Elk Rapids Schools
Bylaws & Policies
 

5771 - SEARCH AND SEIZURE

The Board of Education recognizes that the privacy of students and their belongings are not subject to unreasonable search and seizure, and directs that no student be searched without individualized reasonable suspicion that the student has violated a law, rule or regulation. The Board further directs that no search shall be made in an unreasonable manner.

The Board acknowledges the need for in-school storage of students' possessions and shall provide storage places, including desks and lockers, for that purpose. Where locks are provided for such places, students may lock them against incursion by other students, but in no such places shall students have an expectation of privacy as to prevent examination by a school official. In the course of any search, studentís privacy rights will be respected regarding any items that are not illegal or against Board policy.

School authorities are charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the safety and well-being of the students in their care. In the discharge of that responsibility, school authorities may search the property (including vehicles) of a student, with or without the student's consent, whenever they have individualized, reasonable suspicion that the search is required to discover evidence of a violation of law or of school rules. The extent of the search will be governed by the seriousness of the alleged infraction, the student's age and the student's disciplinary history.

Reasonable suspicion that a communication device has been used to violate District policies or administrative guidelines shall be subject to disciplinary action and may result in the communication device being confiscated.

Except as provided below, a request for the search of a student's possessions will be directed to the building principal, who shall seek the freely offered consent of the student to the inspection. Whenever possible, a search will be conducted by the principal in the presence of the student and a staff member other than the principal. A search prompted by the reasonable belief that health and safety are immediately threatened will be conducted with as much speed and dispatch as may be required to protect persons and property.

Search of a student's person or intimate personal belongings shall be conducted by a person of the student's gender, in the presence of another staff member of the same gender, and only in exceptional circumstances when the health or safety of the student or of others is immediately threatened.

Administrators are authorized to arrange for a breath-test instrument, according to the Superintendent's guidelines, for the purpose of determining if a student has consumed an alcoholic beverage. It is not necessary for the test to determine blood-alcohol level, since the Board has established a zero tolerance for alcohol use.

The principal shall be responsible for the prompt recording in writing of each search. Such record shall include the reason(s) for the search, the information received that established the need for the search with or without the name(s) of the informant(s), and the names of the persons present when the search was conducted. It shall also name all of the substances or objects for which the search was conducted and any illegal or dangerous ones which were found, and, if seized, the disposition made of them. The principal shall be responsible for the custody, control and disposition of any illegal or dangerous substance or object taken from a student.

The Superintendent shall prepare administrative guidelines to implement this policy.

M.C.L.A. 380.1300, 380.1306

Revised 9/9/96
Revised 1/8/01
Revised 5/21/12

© Neola 2011