|School District Of Westfield|
|Bylaws & Policies|
5540 - THE SCHOOLS AND GOVERNMENTAL AGENCIES
The Board of Education is committed to maintaining the educational atmosphere of the schools and restricting access by individuals not part of the school system but also recognizes its responsibility to cooperate with law enforcement agencies and its need for assistance from law enforcement in certain circumstances.
When law enforcement requests permission to interview a student at school, the District Administrator or building administrator shall be contacted prior to any further action by law enforcement. The administrator shall determine whether it is appropriate to provide access to the student based on the officer's purpose, whether the officer has stated that there is an emergency involving imminent threat, or that the officer is in possession of a valid warrant. A warrant shall be deemed valid if executed by a judicial officer and describes the school premises.
If law enforcement is contacted by the administration for assistance, administration shall maintain the lead role in the investigation and shall be present or contact a parent to be present for any interview to the extent reasonable.
When an agency requests permission to remove a student, or does remove a student without prior permission, the building administrator shall notify the District Administrator.
Law enforcement investigations on school premises fall into two (2) primary categories. First, some investigations will occur at the request of school administration due to suspicion of a violation of school policy that may also be criminal. Second, law enforcement investigations may occur without the initiation of school officials and may or may not involve activity on school grounds.
Different procedures are to be followed in each instance as outlined below:
|A.||By law enforcement personnel, on request of school authorities|
|1.||An administrator may exercise his/her discretion in determining whether to request assistance of police in investigating a crime, or allegation of a crime, committed in his/her school building or school grounds during school hours. If assistance is so requested, it shall be directed to the local law enforcement agency and the administration shall remain the primary investigator with assistance from law enforcement. When determining whether to contact law enforcement, a school administrator shall consider the mandatory reporting requirements of Section 48.981 in the event the allegations involve suspected child abuse or neglect.|
|2.||If the administrator requests assistance, a police officer may conduct an investigation within the school building and interview students as witnesses in school during the school day. Administrators shall take steps to assure that students are not removed from classes if at all possible. The administrator shall be present during the interview unless the law enforcement officer, student or his/her parent requests that the school official not be present. The student may request other representation such as legal counsel. If a student requests legal counsel, the administrator will make an effort to contact the parent(s) and the student will be put in custody of the police. The administrator or designee shall, when feasible, attempt to contact the parent(s) of any student prior to questioning by police. A decision whether to take a student into custody is the decision of the police.|
|3.||If the investigation focuses on a particular student as a prime suspect of crime, the administrator and the police officer shall abide by the guidelines with respect to any interrogation, search and arrest. Once law enforcement is involved in an investigation of possible criminal activity on school grounds, assuring that the constitutionally protected rights are respected during the investigation process is the law enforcement officers' responsibility.|
|4.||School officials shall assist and cooperate in investigations as requested by law enforcement and consistent with District responsibility to maintain the confidentiality of student records under State and Federal law.|
|B.||By law enforcement personnel without request of school authorities|
|1.||Police officers will be asked to make every effort to interview students outside of the school hours and outside of the school setting in those cases where assistance has not been requested by school authorities. This procedure will not apply to circumstances where a serious crime may be involved, or where imminent threats to persons or property may be involved or where law enforcement states that it is not feasible to interview the student outside of school due to the nature of the investigation and that they are not able to provide specific information substantiating the need to immediately interview the student.|
|2.||If the police deem it absolutely necessary to interview a student at school, the law enforcement personnel shall first contact the administrator regarding the planned visit and inform the administrator of the circumstances that require him/her to investigate within the school and obtain his/her approval to interview a student during school hours. The police officer shall not commence his/her investigation until such approval is obtained. The law enforcement personnel may appeal to the District Administrator if it is deemed that approval was unreasonably withheld.|
|The administrator shall make every effort to maintain the privacy of the student.|
|3.||Accordingly, the administrator shall do the following:|
|a.||Request that every attempt be made to schedule questioning during a time the student is not in class.|
|b.||Request that the student be pulled out of class by a school administrator, rather than a police officer, if necessary.|
|c.||Notify the law enforcement officer that the school official will be contacting the student's parent(s) prior to questioning if feasible, unless specifically requested not to because such contact would unduly impede the investigation.|
|4.||If law enforcement officer is in possession of a valid warrant, school officials shall in no way interfere with the officer's execution of the warrant. A warrant shall be considered "valid" if it accurately describes the school facility and is executed by an authorized judicial official. District officials shall not attempt to evaluate the sufficiency of probable cause upon which the warrant is based.|
|In the event a law enforcement officer seeks to execute a warrant on school grounds, the officer is to be directed to building administration. The administration shall attempt to assist in executing the warrant by directing the student to report to the office. The school administration shall then (1) contact the student's parent if the student is a minor; and (2) contact the District Administrator. This process shall be followed unless the law enforcement official states that s/he has reason to believe that the subject of the warrant poses an immediate threat to the health and safety of others while in the school. In such a case, school officials shall grant access to the facility for execution of the warrant.|
120118.13(35), Wis. Stats.
118.257, Wis. Stats.
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