502.8 Search & Seizure

SEARCH AND SEIZURE

All school district property is held in public trust by the Board of Education.  School officials may, without a search warrant, search a student, student lockers, desks, student backpacks (or any other container used by a student for holding or carrying personal belongings of any kind), work areas or automobiles to maintain order and discipline in the schools, promote the educational environment, and protect the safety and welfare of students, school personnel, and others on school premises or at school-sponsored activities.  School authorities may seize any illegal, unauthorized or contraband materials discovered in the search. 

The furnishing of a locker, desk or other facility or space owned by the school and provided as a courtesy to a student, even if the student provides the lock for it, shall not create a protected student area and shall not give rise to an expectation of privacy with respect to the locker, desk or other facility.  School officials may conduct periodic inspections of all, or a randomly selected number of school lockers, desks and other facilities or spaces owned by the school and provided as a courtesy to a student.  During periodic inspections, students may be required to place their backpacks (or any other container used by a student for holding or carrying personal belongings of any kind) in their locker or in the hallway outside of their locker. Periodic inspections of school lockers, desks and other facilities or spaces owned by the school and provided as a courtesy to a student may be conducted using a drug-sniffing animal.  A drug-sniffing animal may not be used to search a student’s body.

A search warrant must be obtained prior to searching a locker or other personal belongings of a student where the search is based upon a drug dog sniff conducted by law enforcement.  

It is the finding of the Board of Education that illegal, unauthorized or contraband materials generally cause material and substantial disruption to the school environment or present a threat to the health and safety of students, employees, or visitors on the school premises.   Items of contraband may include, but are not limited to, nonprescription controlled substances, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, apparatus used for the administration of controlled substances, drug look-alikes, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, weapons, explosives, poisons, dangerous objects or stolen property.  Such items are not to be possessed by a student anywhere on school premises.

All searches of individual students and individual protected student areas must be based on a reasonable suspicion and be reasonable in scope.

It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.