This Policy is under review.

5310 - Search and Seizure

Last Updated Date: 01/11/2016

Adoption Date: 10/25/1999

Revision History:

For the safety and supervision of students in the absence of parent(s)/guardian(s), to maintain discipline and order in schools, and to provide for the health, safety and welfare of students and staff, school authorities are authorized to conduct searches of students and their personal effects, as well as District property.

Students should have no reasonable expectation of privacy in or on school property or related to equipment owned or controlled by the school or in their personal effects left in these places. Such inspections and searches may be conducted without notice to or the consent of the student without a search warrant.

Notification Regarding Student Accounts or Profiles on Social Networking Websites

The Superintendent or designee shall notify students and their parents/guardians of each of the following in accordance with the Right to Privacy in the School Setting Act, 105 ILCS 75/:

  1. School officials may not request or require a student or his or her parent/guardian to provide a password or other related account information to gain access to the student’s account or profile on a social networking website.
  2. School officials may conduct an investigation or require a student to cooperate in an investigation if there is specific information about activity on the student’s account on a social networking website that violates a school disciplinary rule or policy. In the course of an investigation, the student may be required to share the content that is reported in order to allow school officials to make a factual determination.

Students and Their Personal Effects

Authorized school employees and school liaison police officers may search a student and/or the student’s personal effects (e.g., purses, wallets, knapsacks, book bags, lunch boxes, etc.) when there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will produce evidence the particular student has violated or is violating either the law or the District’s student conduct rules. The search itself must be conducted in a manner which is reasonably related to its objectives and not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student and the nature of the infraction.

When feasible, the search should be conducted as follows:

  1. Outside the view of others, including students;
  2. In the presence of a school administrator or adult witness;
  3. By a certificated employee or administrator of the same sex.

Immediately following a search, a written report shall be made by the school authority who conducted the search. The written report shall be submitted to the principal, where appropriate, and forwarded to the Superintendent. The parent(s)/guardian(s) of the student shall be notified of the search as soon as possible.

School Property

School property, including, but not limited, to desks and lockers, is owned and controlled by the District and may be searched by school authorities at any time. School authorities are authorized to conduct area-wide, general administrative inspections of school property (e.g., searches of all student lockers) without notice to or consent of the student and without a search warrant.

Law Enforcement and Assistance

The Superintendent or designee may request the assistance of law enforcement officials to conduct inspections and searches of lockers, desks, buildings, hallways, parking lots, and other school property and equipment owned or controlled by the school, as well as personal effects left in those places and areas by students for illegal drugs, weapons, or other illegal or dangerous substances or materials, including searches conducted through the use of specially trained dogs.

Seizure of Property

If a search produces evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the District’s policies or rules, such evidence may be seized and impounded by school authorities, and disciplinary action may be taken. When appropriate, such evidence may be transferred to law enforcement authorities.

Policy References:

Vernonia School District 47J v. Acton, 115 S.Ct.2385 (1995). T.L.O. v. New Jersey, 105 S.Ct.733 (1985). Cornfield v. Consolidated High School Dist. No. 230, 991 F.2d 1316 (7th Cir. 1993). People v. Dilworth, 661 N.E.2d 310 (1996). People v. Pruitt, 662 N.E.2d540 (Ill.App. 1st Dist. 1996). 105 ILCS 5/10-20.14, 5/10-22.6, and 5/10-22.10a