State law does not require districts to adopt search and seizure policies or rules.
2017 Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4205. Search of students.
(a) A student may be subject to physical search because of the results of a locker search, or because of information received from a teacher, staff member, student or other person if such action is reasonable to the principal.
(b) All of the following Standard of reasonableness shall be met:
- (1) A particular student has violated school policy;
- (2) The search will yield evidence of the violation of school policy or will lead to disclosure of a dangerous weapon, drug paraphernalia or drug;
- (3) The search is in pursuit of legitimate interests of the school in maintaining order, discipline, safety, supervision and education of students;
- (4) The search is not conducted for the sole purpose of discovering evidence to be used in a criminal prosecution; and
- (5) The search shall be reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the age and sex of the student, as well as the nature of the infraction alleged to have been committed.
Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4204. Search of lockers, vehicles, and other property.
(a) When individual circumstances in a school dictate, a principal may order that vehicles parked on school property by students or visitors, containers, packages, lockers or other enclosures used for storage by students or visitors, and other areas accessible to students or visitors be searched in the principal's presence or in the presence of other members of the principal's staff.
(b) Individual circumstances requiring a search may include incidents on school property, including school buses, involving, but not limited to, the use of dangerous weapons, drugs or drug paraphernalia by students that are known to the principal or other staff members, information received from law enforcement, juvenile or other authorities indicating a pattern of drug dealing or drug use by students of that school, any assault or attempted assault on school property with dangerous weapons or any other actions or incidents known by the principal that give rise to reasonable suspicion that dangerous weapons, drugs or drug paraphernalia are held on school property by one (1) or more students.
(c) A notice shall be posted in the school that lockers and other storage areas, containers, and packages brought into the school by students or visitors are subject to search for drugs, drug paraphernalia, dangerous weapons or any property that is not properly in the possession of the student.
(d) A notice shall be posted where it is visible from the school parking lot that vehicles parked on school property by students or visitors are subject to search for drugs, drug paraphernalia or dangerous weapons.
Tennessee Code Annotated 49-6-4208. Use of animals.
To facilitate a search that is found to be necessary, dogs or other animals trained to detect drugs or dangerous weapons by odor or otherwise may be used in conducting searches, but the animals shall be used only to pinpoint areas needed to be searched and shall not be used to search the persons of students or visitors.