ERIC Number: ED108362
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1973-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Search and Seizure: Right to Privacy. A Legal Memorandum.
National Association of Secondary School Principals, Reston, VA.
Although the law generally allows administrators to search lockers, this should not be viewed as a carte blanche right. Students do have some ownership rights, particularly with regard to other students. School officials are charged by the state with operating the schools and safeguarding the health, welfare, and safety of students and school personnel; therefore, when drugs, weapons, or other dangerous materials are suspected, the principal has not only the right but the duty to make a thorough investigation. Fishing expeditions as a matter of school policy are not advised. A general search of all lockers in reaction to a bomb threat or widespread drug abuse can be justified as a proper exercise of school authority. A search, of course, may be made by a police officer with a valid warrant or in connection with a valid arrest. If police are involved, however, parents should be notified and the principal or another school official should be present at the time of the search. In all instances, a complete report of the incident including names of witnesses and other pertinent information should be recorded immediately. One suggestion that can be drawn from these cases is that a school should publicize its locker policy. (Author)
Descriptors: Civil Liberties, Court Litigation, School Law, Search and Seizure, Secondary Education, Student Rights
National Association of Secondary School Principals, 1904 Association Drive, Reston, Virginia 22091 ($0.25, quantity discounts, payment must accompany orders of $10.00 or less)
Publication Type: Journal Articles
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: National Association of Secondary School Principals, Reston, VA.