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AP 332

Search and Seizure

Background


The purpose of this procedure is to protect students in the Abbotsford School District from harm and maintain the safety of our schools. This procedure provides guidelines for searches or inspections of students, their lockers and their possessions, and for seizing illegal substances or dangerous objects. Procedures for the use of drug detection dogs is also outlined.

Procedures


1. General Procedures

1.1 Where the principal, vice-principal or designate has reasonable grounds to believe a school rule has been or is being violated and that a search will produce evidence of that violation and the principal, vice-principal or designate intends to conduct a search of a student or their possessions.

1.2 The principal of a school is responsible for ensuring that students and parents are advised that lockers may be subject to searches at any time to ensure the safety interests of students or staff. Students and parents must be advised that students are not obliged to obtain a school locker, but that if a student obtains a school locker, they do so on the condition that it may be subject to searches. This policy will also be outlined in each student’s handbook. See Appendix AP 326-1: Rules Regarding Student Lockers: Conditions of Use.

1.3 The following are examples of what may constitute reasonable grounds in this context:
• information believed to be credible received from a student
• a teacher’s or administrator's observation
• any combination of sources of information that the principal or vice-principal considers to be credible

1.4 The following guidelines will be observed:
• the reason and purpose of the search will be clearly stated to the student(s);
• the search will be conducted in a private area in a respectful manner which recognizes the right to be treated fairly. The use of threats is not permitted;
• searches will be conducted in the presence of a second adult;
• where reasonably possible a search will be conducted by a person of the same gender as the student;
• school officials should not physically search students. Rather, students should be requested to provide any concealed articles on their person, or in their personal property; and
• a reasonable attempt will be made to contact the parent(s) and/or legal guardian(s) prior to the search.

2. Miscellaneous

2.1 Illegal substances found during a search must be turned over to the police.

2.2 Generally, dangerous objects seized should be turned over to the police. However, administrators may use discretion when it is clear that an object was not brought to the school for harmful purposes (for example, a pocket knife). In these cases, the item should be confiscated and the parent notified that the object may be picked up from the school.

Appendix


 

References


AP 320 – Possession of Weapons or Explosives
AP 331 – Drugs and Controlled Substance Abuse
AP 331-1 - Rules Regarding Student Lockers: Conditions of Use
AP 333 – Student Suspensions

Last Revised: May 20, 2021
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