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KI - Visitors to the Schools

  

 

Book: K

Section: School-Community Relations

Title: Visitors to the Schools

Code: KI

Status:  Active

Adopted:June 4, 2003


VISITORS TO THE SCHOOLS

 

The Portland School Committee believes that visits to the schools by parent(s)/legal guardian(s), members of the community, the public, and individual School Committee members can provide a positive experience.  However, in order to avoid interruption of ongoing educational activities and in an effort to promote student and employee safety, the principal of each school shall institute procedures relating to visitors to the schools that are intended to maintain order and protect the safety of students.  It is understood that such procedures may vary from school to school due to the nature of the building, the location of the school, the age of the students, and other considerations.

 

Parental Notification

 

If there exists a court order containing restrictions on access to a child by a parent, and a parent/legal guardian wishes the school to act in a manner consistent with that order, it is the responsibility of the custodial parent/legal guardian to provide a certified copy of such order to the school.

 

Unauthorized Visitors and Trespassers

 

Persons entering the school building without prior authorization from school officials and persons who fail to report to the main office upon entering the building are considered “unauthorized persons.”  All unauthorized person(s) shall then be directed to leave the premises should they lack a legitimate school-related purpose.  Those persons having no school-related purpose who remain on school premises or at school-sponsored events after being directed to leave, shall be considered “trespassers.”  This shall also apply to all students under suspension or expulsion, unless otherwise authorized by the school administration.  Such persons shall be immediately directed to leave the school premises.  Law enforcement shall be contacted as necessary when dealing with such persons.

 

Visits by Law Enforcement Agencies and Department of Human Services Officials

 

    1. Agents of law enforcement agencies or the Department of Human Services shall provide school officials with written consent from a student’s parent(s)/legal guardian(s) prior to interviewing or questioning a student on school grounds during regular school hours except as provided below.  School personnel should take reasonable measure to verify the identity of unknown DHS or law enforcement personnel.

 

            B.        Department of Human Services employees may interview a student on school grounds during regular school hours without prior permission by school officials and/or presence of the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) only when the Department or its employee(s) states in writing that:

 

            1.         The Department has reasonable grounds to believe that prior notice to the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) would increase the threat of serious harm to the child or another person, or the child has contacted the Department or a person providing services has put the child into contact with the Department, and the Department is seeking an initial interview with the child;

 

            2.         The interview is necessary to carry out Department of Human Services’ duties under 22 MRSA Ch. 1071; and

 

            3.         During the interview(s) an appropriate school district employee will be present at all times.

 

C.        Law enforcement personnel may interview a student on school grounds during regular school hours without prior permission by school officials and/or presence of the parent(s)/legal guardian(s) only when the law enforcement agent:

 

            1.         States in writing that he/she has reasonable grounds to believe there is a health and/or safety emergency that requires the interview without prior parental notice and consent; or

 

            2.         States in writing that a reasonable effort has been made to contact the student’s parent(s)/legal guardian(s) without success, and that law enforcement personnel seek to question the student about continuing or imminent criminal activity.

 

                        3.         During the interview(s) an appropriate school district employee will be present at all times.

 

D.        Prior to removing a child from school without express permission of the parent(s)/legal guardian(s), DHS or law enforcement authorities shall adequately demonstrate their legal authority to take custody of the child (e.g., court order, warrant, or other legal authority).  Parent(s)/legal guardian(s) will be notified of the removal as soon as practicable.

 

 

Release of students to persons other than parent(s)/legal guardian(s) and known care providers

 

A student will be released only to parents, legal guardians, or persons authorized in writing by parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to pick up the student.  Where school personnel have reason to question the authenticity of written authorization, they should make appropriate efforts to telephone the student’s parent(s)/legal guardian(s) to confirm the authority of the person seeking to pick up the child.  Principals may institute other appropriate procedures regarding release of students to parents, guardians, and authorized persons.  (Note:  The school reserves the right to question the authenticity of any written or verbal communication and to deny the release of students to unauthorized or unknown persons).

 

Legal

22 MRSA § 4021 (DHS interviews)

20 USC § 1232g (FERPA);

20-A MRSA §§ 6804

20-A MRSA §§ 6001

15 MRSA §§ 3501 (interim care of juveniles)

15 MRSA §§ 3203-A (arrest of juveniles)

KI - Visitors to the Schools.pdf (12 KB)