School authorities are charged with the responsibility of safeguarding the safety and well-being of the students in their care. In the discharge of that responsibility, school authorities may search the person or property, including vehicles, of a student, with or without the student's consent, whenever they reasonably suspect that a violation of law or school rules has occurred or is occurring. The extent of the search will be governed by the seriousness of the alleged infraction and the student's age. This authorization to search shall also apply to all situations in which the student is under the jurisdiction of the Board.
Administrators are permitted to conduct a search of any student's locker and its contents at any time, providing there is a reasonable suspicion the contents of the locker are illegal, possessed illegally, or otherwise violate the Student Code of Conduct. Proper notice is to be posted in the locker areas of each building, readily seen by students, notifying students that their lockers or storage areas are subject to search upon a reasonable suspicion, as set forth herein. See below for rules regarding canine search.
Search of a student's person shall be conducted by a person of the student's gender, whenever possible. Searches conducted by a person of the opposite gender will only be conducted under emergency circumstances and when a person of the same gender is not available. In such instances, another person will witness the search.
The School Board also authorizes the use of mechanical detection devices and specially trained law enforcement canines, trained in detecting the presence of drugs or devices to conduct random searches for contraband in classrooms, student lockers, other common areas of school buildings, and vehicles parked on school grounds. Searches will be conducted in conjunction with law enforcement and a school administrator shall accompany the handler and canine during all searches conducted on school property. This means of detection shall be used only to determine the presence of drugs or other contraband in locker areas and other places on school property where such substances could be concealed. Canine detection must be conducted in collaboration with law enforcement authorities or with organizations certified in canine detection and is not to be used to search individual students unless a warrant has been obtained prior to the search. If a dog indicates that contraband is present on school property, school administrators may conduct a further search.
Whenever possible, a request for the search of a student or a student's possessions will be directed to an administrator who shall seek the freely offered consent of the student to the inspection, and the search will be conducted by the principal in the presence of the student and an additional staff member. A search prompted by the reasonable belief that health and safety are immediately threatened will be conducted with as much speed and dispatch as may be required to protect persons and property.
(PCSB 5771, F.S. 1006.09)