Searches of Students and Their Property
A student is subject to search by district staff if reasonable grounds exist to suspect that evidence of a violation of the law or school rules will be uncovered. School staff shall report a student's suspicious activity to the principal prior to initiating a search, except in emergency situations.
- Establishing reasonable grounds. The following review of the basis for the search should occur before conducting a search:
- The student's suspicious conduct, behavior or activity;
- The source of the information; and
- The reliability of the source of such information.
- If suspicion could be confirmed, would such conduct be a violation of the law or school rules?
- Is the student likely to possess or have concealed any item, material or substance which is itself prohibited or which would be evidence of a violation of the law or a school rule?
- Conducting the search. If the principal, or his/her designee, determines that reasonable grounds exist to search a student's clothing, personal effects, desk, locker, assigned storage area or automobile, the search shall be conducted as follows:
- If evidence of criminal activity is suspected to be present, and prosecution by civil authorities will be recommended if confirmed by the search, contact law enforcement officials immediately.
- If evidence of violation of a school rule is suspected, and if confirmed by the search will be handled as a student discipline action, proceed to search by asking the student to remove all items from pockets, purses, handbags, backpacks, gym bags, etc.
- If the student refuses to cooperate in a personal search, the student should be held until the student's parent or guardian is available to consent to the search. If a parent or guardian cannot be reached in a reasonable time, the principal may conduct the search without the student's consent.