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West Side Union SD (Healdsburg) |  BP  5145.12  Students

Search And Seizure   

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As necessary to protect the health, safety and welfare of students and staff, school officials may search students, their property and/or district property under their control, and may seize illegal, unsafe and prohibited items. The Governing Board requires that discretion, good judgment and common sense be exercised in all cases of search and seizure.

Individual Searches

School officials may search individual students, their property and district property under their control, when there is a reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover evidence that the student is violating the law, Board policy, administrative regulation, or other rules of the district.

Employees shall not conduct strip searches or body cavity searches of any student. (Education Code 49050)

Searches of individual students shall be conducted in the presence of at least two district employees.

The Superintendent/Principal or designee shall notify the parent/guardian of a student subjected to an individualized search as soon as possible after the search.

(cf. 5145.11 - Questioning and Apprehension)

Student Lockers/Desks

The Superintendent/Principal or designee may conduct a general inspection of school properties that are within the control of students, such as lockers and desks, on a regular, announced basis, with students standing by their assigned lockers or desks. Any items contained in a locker or desk shall be considered to be the property of the student to whom the locker or desk was assigned.

Because lockers and desks are under the joint control of the student and the district, school officials shall have the right and ability to open and inspect any school locker or desk without student permission or prior notice when they have reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover evidence of illegal possessions or activities or when odors, smoke, fire and/or other threats to health, welfare or safety emanate from the locker or desk.

Legal Reference:

EDUCATION CODE

32280-32288 School safety plans

35160 Authority of governing boards

35160.1 Broad authority of school districts

49050-49051 Searches by school employees

49330-49334 Injurious objects

PENAL CODE

626.9 Firearms

626.10 Dirks, daggers, knives or razor; bringing into or possession of upon or within public school ground; exception

COURT DECISIONS

B.C. v. Plumas, (9th Cir. 1999) 192 F.3d 1260

O'Connor v. Ortega, (1987) 107 S.Ct. 1492

New Jersey v. T.L.O., (1985) 469 U.S. 325

Horton v. Goose Creek Independent School District, (5th Cir. 1982) 690 F.2d 470

Zamora v. Pomeroy, (10th Cir. 1981) 639 F.2d 662

ATTORNEY GENERAL OPINIONS

83 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 257 (2001)

75 Ops.Cal.Atty.Gen. 155 (1992)

Management Resources:

WEB SITES

California Attorney General's Office: http://caag.state.ca.us

CDE, Safe Schools and Violence Prevention Office: http://www.cde.ca.gov/ spbranch/safety

Policy WEST SIDE UNION SCHOOL DISTRICT

adopted: November 8, 2007 Healdsburg, California