The purpose of these guidelines is to outline the procedures for searches of student lockers, desks, personal possessions, student’s person and all other locations.
A. "Contraband" means any unauthorized item possession of which is prohibited by school district policy and/or law. It includes but is not limited to weapons and "look-alikes," alcoholic beverages, tobacco products, controlled substances and "look-alikes," other materials belonging to the school district, and stolen property.
B. "Personal possessions" includes but is not limited to purses, backpacks, book bags, packages, clothing, and electronic devices. It does not include district owned devices.
C. "Reasonable suspicion" means that a school official has grounds to believe that the search will result in evidence of a violation of school district policy, rules, and/or law. Reasonable suspicion may be based on a school official's personal observation, a report from a student or staff member or other individual, a student's suspicious behavior, a student's age and past history or record of conduct both in and out of the school context, an “alert” or signal received in the course of conducting a canine search of lockers or vehicles parked in school parking lots or property, or other reliable sources of information.
D. "Reasonable scope" means that the scope and/or intrusiveness of the search is reasonably related to the objectives of the search. Factors to consider in determining what is reasonable include the seriousness of the suspected infraction, the reliability of the information, the necessity of acting without delay, the existence of exigent circumstances necessitating an immediate search and further investigation (e.g. to prevent violence, serious and immediate risk of harm or destruction of evidence), and the age of the student.
A. School officials may inspect any school property, the interiors of lockers and desks for any reason at any time, without notice, without consent, and without a search warrant.
B. School officials may inspect the personal possessions of a student and/or a student's person based on a reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover a violation of law or school rules. A search of personal possessions of a student and/or a student's person will be reasonable in its scope and intrusiveness.
C. School officials may conduct routine patrols of student parking lots and other school district locations and routine inspections of the exteriors of the motor vehicles of students. Such patrols and inspections may be conducted without notice, without consent, and without a search warrant.
D. The interiors of motor vehicles of students in school district locations, including glove or trunk compartments, may be searched when school officials have a reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover a violation of law and/or school policy or rule. The search will be reasonable in its scope and intrusiveness. Such searches may be conducted without notice, without consent, and without a search warrant. A student will be subject to withdrawal of parking privileges and to discipline if the student refuses to open a locked motor vehicle under the student’s control or its compartments upon the request of a school official.
E. As soon as practicable after a search of personal possessions the school officials must provide notice of the search to students and parents/guardians whose possessions were searched unless disclosure would impede an ongoing investigation by police or school officials.
F. Whenever feasible, a search of a person shall be conducted in private by a school official. A second school employee or school resource officer shall be present as an observer during the search of a person. A school official conducting searches will have a second official present as an observer.
G. Personal searches involving the removal of coverings or clothing from private areas shall not be permitted. Under no circumstances will school officials conduct body cavity searches or strip searches.
H. A summary of this policy will be printed in the student handbook or disseminated in any other way which school officials deem appropriate. A complete copy of the policy will be available for review in each school office and the superintendent's office and shall also be available on the district web site.
The building principal or designee will notify parents/guardians as soon as practical when a search has occurred and contraband is found.
Dated: January 21, 2003
Reviewed: June 17, 2008
Revised: January 22, 2019