Search And Seize On School Grounds.
You put your child in the care of educated adults in hopes that they taught well, protected, and respected. There is an expectation of privacy for everyone; this includes students on or off school campus. However, schools have handbooks that specifically state when they can and cannot be searched and their items can and cannot be seized. Just as there is a student code of conduct, there is the same for school teachers, faculty, and staff. The employees of the school are permitted to go through the students’ things so long as it is following the rules. These searches and seizures are allowed on the campus of the school and at school events. This means a school employee is not allowed to search students’ things because they are students, but because they are within reason and on school grounds. Every school is different and therefore has rules and regulations for conduct on school property. In most cases, if a child or student disobeys these regulations in terms of activity that may warrant a search and seizure, employees are allowed to search. There are some schools that allow searches for any reason the employee sees fit but it must be relative to the rule that was broken on campus.
There are different procedures for different types of schools, such as public schools, private schools, or alternative schools for students with behavioral issues. Much like the general public, students are allowed to give consent for searches with or without understanding of the school code of conduct. There is typically no permission needed with school property, such as a desk, a locker, school loaned computer, or even locker rooms, as these are school property and the student does not have ownership.
For example, in several it is against the rules to bring in pills or drugs. If there is reasonable suspicion, staff members are allowed to ask you to open your locker to search. If there is nothing found they cannot just ask, or demand that you empty out your pant pockets to show them they are or are not on your person.
Knowing this, if you feel like your child has been wrongfully searched on school grounds please contact an experienced defense attorney that will be able to contest the school’s actions. In the event that something incriminating was found, contact a skilled criminal defense attorney that understands your child’s rights and can help you gain a better outcome.
There are many nuances to this type of law, as an attorney, like a misdemeanor attorney from a law firm like Andrew R. Lynch, PLC, can explain.