500-502 Search of Student Lockers, Desks, Possessions, Persons


SERIES: 500 Students
SUBJECT: 502 Search of Student Lockers, Desks, Personal Possessions, and Persons

The following definitions shall be used to clarify this policy:

  1. “Contraband” means any unauthorized item possession of which is prohibited by school district policy and/or law.  It includes but is not limited to weapons and “look-alikes,” alcoholic beverages, controlled substances and “look-alikes,” overdue books and other materials belonging to the school district, and stolen property.
  2. “Personal possession” includes but is not limited to purses, backpacks, book bags, packages, and clothing.
  3. “Reasonable suspicion” means that a school official has grounds to believe that the search will result in evidence of a violation of school district policy, rules, and/or law.  Reasonable suspicion may be based on a school official’s personal observation, a report from a student or staff member, a student’s suspicious behavior, a student’s age and past history or record of conduct both in and out of school, or other reliable sources of information.
  4. “Reasonable scope” means that the scope and /or intrusiveness of the search is reasonable related to the objectives of the search.  Factors to consider in determining what is reasonable include the seriousness of the suspected infraction, the reliability of the information, the necessity of acting without delay, the existence of circumstances necessitating an immediate search, and further investigation (e.g. to prevent violence, serious and immediate risk of harm or destruction of evidence, and the age of the student).

School lockers and desks are the property of the school district.  At no time does the school district relinquish its exclusive control of lockers and desks provided for the convenience of students.  Inspection of the interior of lockers or desks may be conducted by school authorities for any reason, at any time, without notice, without student consent, and without a search warrant.
The personal possessions of students and/or a student’s person may be searched when school authorities have a reasonable suspicion that the search will uncover evidence of a violation of law, school rules, or school district policies.  As soon as practicable after the search of a student’s personal possessions, the school authorities must provide notice of the search to students whose possessions were searched unless disclosure would impede an ongoing investigation by police or school officials.

All searches shall be reasonable in scope and intrusiveness.

School district officials shall seize any contraband item and, here appropriate, turn it over to legal authorities for ultimate disposition.

Students found to have violated this policy and/or procedures implementing it shall be subject to discipline which may include suspension, exclusion, or expulsion, and the student may be referred to legal authorities.

Legal References:
U.S. Constitution, Fourth Amendment
Minnesota Constitution, Article I, paragraph 10
New Jersey v. T.L.O., 469 U.S. 325, 105 S. Ct. 733,83 L.Ed. 2d 720 (1985)
N.S. 121A.72 (School locker policy)

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Lincoln Elementary School
1114 East 23rd Street
Hibbing, MN 55746

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Office Phone: (218) 208-0842
Principal: Mr. Robert Bestul
Hibbing Public Schools,
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