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Series 5000 - Students

5145.12 - 1. Elementary and Secondary - D. Welfare - (9) Civil & Legal Rights and Responsibilities - (a) Invasion of Privacy - (iii) Search and Seizure
Posted 08/01/2008 02:00PM


Series 5000 - Students

1.   Elementary and Secondary

D.  Welfare

(9)  Civil & Legal Rights and Responsibilities

(a)  Invasion of Privacy

(iii) Search and Seizure

When a reasonable suspicion arises that use or possession of a student’s property is illegal, illicit, disruptive, or a danger to the general welfare of students and staff, a search may be made of the student’s person or personal property.

Desks and school lockers are the property of the schools.  The right to inspect desks and lockers assigned to students may be exercised by school officials to safeguard students, their property and school property with reasonable care for the Fourth Amendment rights of students.

The exercise of the right to inspect also requires protection of each student’s personal privacy and protection from coercion.  An authorized school administrator may search a student’s locker or desk under three (3) conditions:

  1. There is reason to believe that the student’s desk or locker contains the probable presence of contraband material.
  2. The probable presence of contraband material poses a serious threat to the maintenance of discipline, order, safety and health in the school.
  3. The student(s) have been informed in advance that school board policy allows desks and lockers to be inspected if the administration has reason to believe that materials injurious to the best interests of the students and the school are contained therein.

Use of drug-detection dogs and metal detectors or similar detective devices may be used only on the express authorization of the Board of Education.

District officials may seize any item which is evidence of a violation of law, Board policy, administrative regulation or school rule, or which the possession or use of is prohibited by such law, policy, regulation or rule.

Student Search

A student may be searched if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will turn up evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school.  The scope of the search must be reasonably related to the objectives of the search and the nature of the infraction.

Students may be searched by law enforcement officials on school property or when the student is under the jurisdiction of the district upon the request of the law enforcement official.  Such requests, ordinarily, shall be based on warrant.   The school principal or designee will attempt to notify the student’s parents in advance and will be present for all such searches.


Legal Reference:

Connecticut General Statutes
 54-33n Search of school lockers and property
10-221 Boards of Education to prescribe rules
 New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 US 325; 105 S.CT 733


Policy Adopted: May 4, 1993 SUFFIELD PUBLIC SCHOOLS
Policy Revised:

July 14, 2009

Suffield, Connecticut

Download the PDF of this Policy

Suffield Public Schools 350 Mountain Road, Suffield, CT 06078
Central Office Phone: 860-668-3800 | Central Office Fax: 860-668-3805 |   Site Map

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