Cole County R-I


P 2150 Searches by School Personnel

School lockers and desks are the property of the Board of Education and are provided for the convenience of students, and as such, are subject to periodic inspection without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant. The lockers and desks may be searched by school administrators or staff who have a reasonable suspicion that the lockers or desks contain drugs, alcohol, material of a disruptive nature, stolen properties, weapons, items posing a danger to the health or safety of students and school employees, or evidence of a violation of school policy. In addition, the Board of Education authorizes the use of trained dogs to sniff lockers or other school property to assist in the detection of the presence of drugs, explosives, and other contraband.

Students or student property may be searched based on reasonable suspicion of a violation of District rules, policy or state law. Reasonable suspicion must be based on facts known to the administration, credible information provided or reasonable inference drawn from such facts or information. The privacy and dignity of students shall be respected. Searches shall be carried out in the presence of adult witnesses, if such witnesses are available. Students may be asked to empty pockets, remove jackets, coats, shoes and other articles of exterior clothing for examination if reasonable under the circumstances.

No employee shall perform a strip search of any student. The exception to this would be if a school administrator reasonably believes that a student possesses a weapon, explosive, or substance that poses an imminent threat of physical harm to himself or herself or another person, and if a commissioned law enforcement officer is not immediately available. Strip searches may be conducted by, or under the authority of, a commissioned law enforcement officer.

Students are permitted to park on school premises as a matter of privilege, not of right. The school retains the authority to conduct routine patrols of the student parking lots. The interior of a student's automobile on school premises may be searched if a school administrator has reasonable suspicion to believe that illegal, unauthorized or contraband items, or evidence of a violation of school policy is contained inside the vehicle.

Law enforcement officials shall be contacted if the search produces a controlled substance, drug paraphernalia, weapons, stolen goods or evidence of a crime, in any case involving a violation of law when a student refuses to allow a search, or where the search cannot safely be conducted. Parents may also be contacted. A student who refuses to submit to a search may be appropriately disciplined by school officials.

Last Updated: January 2003