Administrative Guideline - 4771 Search and Seizure

 

REVISED 9/10/12


Pursuant to School Board Policy 4771, the following guidelines shall be used when school administrators have reason to suspect that an illegal or dangerous substance or object or stolen property may be in the possession of a student:

A.      All requests or suggestions for the search of a student or his/her possessions shall be directed to the principal or the person in charge of the students while out of the Corporation.

B.      Wherever possible, before conducting the search, the building administrator shall notify the student, request his/her consent to the inspection if other than his/her locker, and inform the student that s/he may withhold consent. Such consent, if offered, shall be given voluntarily and with the knowledge that it could have been withheld. The principal shall conduct the search, however, with or without the consent.

C.      Wherever possible, an adult third party, shall be present at any search of a student or his/her possessions.

D.      Wherever possible, the student shall be present at any search of his/her possessions.

E.       The principal or their designee may conduct a student search upon reasonable suspicion to suspect the presence of an illegal or dangerous substance or object, or anything contraband under school rules.

F.      The principal or their designee shall be responsible for the custody, control, and disposition of any illegal or dangerous substance or object taken from a student, whether during a student search or otherwise.

G.     The principal or their designee should be responsible for the prompt recording of each student search which will be kept in his/her office.

H.      Whenever the search is prompted by the reasonable suspicion that possession of a substance or object immediately threatens the safety and health of the student or others, the principal shall act with as much speed and dispatch as is required to protect persons and property in the school while keeping clearly in mind the student's rights and the potential consequences of inappropriate or hasty action.

REASONABLE SUSPICION


As used in this section, "reasonable suspicion for a search" means grounds sufficient to cause an adult of normal intellect to believe that the search of a particular person, place, or thing will lead to the discovery of evidence that the student:

A.      has violated or is violating a rule or behavioral norm contained in the student handbook, or

B.      has violated or is violating a particular law, or

C.      possesses an item or substance which presents an immediate danger of physical harm or illness to students and staff or Corporation property.

LOCKERS AND OTHER STORAGE AREAS PROVIDED FOR STUDENT USE


All lockers and other storage areas provided for student use are the property of the School Corporation and are provided as a service to the student for school materials or personal items that are for necessary use at school. The student is expected to take reasonable care of lockers or such use may be denied by the building principal. A small annual service fee for a lock may be charged. The School Corporation will retain access to all student lockers.

A.      The principal and/or his/her agent shall open and inspect a student's locker or selected lockers if, in his/her judgment, there is a clear and present danger to other persons or property.

B.      The principal and/or his/her agent shall open and inspect a student's locker or selected lockers if there is reasonable evidence that materials forbidden by law, school policy, or school rules are therein.

C.      Before a particular student's locker is inspected, the student, or students, if present on the school premises, shall, where possible, be contacted and given the opportunity to be present unless circumstances require that inspection be conducted immediately.

D.      Nothing in these rules shall affect members of the custodial staff who, at the direction of the building principal, shall clean out lockers as part of the regular housekeeping, or lockers of those students who no longer are enrolled in school.

E.       A copy of the rules relative to lockers shall be provided each enrolled student.

DESKS AND OTHER STORAGE AREAS


A desk or any other storage area in the school provided for student use as well as the contents contained therein, may be searched when the principal has reasonable suspicion for a search.

VEHICLES


A.      A school administrator may enter and inspect any vehicle, if, in his/her judgment, there is reasonable evidence that materials forbidden by law, school policy, or school rules are therein.

B.      One of the conditions for granting permission for a student to bring a student-operated vehicle onto school premises is written consent by the student driver, the owner of the vehicle, and the parent of the student to allow search of that vehicle. Refusal by any of the parties to provide or allow access to a vehicle at the time of the search request shall be cause for terminating the privilege without further hearing.

C.      Searches of vehicles of staff members or visitors shall be conducted by law enforcement personnel.

STUDENT


A.      The personal search of a student may be conducted by the principal or designated building administrator who has reasonable suspicion for a search of that student. Authorized searches of the student's person are:

1.      searches of the pockets of the student;

2.      purses, briefcases, or any other object in the possession of the student;

3.      a "pat down" of the exterior of the student's clothing and the removal of any item identified;

4.      removal of an article of exterior clothing such as a jacket.

B.      personal searches shall be conducted in a private room by a person of the same sex designated by the principal. At least one (1) but not more than three (3) additional staff members of the same sex as the student being searched shall witness but not participate in the search. At the request of the student to be searched, an additional person of the same sex as the student designated by the student, and then reasonably available on school premises, shall witness the search. The student's parents shall be notified of the search as soon as reasonably possible.

