Chapter 8: Search and Seizure
In order to maintain safety and security in the schools, school authorities are authorized to conduct reasonable searches of school property and equipment, as well as of students and their personal effects. (Board Policy 7:140)
School Property and Equipment as well as Personal Effects Left There by Students
School authorities may inspect and search school property and equipment owned or controlled by the school (such as, lockers, desks, and parking lots), as well as personal effects left there by a student, without notice to or the consent of the student. Students have no reasonable expectation of privacy in these places or areas or in their personal effects left there.
The school principal may request the assistance of law enforcement officials to conduct inspections and searches of lockers, desks, parking lots, and other school property and equipment for illegal drugs, weapons, or other illegal or dangerous substances or materials, including searches conducted through the use of specially trained dogs.
School authorities may search a student and/or the student’s personal effects in their possession (such as, purses, wallets, knapsacks, book bags, lunch boxes, etc.) when there is a reasonable ground for suspecting that the search will produce evidence the particular student has violated or is violating either the law or the school or district’s student rules and policies. The search will be conducted in a manner that is reasonably related to the objective of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the student’s age and sex, and the nature of the infraction.
School officials may require a student to cooperate in an investigation if there is specific information about activity on the student’s account on a social networking website that violates the schools disciplinary rules or school district policy. In the course of the investigation, the student may be required to share the content that is reported in order for the school to make a factual determination.
Seizure of Property
If a search produces evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the school or district’s policies or rules, evidence may be seized and impounded by school authorities, and disciplinary action may be taken. When appropriate, evidence may be transferred to law enforcement authorities.