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JIHR Questioning and Searches of Students - Administrative Procedure Guidelines

JIHR

QUESTIONING AND SEARCHES OF STUDENTS – ADMINISTRATIVE

              PROCEDURE GUIDELINES

 

The purpose of this administrative procedure is to provide guidelines for the conduct of student questioning and searches by school administrators.  These are guidelines only and may be adjusted within reasonable and lawful limits on a case-by-case basis.

A.  Questioning by School Administrators.

           

1.  School administrators may question a student regarding alleged                            violations of School Committee policies, school rules and/or federal/state                 laws without prior notification of parents or guardians.

            2.  School administrators shall inform the student of the reasons for the                                questioning and provide an opportunity for the student to respond to any                                     allegations.  School Administrators shall make a reasonable effort to                                     question the student in a location out of the sight and hearing of other                          students.

            3.  If a student fails to cooperate, lies, misleads or threatens any person                                  during questioning, he/she may be subject to additional disciplinary                              action.

B.  Searches of Students and/or Personal Property in Students’ Immediate Possession

           

1.  School administrators are authorized to search students and/ or                             personal property in the students’ immediate possession when, in the                               administrator’s judgment, there are reasonable grounds to suspect that a                    student has violated or is violating the School Committee policies, school                  rules and/or federal/state laws.

            2.  All searches of students and/or personal property shall be authorized                                and conducted by a school administrator in the presence of a witness,                                 except where the circumstances render the presence of a witness                                            impractical.

            3.  Searches should be reasonably related to the suspected violation and                    no more intrusive than necessary to discover the evidence for which the                               search was instigated.  Searches may include the student’s outer                                            clothing (e.g., pockets, jacket, shoes, hat) and personal belongings (e.g.,                                     purse, backpack, gym bag, lunch bag).  If the search discloses evidence,                                 a broader search may be justified.

            4.  Searches which disclose evidence that a student has violated School          Committee policies or school rules will be addressed through school                                     disciplinary procedures.  Evidence of violation of federal/state laws may

            result in school disciplinary action and be forwarded to law                                                    enforcement authorities for possible investigation/prosecution.

            5.  School administrators are required to document all searches and                           items seized/impounded on the Student Search Form.

C.  Searches of Lockers, Desks and Other School Facilities

            1.  School staff, students and parents shall be informed of this                                               policy/procedure on an annual basis.

           

            2.  School administrators shall consult with the Superintendent prior to                                 conducting random searches.

            3.  Searches of individual student lockers, desks or other storage                               facilities and their contents based upon reasonable suspicion will be                                conducted in the presence of the student and a witness, if practical under                   the circumstances of the search.

            4.  Searches which disclose evidence that a student has violated School                                  Committee policies or school rules will be addressed through school                                    disciplinary procedures.  Evidence of violation of federal/state laws may                                result in school disciplinary action and/or be forwarded to law                                            enforcement authorities for possible investigation/prosecution.

            5.  School administrators are required to document all searches and                           items seized/impounded on the Student Search Form.

E.  Involvement of Law Enforcement Authorities

            1.  School administrators have the discretion to request the assistance of                                law enforcement authorities in accordance with School Committee                               policy.

Adopted:          08/03/99