C.      Strip searches are to be conducted only by law enforcement personnel.

METHOD OF SEARCH


The scope of any search should be limited by the reasonable suspicion that motivated the search. If an item is found that leads to reasonable suspicion that additional, correlated items may also exist, the search may be extended. If the initial search produces no evidence of contraband, there should be no extension of the search based on simple curiosity.

ITEMS FOUND


Anything found in the course of a search which is evidence of a student violation of school rules or Federal/State laws may be:

A.      seized and admitted as evidence in any suspension or expulsion proceeding if it is tagged for identification at the time it is seized and kept in a secure place by the principal until it is presented at the hearing;

B.      turned over to any law enforcement officer after proper notation and receipt.

BREATH-TEST INSTRUMENTS


The Board has authorized the use of breath-test instruments for the purpose of determining if a student has consumed an alcoholic beverage at school events under the following conditions:

A.      Students will be informed in writing that breath tests will be administered at the school event.

B.      Students entering the event will be required to take the test.

C.      If the test does not indicate a presence of alcohol the student may enter the event.

D.      If the test indicates a presence of alcohol the student will be directed to a police officer at which time the police officer will administer a more elaborate test to confirm the results.

E.      If the student is found to have consumed alcohol, the student will face school discipline and police action will occur.

USE OF POLICE K-9(S)


The Board has authorized the use of specially – trained K-9(s) to detect the presence of drugs and devices such as bombs on school property under the following conditions:

A.      The presence of the K-9(s) on school property must be authorized, in advance, by the building principal (or their designee) or be pursuant to a court order or warrant.

B.      The K-9(s) must be handled by a law enforcement officer specially trained to safely and competently work with the K-9.

C.      The K-9 is represented by the Sheriff or Chief of Police providing the service as capable of accurately detecting drugs and/or devices.

D.      The K-9(s) will be allowed to examine a student’s possessions, including but not limited to vehicles, backpacks and purses.

E.      The K-9(s) will be allowed to examine school property such as lockers as permitted by the building principal (or their designee).

F.      The Director of in charge of safety will coordinate all K-9 searches with the Carmel Police Department for all secondary schools.

BUILDING K-9 SEARCHES WILL BE CONDUCTED IN THE FOLLOWING MANNER:


A.      The Director of in charge of safety will contact the building principal (or their designee) one (1) hour prior to the K-9 search to inform them that a K-9 search will take place in their building that day.

B.      The police and their K-9(s) arrive unannounced, wait outside the building and will be escorted into the building by an administrator.

C.      An announcement is made to staff and students that a K-9 search is taking place and that the school is under a lockdown until further notice. School staff will follow the established building lockdown procedure.

D. If a search is conducted by a single purpose drug detection K-9, the SRO will make contact and schedule with building level administrative approval.

LOCKER SEARCH PROCEDURE (HIGH SCHOOL AND MIDDLE SCHOOL)


A.      Police and K-9(s) are assigned to specific areas (lockers) of the school and will be escorted at all times by a building administrator.

B.      If a K-9 indicates the possibility of drugs in a locker that will be reasonable suspicion for the administration to conduct a locker search following normal procedures. Lockers in the general area of the locker that the K-9 indicated for the possibility of drugs will also be searched.

C.      If the administration finds drugs during the locker search, they will proceed with a normal school investigation and school discipline which will include notifying the police.

PARKING LOT/STUDENT VEHICLE SEARCH PROCEDURE (HIGH SCHOOL)


A.      Police and K-9(s) are assigned to specific areas of the student parking lot and will be escorted at all times by a building administrator.

B.      If a K-9 indicates the possibility of drugs in a student vehicle that will be reasonable suspicion for the administration to conduct a vehicle search following normal procedures.

C.      If the administration finds drugs during the vehicle search, they will proceed with a normal school investigation and school discipline which will include notifying the police.

CLASSROOM SEARCH PROCEDURE (HIGH SCHOOL)


A.      Police and K-9(s) are assigned to specific areas (classrooms) of the school and will be escorted at all times by a building administrator.

B.      The administrator will instruct the students to place their personal belongings (backpacks, purses, etc.) in the hallway immediately outside their classroom. The students will return to their classroom while the K-9 officer and administrator search the student belongings.

C.      If a K-9 indicates the possibility of drugs in a student’s personal belongings (backpacks, purses, etc.) that will be reasonable suspicion for the administration to conduct a search following normal procedures.

D.      If the administration finds drugs during the search, they will proceed with a normal school investigation and school discipline which will include notifying the police.

REVISED 3/05
REVISED 8/23/04
Revised 11/20/2017