226.  SEARCHES - Pg.

226.  SEARCHES

1.        Purpose

The primary purpose and justification for any search is the protection of the health, safety and welfare of the students, school property and the educational process.

2.        Authority

        SC 510

      Title 22

      Sec. 12.14

The administration may search a student, student’s lockers or student’s vehicle and seize any illegal and prohibited materials found.  Such materials may be used as evidence against the student in disciplinary proceedings.  Prior to a locker or vehicle search, the student will be notified and given an opportunity to be present.  However, when the administration and staff have a REASONABLE SUSPICION that the locker or vehicle contains materials which create a threat to the health, welfare, safety and/or order of the school, a search may be conducted without prior notice.  All searches will be conducted by an administrator with a staff member present as a witness.

The Board establishes that students should keep their assigned lockers closed and locked against incursion by other students.  No student may use a locker as a depository for a substance or object which is prohibited by law or district rules, or which constitutes a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the occupants of the school building or the building itself.

        Title 22

        Sec. 12.14

The Board reserves the right to authorize its employees to inspect a student's locker at any time, based on reasonable suspicion, for the purpose of determining whether the locker is being used improperly for the storage of contraband, a substance or object, the possession of which is illegal, or any material that poses a hazard to the safety and good order of the schools.  The Board authorizes the administration to conduct random searches of lockers at any time.

  1. Delegation of

Responsibility

Title 22

Sec. 12.14

Students shall be notified at least annually, or more often if deemed appropriate by administration, concerning the contents of this policy and district procedures.

        Pol. 218.2, 227

All students are responsible for the contents of assigned lockers and therefore subject to disciplinary procedures which address possession of drugs, alcohol, weapons or incendiary articles.

The Superintendent or designee shall develop procedures to implement this policy which shall require:

  1. The principal or designee shall be present whenever a student locker is

   Inspected.

        Pol. 225

  1. The principal shall open a student's locker for inspection on the request of a

   law enforcement officer only on presentation of a duly authorized search

  warrant or on the intelligently and voluntarily given consent of the student.

  1. The principal shall be responsible for the safekeeping and proper disposal

   of any substance, object or material found to be stored in a student’s locker

   in violation of Board policy or school rules.

  1. The principal shall be responsible for the prompt recording in writing of

   each locker inspection; such record shall include the reason(s) for the

  search, persons present, objects found and their disposition.

School officials are authorized to search a student's personal possessions or motor vehicle parked on school property when there is reasonable suspicion that the student is violating law, Board policy or school rules, or poses a threat to themselves or the school population.

4.        Guidelines

        

        

Personal Searches

A student’s person or personal property (purse, book bag, jacket, trousers) will be searched whenever the administration has REASONABLE SUSPICION to believe that s/he is in possession of illegal or unauthorized materials.

A pat down search of a student will be conducted in private by an administrator and a staff member of the same sex.  No strip searches will be conducted.

Locker and Desk Searches

Student lockers and desks are school property and remain at all times under the control of the school.  The school reserves the right to inspect lockers at any time without notice and without consent.  Students are expected to assume full responsibility for the security of their lockers.

Periodic locker inspections will be conducted by the administration at any time during the school year.  The search of a particular locker will only be made upon REASONABLE SUSPICION that the student has illegal materials or when there has been a violation of a school rule or regulation.

Search Dogs

A drug/explosive detection dog may be used to search student lockers, classrooms and school property at the discretion of the building administrator.  The dog must be accompanied by a qualified and authorized handler who will be responsible for the dog’s actions.  Dogs shall not be used to search students.

Vehicle Searches

Students are granted a permit to park on school grounds as a matter of privilege, not of right.  The school retains the authority to conduct routine checks of student vehicles.  A drug/explosive detection dog may be used to conduct routine checks of student vehicles parked on school property.  Interior inspections will be conducted when the administration has a REASONABLE SUSPICION that there are illegal or unauthorized materials contained inside the vehicle, or a school rule has been violated.

Metal Detectors

School security screening metal detectors shall be used in the district on an as needed basis, when requested by the administrators.

General Provisions

Any student refusing a search will be suspended and recommended for expulsion from the district.  The student will remain in the custody of school officials until released to a parent/guardian or police officials.

Searches conducted by the administration may include but not be limited to utilization of certified drug dogs, metal detection units, or any device used to protect the health, safety and welfare of the school population.

References:

School Code – 24 P.S. Sec. 510

State Board of Education Regulations – 22 PA Code Sec. 12.14

Board Policy – 218.2, 225, 227

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