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502.8 Search and Seizure

Code No. 502.8


School district property is held in public trust by the board. School district authorities may, without a search warrant, search students or protected student areas based on a reasonable and articulable suspicion that a school district policy, rule, regulation, or law has been violated. The search is in a manner reasonable in scope to maintain order and discipline in the schools, promote the educational environment, and protect the safety and welfare of students, employees, and visitors to the school district facilities. The furnishing of a locker, desk, or other facility or space owned by the school and provided as a courtesy to a student, even if the student provides the lock for it, will not create a protected student area and will not give rise to an expectation of privacy with respect to the locker, desk, or other facility.

School authorities may seize any illegal, unauthorized, or contraband materials discovered in the search. Items of contraband may 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 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 reported to local law enforcement officials. The board believes that illegal, unauthorized, or contraband materials may cause material and substantial disruption to the school environment or presents 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. It is the responsibility of the superintendent, in conjunction with the principals, to develop administrative regulations regarding this policy.

NOTE: This policy reflects the law regarding school district authority for searching students, their possessions and their lockers. Substantive changes were made to 502.8R1.

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 (2013).
281 I.A.C. 12.3(6).

Cross Reference:     
502 Student Rights and Responsibilities
503 Student Discipline

Approved: 10/28/09

Reviewed: 2/6/22

Revised: 1/6/10

Grinnell-Newburg School District, Grinnell, IA