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Policy Number: 
Board File: JIH

To maintain order and discipline in the schools and to protect the health, safety and welfare of students and school personnel, school authorities may search a student, a student’s personal effects, student lockers, desks or storage areas, or automobiles under the circumstances outlined below and may immediately take possession of any illegal, unauthorized, or contraband materials discovered in the search.

As used in this policy, the term “unauthorized” means any item dangerous or detrimental to the health, safety, or welfare of students or school personnel; disruptive of any lawful function, mission, or process of the school; or any item described as unauthorized in the current school rules or District policies.

A student’s failure to permit lawful searches and seizures as provided in this policy will be considered grounds for disciplinary action.

Personal Searches

A student’s person and/or personal effects in his/her possession (e.g., purse, book bag, etc.) may be searched whenever a school authority has reasonable suspicion to believe that the student is in possession of illegal or unauthorized materials.

If a pat-down search of a student’s person is conducted, it will be conducted in private by a school official of the same sex and with an adult witness present, except that under urgent circumstances, a search may be conducted by a school official alone, without a witness present.

If the administrator feels that a more intrusive search is required, searches of the person of a student which require removal of clothing other than a coat or jacket shall be referred to and conducted by a law enforcement officer, and school personnel will not participate in such searches.

Locker Searches

Student lockers are school property and remain at all times under the control of the school; however, students are expected to assume full responsibility for the security of their lockers.  General inspections of locker contents may be conducted by school authorities for any reason at any time without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant.

Automobile Searches

Students are permitted to park on school premises as a matter of privilege, not of right. The school retains authority to patrol the student parking lots and inspect the exteriors of automobiles on school property.

The interiors of vehicles may be inspected whenever a school authority has reasonable suspicion to believe that illegal or unauthorized materials are contained inside.

Evidence Seized in a Search

Any item found in the course of a search conducted in accordance with District policy and determined to be evidence of a violation of District policy, school rules, or federal, state or local laws shall be immediately seized and tagged for identification. Such evidence will be kept in a secure place by the principal or principal’s designee. If such evidence is determined to be a violation of the law, the principal or designee shall promptly contact a law enforcement officer to pick up the evidence. Otherwise, the evidence shall be maintained by the principal or principal’s designee until it is no longer needed as evidence in a school disciplinary hearing, at which time it will be returned to the parent, guardian or legal custodian of the student from whom it was seized.

Adopted: June 17, 1986
Revised: October 15, 2002

JIC/JICDA, Student Conduct, and subcodes
JK, Student Discipline, and subcodes