State law authorizes districts to adopt policies or rules addressing search and seizure that include comprehensive student protections.
Ohio Revised Code 3313.20 Rules - locker search policy - professional meetings.
(1) The board of education of each city, local, exempted village, or joint vocational school district may adopt a written policy that authorizes principals of public schools within the district or their designees to do one or both of the following:
- (a) Search any pupil’s locker and the contents of the locker that is searched if the principal reasonably suspects that the locker or its contents contains evidence of a pupil’s violation of a criminal Statuteor of a school rule;
- (b) Search any pupil’s locker and the contents of any pupil’s locker at any time if the board of education posts in a conspicuous place in each school building that has lockers available for use by pupils a notice that the lockers are the property of the board of education and that the lockers and the contents of all the lockers are subject to random search at any time without regard to whether there is a reasonable suspicion that any locker or its contents contains evidence of a violation of a criminal Statuteor a school rule.
(2) A board of education’s adoption of or failure to adopt a written policy pursuant to division (B)(1) of this section does not prevent the principal of any school from searching at any time the locker of any pupil and the contents of any locker of any pupil in the school if an emergency situation exists or appears to exist that immediately threatens the health or safety of any person, or threatens to damage or destroy any property, under the control of the board of education and if a search of lockers and the contents of the lockers is reasonably necessary to avert that threat or apparent threat.