Following massacres at schools overseas, violence has also hit schools here, with teachers stabbed at Avondale College and Te Puke High, but Secondary Principals' Association president Patrick Walsh said some teachers were reluctant to search students because they felt they would be charged with assault.
Principals are now consulting a document which advises them they can search students for illicit items without fear of legal recriminations, anything from asking a pupil to turn out their pockets to a full body check, One News reported.
The Ministry of Education is working on official guidelines that will go out to schools in the next few weeks.
However, Youth Law said the policy could breach the Bill of Rights.
Youth Law solicitor John Hancock said it amounted to random searches, which even the police did not have the power to do.