FILE:  JCABA

Cf:  JCAB, JCABB, JCDAC

 

SEARCHES OF STUDENT'S PERSON

 

 

The Plaquemines Parish School Board authorizes any teacher, principal, school security guard, or administrator under the employ of the School Board to search a student's person or his or her personal effects when, based on the attendant circumstances at the time of the search, there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the search will reveal evidence that the student has violated the law, a school rule, or a School Board policy.  Searches may also be conducted to assure compliance with health, safety, and/or security laws, rules, or regulations.  Such a search shall be conducted in a manner that is reasonably related to the purpose of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the age or sex of the student and the nature of the suspected offense.  Strip searches are specifically prohibited.

 

If a school administrator suspects the presence of firearms, weapons (defined as dangerous instrumentalities), illegal drugs, stolen goods, or other materials or objects the possession of which is a violation of School Board policy, random searches with a metal detector of students or their personal effects may be conducted at any time, provided they are conducted without deliberate touching of the student.

 

Any search of student's person, pat-down or otherwise, shall be done privately by one of the persons above authorized and of the same sex as the student to be searched.  At least one (1) witness who is a school administrator or teacher, also of the same sex as the student, shall be present during the search.  Detailed documentation shall be made of all searches.  Items which are specifically prohibited by law, School Board policy or school regulations shall be immediately seized.  The school administrator/designee shall immediately contact the student's parent/guardian, appropriate law enforcement agency (when appropriate) and the Superintendent.  The Superintendent, upon further investigation, shall notify the School Board.

 

Upon any such violations, the student(s) shall be automatically suspended and/or recommended for expulsion by school authorities, as appropriate.  Investigative facts and/or seized items shall be immediately turned over to the proper law enforcement officials.

 

REFUSAL OF A STUDENT TO SUBMIT TO A SEARCH

 

When a compulsory search of a student's property or person is ordered by a principal based on reasonable suspicion, a student must submit to such a search.  Any student who refuses to submit to a compulsory search of his/her property or person will be immediately suspended by the principal, and is to be immediately recommended for expulsion by the principal, all in accordance with due process.

 

PROCEDURES

 

The following procedures should be followed when practicable:

 

  1. Whenever a search is warranted, unless safety or time factor is involved, two (2) school officials including at least one administrator, should be present.

  2. If a safety factor is obvious and/or it is evident that delay of a search might permit the student to rid his/her person, locker or other area of suspected illegal drugs and/or weapons, the principal or his/her designee, teacher or other administrator may initiate an immediate search.

  3. Before a compulsory search is initiated, the student should be afforded an opportunity to submit to a voluntary search.

  4. Whenever possible, teachers should have the principal, his/her designee and/or an administrator present when conducting a search.

  5. Whenever legal action is intended, the office of the Superintendent shall be notified, the law enforcement agency of the parish must be called, and a search warrant must be obtained.

  6. If a mass search of an individual's person, desks, lockers or of other school areas is to be conducted, the principal should notify the Superintendent's office in advance of the search for a ruling on the reasonableness or probable cause.  This provision may be waived at the discretion of the principal or his/her designee if the health and safety of a student or students justifies immediate action.

  7. The principal or his/her designee must keep on record all searches, including the student's name, date and time of the search, reason for the search, the persons conducting the search and the disposition of each case.

  8. The designee for the search of any student's person shall be the same sex as the student.

 

WRITTEN RECORD OF SEARCH

 

Whenever any search is conducted pursuant to this policy, as soon as is reasonably practical, a written record shall be made thereof by the school administrator/designee conducting the search, and such record shall include the name of the student and/or person(s) involved, the circumstances leading to the search and the results of the search.  This written, dated and signed record shall be filed and maintained in the school administrator's office, and a copy of it shall be immediately sent to the Superintendent.  The student and parent(s)/guardian(s) shall be given a written receipt for any items seized and/or impounded by the school administrator/designee.

 

CONFISCATION

 

Upon proper school personnel confiscating any firearm, bomb, knife, or other implement which could be used as a weapon, or any controlled dangerous substance, the principal or designee shall report the confiscation to the proper law enforcement officials.  Any implement or material confiscated shall be retained, cataloged, and secured by the principal so as to prevent the destruction, alteration, or disappearance until such time as the implement or material is given to law enforcement personnel for disposal.  Parents shall be notified of any item impounded.  Any principal or designee failing to report any prohibited weapon or confiscated material or implement to the proper law enforcement officials or failing to properly secure any weapon or confiscated material or implement shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action as may be determined by the Superintendent and/or Board.

 

INDEMNIFICATION

 

Indemnification of any Board employee who is sued for damages based on any act or omission in the directing of and disciplining of school children shall be made by the Plaquemines Parish School Board to the extent required by state law.

 

New policy:  April, 2010

Adopted:  November 1, 2010

 

 

Ref:     U.S. Constitution, Amend. IV

US Constitution, Amend. XIV

La. Rev. Stat. Ann. ยงยง17:416, 17:416.3

Moore v. Student Affairs Committee of Troy State University, 284 F.Supp. 725 (M.D. Ala. 1970)

New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 US 325, 105 S.Ct. 733

 

Plaquemines Parish School Board