Outline of the state of Utah
Authorized with comprehensive student protections

Student Searches

Student Searches

State law authorizes districts to adopt policies or rules addressing search and seizure that include comprehensive student protections.

Searching Students in Public Schools

This document addresses policies regarding searches of students' belongings.

Policy Type

Utah Administrative Code R277-615-1. Authority and Purpose.

(1) This rule is authorized by:

  • (a) Utah Constitution Article X, Section 3, which vests general control and supervision of public education in the Board;
  • (b) Section 53G-8-509, which directs the Board and LEAs to adopt rules to protect students against unreasonable and excessive intrusion of personal rights; and
  • (c) Section 53E-3-401(4), which allows the Board to make rules to execute the Board's duties and responsibilities under the Utah Constitution and state law.

(2) The purpose of this rule is to direct LEAs to adopt policies to protect student rights with procedures and provisions that balance students' rights and privacy with the responsibility of school officials for the safety and protection of students and adults while on school property or at school-sponsored events.

Policy Type

Utah Administrative Code R277-615-2. Definitions.

(1) "Controlled substance" has the same meaning as provided in Section 58-37-2(1)(f).

(2)(a) "Law enforcement authorities" means officers working under the direct supervision and in the employment of police or law enforcement, as opposed to under the supervision of an LEA.

  • (b) Law enforcement authorities have received police officer training and are acting in that capacity.

(3) "LEA," for purposes of this rule, includes the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.

(4) "Weapon" means any item capable of causing death or serious bodily injury or a facsimile or representation of the item.

Policy Type

Utah Administrative Code R277-615-3. Superintendent Responsibilities.

(1) The Superintendent shall provide consistent definitions for LEAs to include in search and seizure policies.

(2) The Superintendent shall develop a model search and seizure policy as guidance for LEAs.

(3) The Superintendent shall require an assurance from LEAs in the Utah Consolidated Report regarding the student search policy required under Section 53G-8-509.

Policy Type

Utah Administrative Code R277-615-4. LEA Responsibilities.

(1) An LEA shall develop a policy for searching students for controlled substances and weapons.

(2) An LEA shall include appropriate interested parties in the development of student search policies, including:

  • (a) parents;
  • (b) school employees; and
  • (c) licensed school employees.

(3) An LEA policy developed pursuant to Subsection (1) shall ensure protection of individual student rights against excessive and unreasonable intrusion.

(4) An LEA shall make policies available electronically and in and in printed form to parents and students upon enrollment.

(5) An LEA shall provide adequate training to appropriate classes of employees for fair and consistent implementation of student search policies.

Policy Type