SEARCHES BY STAFF
The right of inspection of students’ school lockers is inherent in the authority granted school boards and administrators. This authority may be exercised as needed in the interest of safeguarding children, their property and school property.
Nevertheless, exercise of that authority by school officials places unusual demands on their judgment so as to protect each child’s constitutional rights to personal privacy and protection from coercion and to act in the best interest of all students and the schools.
The following rules apply to the search of school property assigned to a specific student (locker, desk, etc.), and the seizure of items in his possession:
1. There should be reasonable cause for school authorities to believe that articles are kept in the locker, desk, or other storage space whose possession constitutes a crime or rule violation.
2. Search of an area assigned to a student should be for a specifically identified item, and should be conducted in his or her presence and with his or her knowledge.
3. General housekeeping inspection of school property may be conducted with reasonable notice.
4. Illegal items (drugs, weapons, etc.) or other possessions reasonably determined to be a threat to the safety or security of others may be seized by school authorities at any time.
SEARCHES OF STUDENT PROPERTY BY POLICE
A proper search warrant is required for any search of a student’s personal property kept on school premises; however, if the police have reason to believe any item that might pose an immediate threat to the safety or security of others, searches may be conducted without a previously issued warrant.
INTERROGATIONS BY POLICE
The school district has legal custody of students during the school day and during hours of approved extracurricular activities. It is the responsibility of the school administration to make an effort to protect each student’s rights with respect to interrogations by law enforcement officials. Therefore:
1. When law enforcement officials find it necessary to question students during the school day or periods of extracurricular activities, the school principal or the principal’s designee will cooperate. An effort will be made to contact the student’s parent or guardian so that the responsible individual may be notified of the situation.
2. Parents or guardians will not be contacted in child abuse cases if the law enforcement official requests confidentiality.
3. If custody and/or arrest is involved, the principal will request that all procedural safeguards, as prescribed by law, be observed by the law enforcement officials.