Maryland - Student Searches: Program Requirements

Area: 
Program Requirement
Policy Type: 
regulation; statute
Summary: 

State law does not require districts to adopt search and seizure policies or rules.

2017 Code of Maryland 13A.08.01.14 Searches.

A. Search of Student by Principal, Assistant Principal, or School Security Guard.

  • (1) A principal, assistant principal, or school security guard of a public school may make a reasonable search of a student on the school premises or on a school-sponsored trip if the searcher has a reasonable belief that the student has in the student's possession an item, the possession of which is:
    • (a) A criminal offense under the laws of this State; or
    • (b) A violation of:
      • (i) Any other State law; or
      • (ii) A rule or regulation of the local board.
  • (2) A search under § A(1) of this regulation shall be made in the presence of a third party.

B. Search of School by Principal, Assistant Principal, or School Security Guard.

  • (1) A principal, assistant principal, or school security guard of a public school may make a search of the physical plant of the school and its appurtenances, including the lockers of students.
  • (2) The right of a principal, assistant principal, or school security guard to search lockers of students under § B(1) of this regulation shall be announced or published previously in the school.

C. Search of Student on School-Sponsored Trip by Teacher.

  • (1) A local board may authorize a teacher of a public school to make a reasonable search of a student on a school-sponsored trip if the teacher has a reasonable belief that the student has in the student's possession an item, the possession of which is:
    • (a) A criminal offense under the laws of this State; or
    • (b) A violation of:
      • (i) Any other State law; or
      • (ii) A rule or regulation of the local board.
  • (2) To qualify to conduct a search under § C(1) of this regulation, a teacher shall:
    • (a) Be designated in writing by a principal; and
    • (b) Receive training to conduct a search commensurate with the training received by a principal.
  • (3) A search under § C(1) of this regulation shall be made in the presence of a third party.

D. Police officers shall conduct searches of students and the school premises in accordance with their established policies and procedures.

E. A school official may not conduct a search of the person of a student at the request of a police officer unless a search warrant has been issued authorizing the search.

F. Every effort shall be made to conduct searches in a manner which will minimize disruption of the normal school routine and minimize embarrassment to students affected.


2017 Maryland Code Education 7-308. Searches of students and schools

(a)  Authority to search student. -- A principal, assistant principal, or school security guard of a public school may make a reasonable search of a student on the school premises or on a school-sponsored trip if the searcher has a reasonable belief that the student has in the student's possession an item, the possession of which is a criminal offense under the laws of this State or a violation of any other State law or a rule or regulation of the county board.

(b)  Authority to search student -- By teacher. --

  • (1) Subject to the provisions of paragraph (2) of this subsection, a county board may authorize a teacher of a public school to make a reasonable search of a student on a school-sponsored trip if the teacher has a reasonable belief that the student has in the student's possession an item, the possession of which is a criminal offense under the laws of this State or a violation of any other State law or a rule or regulation of the county board.
  • (2) To qualify to conduct a search under this subsection, a teacher shall be designated in writing by a principal and receive training to conduct a search commensurate with the training received by a principal.

(c)  Presence of third party required. -- A search under subsection (a) or (b) of this section shall be made in the presence of a third party.

(d)  Authority to search school. --

  • (1) A principal, assistant principal, or school security guard of a public school may make a search of the physical plant of the school and its appurtenances including the lockers of students.
  • (2) The right of the school official to search the locker shall be announced or published previously in the school.

(e)  Rules and regulations. -- The Department shall adopt rules and regulations relating to the searches permitted under this section.
General Assembly of Maryland

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