so to clarify, here’s what The Long Beach Post published about an event on September 3rd, one school day before the backpack checks started at Millikan. 

Sebastian Echeverry of the Long Beach Post wrote, two teenagers not affiliated with LBUSD were arrested outside Lakewood High School, “after at least one of them pointed a gun at a campus security officer.” A statement from the school later that day said school operations resumed by 3 pm and everyone on campus remained safe.

The staff here at Millikan and all across the district want to make safety their top priority so I understand staff will take precautions like checking students’ backpacks. Rather than violating my privacy by touching personal property without much warning, I feel the school can put in technology, like metal detectors, which will catch weapons and keep my school-appropriate items private. 

CSO Jack, who asked that his last name not be used, was one of the staff that was checking backpacks when students entered campus. He said, “It’s just part of my job. I wasn’t given specific instructions about this, I just had to check them.” His overall opinion was, “I think it helped people feel more safe.”

Millikan never addressed what the search was for; however, Millikan Principal Alejandro Vega said, “The reason why Campus Security Officers checked students’ backpacks was because there were issues district wide and all high schools were asked to do this at some point. I think the majority of students understand the purpose and feel it’s important that the students shouldn’t have stuff like weapons in their backpacks.” 

Millikan High School 300 building October 18th 2021: Picture of backpacks up against lockers