V-33: Search and Seizure

North Sanpete School District
Statement of .............  

Board Policy with Guidelines

Policy Number:  V-33
Effective Date:  12/10/1985
Revised Date:  07/17/2018
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Subject:  Search and Seizure

  1. BOARD POLICY
    It is appropriate that schools respect student's need for and right to privacy. However, school authorities are charged with protecting the health and safety of all students and promoting the effective operation of the schools. The interest of individual members of society in securing personal privacy must be balanced against the collective interest of society in obtaining the results of the search. The following guidelines shall be observed to assure the privacy of individuals and the safety and welfare of all students.
  2. GUIDELINES
    1. General Guidelines
      1. Any search conducted, in accordance with this policy, shall be carried out by the principal or
        a person designated by the principal.
      2. Searches of a student’s person or personal property (including, but not limited to, coats, hats, backpacks, book bags, purses, wallets, notebooks, gym bags, electronic devices, etc.) may be conducted with the student’s consent at any time.  The person must make it clear that he/she is asking for voluntary consent to search the student’s person or personal property.
      3. A student who does not voluntarily consent to a search may be subject to a search if school officials have reasonable suspicion to believe that a student possesses evidence that a policy or law has been violated or if the student presents an immediate danger of physical harm or illness to students, staff or school property.  A search without a student’s consent must be based on reasonable suspicion and must be reasonable in scope in that it must be limited to items that are capable of concealing such evidence. 
      4. The student’s age, history, school record and nature of the infraction are relevant factors in determining if the search is reasonable at its inception and in scope.
      5. Searches of a student’s person or intimate belongings shall be done in a private area with at least 2 staff presence, whenever possible.  If possible, one of the staff shall be of the same gender of the student being searched and present at any search of a student.  When searching a student’s belongings, the search should be conducted in the presence of the student whenever possible.
    2. Authorized Searches
      1. Authorized searches of a student’s person are as follows:
        1. the student’s pockets;
        2. purses, briefcases, backpacks or any objects in the possession of the student;
        3. a “pat-down” of the exterior of the student’s clothing and the removal of any identified item;
        4. removal of an article of exterior clothing such as a jacket, shoes, socks;
        5. a student’s electronic device if warranted and to the extent warranted; and
        6. requesting the student turn pockets inside out and roll up sleeves.
      2. Under no circumstances may school officials require students to remove any other items of clothing during the search.
      3. Student lockers, desks and other storage areas remain the property of the school district and school officials retain the right to inspect lockers at any time with or without cause.  However, once a locker, desk or other storage area is open for search, any search of student belongings contained therein must comply with the guidelines of this section.
      4. The school administration regulates admission to parking lots and the parking of vehicles on these lots.
      5. School principals have the right and the duty to inspect and search any vehicle parked on the parking lot of their school, if they reasonably suspect, upon information received from policy or otherwise, that drugs, weapons, dangerous, illegal or prohibited matter, or goods stolen from the school or from members of the staff or student body are likely to be found therein.
      6. The school principal must turn any illegal substance of such search over to the police for inspection or examination. These may be the subject of criminal or juvenile court prosecution or of school disciplinary proceedings.

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