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GRPS Student Search & Seizure

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 GRPS Student Search & Seizure GRPS Student Search & Seizure Presentation Transcript

  • Grand Valley State University College of Education EDG 670 School Law by Pam Orgeck & Rick Gutierrez June 27,2010 Professor: Richard T. Geisel, Ph.D., J.D.
  • Students and Search & Seizure
  • Fourth Amendment  
    • The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
  • New Jersey v. T.L.O.
    • This case in 1985 determined that school officials are state agents, and all governmental actions---not merely those of law enforcement officers---come within the constraints of the Fourth Amendment
    • 469 U.S. 325 (1985).
    • LEGAL RIGHTS OF TEACHERS AND STUDENTS page 182
  • Reasonable Suspicion Standard
    • School officials are not required to obtain a warrant to search students.
    • The legality of a search of a student depends “simply on the reasonableness, under all the circumstances, of the search.”
    • Two tests are used to determine reasonableness.
      • Is the search justified at its inception?
      • Reasonable suspicion exists that the student has violated, is violating, or will be violating the laws or the school discipline code.
      • Is the scope of the search reasonable?
      • The type of search (lockers, personal possessions, cars, etc.) is reasonably related to the reason for the search and not overly intrusive for the nature of the suspected infraction and the age and sex of the student.
      • LEGAL RIGHTS OF TEACHERS AND STUDENTS page 183
  • Types of Searches
    • Lockers
    • Personal Property
      • Purses
      • Book bags
      • Cell phone
      • Vehicle
    • Personal Search of Student
      • Pat down
      • Strip search
  • GRPS District Policy
    • At all times the District reserves the right to conduct random searches of students desks, lockers, and automobiles on District property or at District-sponsored events. These searches may be conducted without notice and without individualized suspicion.
    • Uniform Discipline Code for Student Conduct page 14
  • Locker Search
    • Because of recent incidents of school violence, some states have enacted broad laws eliminating any presumption of privacy in school lockers. For example, a Michigan law states: A pupil who uses a locker that is the property of a school district… is presumed to have no expectation of privacy in that locker or that locker’s content.
    • LEGAL RIGHTS OF TEACHERS AND STUDENTS page 185
  • GRPS District Policy
    • Student lockers are school property and remain at all times under the control of the District. Students are expected to assume full responsibility for the security of their lockers and their contents. A Principal (or designee) may search a student’s locker and contents at any time with or without notice, without consent and without a search warrant. In case of a search, the student’s privacy rights shall be respected regarding any items that is not illegal or against school policy. However, the school may search such items if there is reasonable individualized suspicion that the item contains other items which violates Board policy or law.
            • Uniform Discipline Code for Student Conduct page 15
  • Personal Property
    • Students have a greater expectation of privacy in their personal property or effects than in their school lockers.
    • Purses
    • Book Bags
    • Cell phone
    • Vehicle
    • These all are considered personal property.
    • Reasonable suspicion / sufficient probability must be the basis for searching these items.
  • Purses & Book bags
    • A student’s personal effects may be searched whenever a School Official has reasonable suspicion that a student is in possession of illegal or unauthorized material or evidence in violation of the Uniform Discipline Code.
    • The two question test must be answered with a yes. Is the search justified at its inception? Is the scope of the search reasonably related to the circumstances, which gave rise to the search? School officials must take into account the student’s age and the nature of the offense.
    • Uniform Discipline Code for Student Conduct page 15
  • Cell Phone
    • Every student has a reasonable expectation of privacy in their personal property.
    •  
    • There are, however, some factors a school would have to outline in order to make the search of a cell phone credible.
    • Has this student been involved in any other messaging either via a phone, computer, and passing of notes that have caused the school any concerns?
    • Have there been any other problems attributed to this kind of messaging i.e. plans to fight, drug sales, or bullying?
    • Does the school have an individualized suspicion? That means, is this person on the school's radar for acts of policy violations?
    • If so, then there is a reasonable suspicion and a sufficient probability ( certainty is not needed) that this text might cause a disturbance at school.
    •  
    • However, if this is a random inspection without reasonable suspicion or individualized suspicion, the Fourth Circuit Court ruled that this would be a major invasion of the student's expectation of privacy.
  • Vehicle
    • As with other personal property, in order to search a vehicle, reasonable suspicion must be the basis for the search.
    • A dragnet search of school parking lot is a violation of student’s Fourth Amendment rights.
  • GRPS District Policy
    • Student vehicles on school property may be inspected or searched by building administrators or security personnel when there is reasonable suspicion to justify a search.
    • The two question test must be answered with a yes. Is the search justified at its inception? Is the scope of the search reasonably related to the circumstances, which gave rise to the search? School officials must take into account the student’s age and the nature of the offense.
    • Uniform Discipline Code for Student Conduct page 15
  • Personal Search of Student
    • Pat Downs
      • A student may be pat down when a school official has reasonable suspicion that the student is in possession of illegal or unauthorized material or evidence in violation of the Uniform Discipline Code.
      • The two question test must be answered with a yes. Is the search justified at its inception? Is the scope of the search reasonably related to the circumstances, which gave rise to the search? School officials must take into account the student’s age and the nature of the offense.
      • If a pat down is necessary, it must be done by a school official of the same gender with an adult of the same gender as a witness.
    • Strip Search
      • A student may be strip searched when a school official has reasonable suspicion that the student is in possession of illegal or unauthorized material or evidence in violation of the Uniform Discipline Code. There is much grey area with strip searches!
      • GRPS District policy prohibits any strip searches.
      • Uniform Discipline Code for Student Conduct page 15
  • WWW.THOUGHTS.COM
    • Please visit the Web Site @ www.thoughts.com . Create an account, click on groups and look for GRPS Security.
    • Review the two scenarios and opine on your thoughts. Are these searches allowed? Why or why not?
    • This PowerPoint may also be seen on
    • www.slideshare.net/ under Student
    • Search & Seizure.