Code No.: 502.5R
SEARCH AND SEIZURE REGULATION
I. Searches, in general.
A. Reasonable and Articulable Suspicion: A search of a student will be justified when there are
reasonable grounds for the suspicion that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated
or is violating the law or school district policy, rules, or regulations affecting school order.
Reasonable suspicion may be formed by considering factors such as the following:
(1) eyewitness observations by employees;
(2) information received from reliable sources;
(3) suspicious behavior by the student; or,
(4) the student’s past history and school record although this factor alone is not sufficient to
provide the basis for reasonable suspicion.
B. Reasonable Scope: A search will be permissible in its scope or intrusiveness when the measures
adopted are reasonably related to the objectives of the search. Reasonableness of scope or
intrusiveness may be determined based on factors such as the following:
(1) the age of the student;
(2) the sex of the student;
(3) the nature of the infraction; and
(4) the emergency requiring the search without delay.
II. Types of Searches
A. Personal Searches
1. A student’s person and/or personal effects (e.g., purse, backpack, etc.) may be searched when a
school official has reasonable suspicion to believe the student is in possession of illegal or
contraband items or has violated school district policies, rules, regulations or the law affecting
2. Personally intrusive searches will require more compelling circumstances to be considered
(a) Pat-Down Search: If a pat-down search or a search of a student’s garments (such as
jackets, socks, pockets, etc.) is conducted, it will be conducted in private by a school
official of the same sex as the student and with another adult witness of the same sex
present, when feasible.
(b) While school authorities cannot conduct a strip search, a more intrusive search, short of a
strip search, of the student’s person, handbags, book bags, etc., is permissible in
emergency situations when the health and safety of students, employees, or visitors are
threatened. Such a search may only be conducted in private by a school official of the
same sex as the student, with an adult of the same sex present unless the health or safety
of students will be endangered by the delay which may be caused by following these
B. Locker and Desk Inspections
Although school lockers and desks are temporarily assigned to individual students, they remain the
property of the school district at all times. The school district has a reasonable and valid interest in
insuring the lockers and desks are properly maintained. For this reason, lockers and desks are subject
to unannounced inspections and students have no legitimate expectations of privacy in the locker or
desk. Periodic inspections of all or a random selection of lockers or desks may be conducted by
school officials in the presence of the student or another individual. Any contraband discovered
during such searches will be confiscated by school officials and may be turned over to law
The contents of a student’s locker or desk (coat, backpack, purse, etc.) may be searched when a school
official has reasonable and articulable suspicion that the contents contains illegal or contraband items
or evidence of a violation of law or school policy or rule. Such searches should be conducted in the
presence of another adult witness when feasible.
C. Automobile Searches
Students are permitted to park on school premises as a matter of privilege, not of right. The school
retains authority to conduct routine patrols of the student parking lots. The interior of a student’s
automobile on the school premises may be searched if the school official has reasonable and
articulable suspicion to believe that illegal, unauthorized or contraband items are contained inside.
Code No.: 502.5R