Title: Questioning and Searches of Students
Adopted: May 7, 2008
QUESTIONING AND SEARCHES OF STUDENTS
The Portland School Committee seeks to maintain a safe and orderly environment in the schools. School administrators may question and/or search students in accordance with this policy and accompanying administrative procedure.
Students, their personal property, and their vehicles may be searched upon reasonable suspicion that they possess any items or substances which are prohibited by law, School Committee policies and/or school rules, or which interfere with the operations, discipline or general welfare of the school.
When special circumstances exist, including but not limited to a suspected ongoing violation of the School Committee’s drug/alcohol or weapons policies, or when a potential threat to safety is identified, school administrators may search groups of students or the entire student body without individualized suspicion.
Student use of all school storage facilities, including but not limited to lockers, desks, and parking lots, is a privilege granted by the school. All storage facilities are school property and remain under the control, custody, and supervision of the school. Students have no expectation of privacy in school storage facilities or for any items placed in such storage facilities. School administrators have the authority to inspect and search storage facilities and their contents on a random basis, with or without reasonable suspicion, and without notice or consent.
If a search produces evidence that a student has violated or is violating the law, School Committee policies and/or school rules, such evidence may be seized and impounded by school administrators and appropriate disciplinary action may be taken. Evidence may be forwarded to law enforcement authorities as required by law or as deemed appropriate by school administrators.
A student who refuses to comply with a search directive may be subject to disciplinary action, including the disciplinary consequences for the suspected violation.
The Superintendent is authorized to develop and implement, with input from legal counsel, administrators, and/or other appropriate persons, any administrative procedures necessary to carry out this policy.
This policy and the accompanying procedure will be included in student/parent handbooks.