Should teachers be allowed to search students' bags?

Nicholas Wong Hei, 17

Sing Yin Secondary School

Yes. The aim of going to school is to learn to be good. Students should be protected from evil things, such as pornography and violent comics.

If a student brought these things to school, his or her peers may be affected. Letting teachers search students' bags would discourage students from bringing inappropriate things to school.

Once you have decided to study at a school, it is assumed that you will obey the school rules and give up some minor rights.

You are not allowed to talk and eat in class, for example, as classmates will be disturbed.

On the other hand, teachers should show restraint in exercising their power. Bags should not be searched without reasons. I believe teachers know when and how to search a student's bag.

I understand that this is a violation of students' rights and is not welcomed by students, but it is the school's obligation to protect students.

In the US, students have almost absolute freedom and teachers are not allowed to interfere in any way. But we can see that this results in drug abuse, school violence and even school shootings.

Before saying we must protect our rights, we have to make sure that no students are carrying guns to school. Searching their bags can achieve this aim.

Isn't it worth giving up some rights to prevent bad things from happening?

Phoenix Lee Ching-Kwan, 18

Tin Ka Ping Secondary School

No. Bag searching infringes on students' privacy. Some naughty students might try to bring inappropriate things to school. But, searching students' bags would only frighten them into behaving properly. It would not teach them why the behaviour's wrong.

How would you feel if your schoolbag was emptied out in front of your classmates? Comics, PlayStations and MP3 players might distract students, but they still have the right to privacy.

Once they enter school grounds, everything they do is under teachers' supervision. There are guidelines telling them what to wear, what to bring and what to do. Their behaviour is already bound by enough rules.

Searching schoolbags would be crossing the line. It would also show that the school has no faith in the students.

If bags were searched, students would be annoyed and the relationship between teachers and students would suffer.

Also, students would figure out other ways to sneak banned items into school. If a student's bag was searched, he or she would only think about how to not get caught next time. This is not the right attitude.

If only the bags of 'suspicious' students were to be checked, how would teachers know who's suspicious? What if teachers picked the wrong person?

Is it worth victimising a student just because of a PSP? Why not wait and catch them when they're using it.