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502.8 Search and Seizure

The Board believes that illegal, unauthorized or contraband materials may cause material and substantial disruption to the school environment or present a threat to the health and safety of students, employees, or visitors on the school district premises or property within the jurisdiction of the school district. The Board shall adopt a student search rule that is consistent with this policy and publish the student search rule in the school’s student handbook. It shall be the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the principals, to assist the Board in developing a student search rule.

School district property is held in public trust by the Board of Directors. School District officials (meaning licensed school employees and unlicensed school employees employed for security or supervision purposes) may, without a search warrant, search students, student lockers personal effects, desks, or work areas, based on a reasonable and expressible suspicion that a school district policy, rule, regulation or law has been violated. The search shall be in a manner reasonable in scope (reasonableness of scope of a search may be determined based on: a) the age of the student; b) the gender of the student; c) the safety of the students and/or others; d) the nature of the violation; and e) the objectives to be accomplished by the search.) and conducted in a manner that maintains order and discipline in the schools, promotes the educational environment, and protects the safety and welfare of students, employees and visitors to the school district facilities.

Notwithstanding the requirements stated above, school officials may conduct periodic inspections of all, or a randomly selected number of student lockers. Prior to conducting these types of locker inspections at the beginning of each school year, the District shall provide written notice to each student and the student’s parents, guardians, or legal custodians that school officials may conduct periodic inspections of all school lockers without prior notice. Any locker inspection conducted pursuant to this policy shall only either in the presence of the students whose lockers are being inspected or in the presence of at least one other person. An inspection of the lockers may be accomplished using such methods including, but not limited to, a visual search of lockers by school officials or the use, by school officials or others hired at their direction, of a drug sniffing animal.

In conducting their searches and inspections, school officials may seize any illegal, unauthorized or contraband materials discovered in the search. Items of contraband include, but are not limited to, nonprescription controlled substances, marijuana, cocaine, amphetamines, barbiturates, apparatus used for controlled substances, alcoholic beverages, tobacco, weapons, explosives, poisons and stolen property.

Such items are not to be possessed by a student while they are on school district property or on property within the jurisdiction of the school district; while on school owned and/or operated school or chartered buses or vehicles; while attending or engaged in school activities; and while away from school grounds if misconduct will directly affect the good order, efficient management and welfare of the school district. Possession of such items will be grounds for disciplinary action including suspension or expulsion and may be report to local law enforcement officials.

Legal Reference:  U.S. Const. amend. IV.
New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325 (1985).
Cason v. Cook, 810 F.2d 188 (8th Cir. 1987), cert. den., 482 U.S. 930 (1987).
Iowa Code ch. 808A
281 I.A.C. 12.3(6).

Cross Reference:  Series 502 Student Behavior and Discipline
Policy 502.8 Tobacco, Drugs and Alcohol
Policy Primer Volume 8, Number 5 - June 23, 1995
Student Search Rule

Modified:  06/07/21
Reviewed:  05/17/21

  • Series 500 Students