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853 prohibited items seized from Georgian schoolchildren

By Tea Mariamidze
Tuesday, April 16
The Resource Officers, who are located at Georgian schools to preserve order and safety, seized 853 dangerous and prohibited items from Georgian schoolchildren in September-April.

The Ministry of Education Sports and Science of Georgia released the information.

The seized items include drugs, a pistol, knives, lighters, alcohol, electric shocks, electronic cigarettes, cards and pyrotechnics.

“There were seized: 1 firearm, 56 knives, 13 sharp objects, 3 blunt objects, 25 cards or other gambling objects, 3 explosives or poisonous substances and 26 brass knuckles. There were also 4 cases of use of the headphones, 294 cases of smoking cigarettes and using lighters, 73 pyrotechnics, 80 electronic cigarettes, 1 electric shock, 33 items for using drugs, 21 cases of taking alcohol in the school area, 20 cases of taking drug substances into the school area," the ministry reports.

From September 17, 2018, to April 2019, over 66 thousand violations have been reported in public schools.

From February 1, 2019, 1435 contactless inspections were conducted in schools throughout Georgia. In Tbilisi – 905, Kvemo Kartli -152, Samegrelo-Zemo Svaneti -95, Imereti -86, Shida Kartli -71, Adjara -70, Samtskhe-Javakheti -28, Mtskheta-Mtianeti -12, Kakheti -10 and Guria 6.

During the academic year 2017-2018, the resource officers seized 94 prohibited items from 1242 schools.

As for the academic year 2016-2017, 177 high-risk and various prohibited items were seized during the personal search of schoolchildren at 1966 schools.

The statement of the Education Ministry reads that the primary task of the Resource Officer is to ensure safe, healthy and positive environment at public schools and to prevent violence.

“The resource officer is entitled to conduct a personal search of schoolchildren by the permission or supervision of the school principal only in case there are some well-grounded suspicions,” the statement reads.

In case of alleged violence, conflict situations, violation of public order and/or violation of the law, the resource officers have to report to the parents and the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which in turn will take further relevant measures.

Within the safe school program initiated by the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, the Office of Resource Officers was created in April 2010.

At the initial stage, within the pilot system, the officers were attached to seven schools of Georgia. However, the current policy calls for reserve police officers to be attached to each school and watch for students who cut lessons, smoke, or cause general disruptions on the campus grounds.