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Petaluma City Schools |  AR  5145.12  Students

Search And Seizure   

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Use of Metal Detectors

The Superintendent or designee shall ensure that the following procedures are used when making metal detector scans:

1. Before walk-through, students shall be asked to empty their pockets and belongings of metallic objects.

2. If an initial metal detector activation occurs, students shall be asked to remove other metallic objects that they may be wearing (e.g., belt and jewelry) and to walk through a second time.

3. If a second activation occurs, a hand-held metal detector shall be used.

4. If the activation is not eliminated or explained, staff shall escort the student to a private area where an expanded search shall be conducted by a staff member of the same gender as the student in the presence of another district employee.

5. This subsequent search shall be limited to determining of the cause of the activation.

Use of Contraband Detection Dogs

The use of contraband detections dogs shall serve as a deterrent to illegal substance possession/use on the campuses of Petaluma City Schools. In addition to annual notification to parents that contraband detection dogs may be used to perform random campus searches, law enforcement personnel or agents of the company providing the dogs and handlers will be invited to campus to demonstrate the capabilities of the detection dogs so students may better understand their presence.

Contraband detection dogs shall not be used in classrooms or other district facilities when the rooms are occupied, except for demonstration purposes with the handler present. When used for demonstration purposes, the dog shall be separated from the students and will be prevented from attempting to sniff individual students.

Prior to conducting an inspection, students shall be asked to leave the room that will be subject to the canine sniff. No student shall be forced to leave personal items behind for inspection, unless school officials have reasonable suspicion to search the item.

Only the dog's official handler shall determine what constitutes an alert by the dog. If the dog alerts on a particular item or place, the student having the use of that item or place, or responsibility for it, shall be called to witness the inspection. If staff makes a good faith effort to attempt to locate the student, the student cannot be found on campus, and staff is concerned about any potential danger from the searched-for item, they may inspect the locker

or place of student responsibility without the student being present. If a dog alerts on a locked vehicle, the student who brought the vehicle onto district property and/or the student(s) who routinely operates the vehicle shall be asked to unlock it for inspection. If a student is found to be in possession of contraband, the student will be subject to disciplinary consequences in accordance with BP 5144.

(cf. 5131.6 - Alcohol and Other Drugs)

(cf. 5144.1 - Suspension and Expulsion/Due Process)


At the beginning of each school year or upon enrollment, the Superintendent or designee shall inform students and parents/guardians about the district's policies and procedures for searches, including notice regarding:

1. The possibility of random searches of students, their belongings, their vehicles parked on district property, and district properties under a student's control, including lockers or desks to promote a safe learning environment and to the extent possible, eliminating the possession and use of weapons, illegal drugs, alcohol, the inappropriate use of prescription drugs, and other controlled substances by students and others at school premises and at school activities.

2. The district's possible use of dogs, other trained animals, and/or electronic devices to detect contraband

3. The possible use of metal detector scans to minimize the possibility of weapons being brought onto school property or to school events

In addition, the Superintendent or designee shall ensure that signs are posted at all schools at which metal detectors are to be used to explain that anyone, including staff and students, may be scanned by metal detector for guns, knives, or other illegal weapons when on campus or attending athletic or extracurricular events.


approved: June 25, 2002 Petaluma, California

revised: March 13, 2012