The school board is the exclusive owner of any public school building and any desk or locker utilized by any student contained therein or any other area that may be set aside for the personal use of the students. Any teacher, principal, administrator, or school security guard employed by the school board, having a reasonable belief that public school building, desk, locker, area or grounds of any public school contains any weapons, illegal drugs, alcoholic beverages, nitrate based inhalants, stolen goods, or other items the possession of which is prohibited by any law, school board policy, or school rule, may search such building, desk, locker, area or grounds of said public school. The acceptance and use of locker facilities or the parking of privately owned vehicles on school campuses by student shall constitute consent by the student to the search of such locker facilities or vehicles by authorized school personnel.
Any teacher, principal, administrator, or school security guard employed by the school board, may search the person of a student or his personal effects when based on the attendant circumstances at the time of the search, there are reasonable grounds to suspect that the search will reveal evidence that the student has violated the law, school board policy, or a school rule. Such a search shall be conducted in a manner that is reasonable related to the purpose of the search and the nature of the suspected offense. Such factors to be considered in determining the manner in which searches may be conducted are:
1. Age and sex of student
2. Behavior record of student
3. Need for search
4. Purpose of search
5. Type of search
6. Reliability of the information used to conduct search
7. The relative importance of making the search without delay
8. Nature and severity of problem in overall school environment
Random searches with a metal detector of a student or his personal effects may be conducted at anytime provided such searches are conducted without deliberate touching of the students.
Any search of student’s person shall be done privately by a teacher, administrator, or security guard of the same sex as the student to be searched. At least one witness who is of the same sex as said student shall be present throughout the search. Detailed documentation shall be made of all searches. Parents should be notified if student is searched.
Any automobile parked on school board property by a student may also be searched at any time by school officials who have articulable facts which lead them reasonably to believe that items in volition of state law, school board policy or school rule are contained therein. If the automobile is locked, the student shall unlock the vehicle. If the student refuses to unlock the vehicle, proper law enforcement authorities shall be called and the student may be subject to disciplinary action.
No actions taken pursuant to this policy by any teacher, principal, administrator, or school security guard employed by the school board shall be taken maliciously or with willful and deliberate intent to harass, embarrass or intimidate any student.
Upon proper school personnel confiscating any firearm, bomb, knife, or implement which could be used as a weapon, or any controlled dangerous substance, the principal or designee shall report the confiscation to the appropriate law enforcement officials. Any implement or material confiscated shall be retained, catalogued, and secured by the principal so as to prevent the destruction, alteration, or disappearance until such time as the implement or material is given to law enforcement personnel for disposal. Any principal or designee failing to report any prohibited weapon or confiscated material or implement to law enforcement personnel or failing to properly secure any weapon or confiscated material or implement shall be subject to appropriate disciplinary action as may be determined by the superintendent and/or board.
If any teacher, principal, administrator, or school security guard employed by the school board should be sued for damages by any student, the parent of such student or by any other person on behalf of such student, based upon a search conducted in compliance with this policy, the school board shall provide such teacher, principal, administrator, or school security guard with a legal defense thereto, including reasonable attorney’s fees, investigative costs and other related expenses. In such suit, the school board shall indemnify him/her fully against said judgment including principle, interest and cost.
If in any suit brought against any teacher, principal, administrator, or school security guard employed by the school board, as stated above, there is a specific finding that the action of the teacher, principal, administrator, or school security guard was malicious and willfully and deliberately intended to harass, embarrass, or intimidate the student, the school board shall not indemnify such teacher, principal, administrator, or school security guard in the event of a judgment for damages shall be rendered against him. Whenever any search is conducted pursuant to this policy, a written record shall be made thereof by at least two (2) adult employees of the board who conducted the search and shall include names of the persons involved, the circumstances leading to the search and the results of the search.
USE OF DRUG DETECTION DOGS
The use of trained drug detection dogs within the schools of Tangipahoa Parish shall be permitted in order to assist school board administrative personnel in locating drugs on campuses. All aspects of the search by dogs shall be under the direct supervision of the principal. The appropriate law enforcement officer who is serving as the handler for the drug detection dog shall perform his duties under the general supervision of the principal. The school principal or his designee shall perform the actual search for the suspected illegal drugs or other items when the presence of such has been detected by the drug detection dog.
To insure the effectiveness of the program while safeguarding the rights of all concerned, the following procedures shall be adhered to in the detection and removal of items prohibited by law or board policy.
1. The principal is to alert the appropriate local or parish law enforcement agency by phone to request a drug search and the principal is to personally contact the Superintendent.
2. The principal is to personally contact the superintendent to follow up as soon as possible during or after the completion of the search.
3. On the day of the search, the principal must insure that the faculty, staff, student body, and any visitors present do not come in contact with the drug dogs.
4. It is imperative that the safety of all persons on campus be protected during the search, therefore, the student body and all other persons, excluding the search team, shall be taken to an area away from the search such as the gym, cafeteria, or outside area.
5. The search shall not be conducted on a student’s person. However, the search can include all school board owned property such as desks, lockers, etc. If the drug dog alerts to a locker or any other property owned by the School Board, the principal has the right to gain access to the locker or suspected area. If a book sack alerts the drug dog, the principal has the right to search it because of reasonable doubt.
6. If a drug dog alerts to a car that is on the campus property of the school board, the principal shall obtain permission to search the car from the student or owner. However, if a student objects to a car search, the matter shall be referred to the authorities conducting the search.
7. In the event drugs are found on campus, with discretion and caution, the student(s) shall be called into the office and the parents or guardians shall immediately be called and informed of the search and findings. The student(s) shall be presented with the findings.
8. If drugs or evidence of drugs are found, the principal shall report the discovery in writing to appropriate enforcement authorities or obtain a written report from the agency that performed the search. All drugs or evidence of drugs shall be given to the agency that performed the search.
9. The principal shall provide the superintendent and the child welfare and attendance officer a written report within five (5) working days of a search. The principal is to complete the summary form for search and seizure by drug dog alert and provide the completed form to the following:
• Child Welfare and Attendance Officer
• Agency performing the search
• Members of the search team
• Names of administrator(s) involved in the search
• Findings (description of alert if present)
• Names of student(s) involved
• Names of parents or guardian
10. If there are any questions concerning the search and seizure policy, refer to JCAB, JCABA, and KM in the Handbook for Principals and Disciplinarians.
Revised: December, 1991
Revised: June, 1993
Revised: October, 1994
Ref: La. Rev. Stat. Ann. 417:416, $17:416.3; New Jersey v. T.L.O. 469U.S. 325, 105 S.Ct. 733; Board minutes, 2-16-93