South-Western City School District
Bylaws & Policies
 

5771.01 - INTERVIEWING, QUESTIONING, AND SEARCH PROCEDURES

 A.Searches of Student Lockers
  Student lockers are the property of the School District and lockers and the content of all lockers are subject to random search at any time without regard to whether there is a reasonable suspicion that any locker or its contents contains evidence of a violation of a criminal statute or a school rule.

 B.Searches of School Property Assigned to Students 
  The following rules apply to the search of school property assigned to a specific student, other than a locker, (desk, etc.) and the seizure of items in his/her possession:

  1.There should be reasonable suspicion for school authorities to believe that possession of articles are kept in the desk or other storage areas and that such possession constitutes a crime or school rule violation.

  2.Illegal items (drugs, weapons, etc.) or other possessions reasonably determined to be disruptive or a threat to the safety or security of others may be seized by school authorities at any time.

 C.Searches of Student's Person or Personal Property by School Personnel
  Principals and their designees are permitted to search the person and personal property (purse, knapsack, gym bag, etc.), including cars of a student when there is reasonable suspicion to believe that evidence will be obtained indicating the student's violation of either the law or school rules.
  The scope (or extent) of the search must be reasonable under the circumstances that gave rise to the search. The scope of the search must be reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction.
  The following rules apply in such cases:

  1.Searches of a student's person will be conducted by a member of the same sex as the student, when possible.

  2.While dogs or animals may be used to locate items, dog/animal searches of a student's person will be prohibited.

  3.Where evidence indicating that a student has violated the law is uncovered, law enforcement officials will be notified when warranted.

Interviewing, Questioning, and Searches by Police

The schools have legal custody of students during the school day and during hours of approved co-curricular and extra-curricular activities. It is the responsibility of the school administration to try to protect each student under its control. Therefore:

 A.Whenever possible, police officers should contact and/or question students out of school. When it is absolutely necessary for an officer to make a school contact with a student, the school authorities will bring the student to a private room and the contact will be made out of the sight of others as much as possible.

 B.The school principal must be notified before a student may be interviewed, questioned, or searched in school or taken from a classroom.

 C.The parents or legal guardian of the student to be interviewed, questioned, or searched must be notified by the police before the student is interviewed, questioned, or searched so that the parents may be present if they so desire, except (i) in case of an emergency, or (ii) if the safety of the student or another person may be jeopardized by parent notification.

 D.A school official shall request to be present when a student is interviewed, questioned, or searched within the school.

 E.When it is necessary to remove a student from school, after notifying the school principal, the police authorities should notify the parents. If the circumstances make it impossible for the police to make this notification to the parents, the school should do so.

 F.The school principal should notify District administration whenever police determine that a student is involved in any type of criminal activity. School personnel should not attempt to handle situations that are properly in the realm of the police.

Interviews by Other Agencies

Whenever possible, other agencies should contact and/or interview students out of school. When it is absolutely necessary for such agencies to make a school contact with a student, the Superintendent or designee should be notified and should be present during the interview. Parent(s) or legal guardians should also be notified before the student is questioned. The following exceptions may apply if the agency has the legal right to question a student without parent notification; (i) in case of an emergency, or (ii) if the safety of the student or another person may be jeopardized by parent notification.

R.C. 3313.20
U.S. Constitution, 4th Amendment

Adopted 10/8/90
Revised 11/20/95
Revised 8/8/05
Revised 6/12/06