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Last Updated Date: 03/22/2022

Adoption Date: 06/22/2021

Revision History: 3/22/22 (updated), 2/14/23 (reviewed), 2/13/24 (reviwed)


Searches (in general)

Resonable and Articulable Suspicion 

A search of a student will be justified when there are reasonable grounds for the suspicion that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating the law or school district policy, rules, or regulations affecting school order.

Reasonable suspicion may be formed by considering factors such as the following:

  1. eyewitness observations by employees;
  2. information received from reliable sources;
  3. suspicious behavior by the student; or,
  4. the student's past history and school record although this factor alone is not sufficient to provide the basis for reasonable suspicion

Reasonable Scope

A search will be permissible in its scope or intrusiveness when the measures adopted are reasonably related to the objectives of the search. Reasonableness of scope or intrusiveness may be determined based on factors such as the following:

  1. the age of the student;
  2. the sex of the student;
  3. the nature of the infraction; and
  4. the emergency requiring the search without delay.

Types of Searches

Personal Searches

A student's person and/or personal effects (e.g., purse, backpack, etc.) may be searched when a school official has reasonable suspicion to believe the student is in possession of illegal or contraband items or has violated school district policies, rules, regulations or the law affecting school order.

Personally intrusive searches will require more compelling circumstances to be considered reasonable.

  1. Pat-Down Search: If a pat-down search or a search of a student's garments (such as jackets, socks, pockets, etc.) is conducted, two staff officials should be present and at least one should identify as the same gender of the student. Non-binary students will have the choice of selecting the gender of the official if a non-binary member of staff is not present, when feasible.
  2. If a more intrusive search is required, police should be contacted. 

Locker and Desk Inspections

Although school lockers and desks are temporarily assigned to individual students, they remain the property of the school district at all times. The school district has a reasonable and valid interest in insuring the lockers and desks are properly maintained. For this reason, lockers and desks are subject to unannounced inspections and students have no legitimate expectations of privacy in the locker or desk. Periodic inspections of all or a random selection of lockers or desks may be conducted by school officials in the presence of the student or another individual. Any contraband discovered during such searches will be confiscated by school officials and may be turned over to law enforcement officials.

The contents of a student's locker or desk (coat, backpack, purse, etc.) may be searched when a school official has reasonable and articulable suspicion that the contents contains illegal or contraband items or evidence of a violation of law or school policy or rule. Such searches should be conducted in the presence of another adult witness when feasible.

Automobile Searches

Students are permitted to park on school premises as a matter of privilege, not of right. The school retains authority to conduct routine patrols of the student parking lots. The interior of a student's automobile on the school premises may be searched if the school official has reasonable and articulable suspicion to believe that illegal, unauthorized or contraband items are contained inside.

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