West Virginia - Student Searches: Program Requirements

Area: 
Program Requirement
Policy Type: 
Regulation
Summary: 

State law authorizes districts to adopt policies or rules addressing search and seizure without addressing student protections or requiring minimal protections only.

West Virginia Administrative Code 126-99. EXPECTED BEHAVIOR IN SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS (4373)

Chapter 2: STUDENT RIGHTS AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Section 6.  Protection from Unreasonable Searches and Seizures and Self-Incrimination

Federal and state constitutions and statutes provide protection for all citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures. Although school personnel have more latitude than police officers in this regard, because they do not need search warrants, search and seizures of lockers or students by school officials must still be reasonable, based upon the information known by them at the time of the search. Personal property may be searched by those authorized where there is "reasonable suspicion" to believe that student property contains stolen articles, illegal items or other contraband as defined by law or by local board or school policy.

Students also have a right under federal and state constitutions not to incriminate themselves about a crime when questioned on school grounds by an individual acting in the capacity of a law enforcement official. They are entitled to be informed of their right against self-incrimination if they are in a custodial setting, in other words, they are not at liberty to terminate the interrogation and leave. Students do not have a constitutional right against self-incrimination when being questioned by school officials or PRO Officers acting under the supervision of school officials who are investigating school related misconduct.


West Virginia Administrative Code 126-99. EXPECTED BEHAVIOR IN SAFE AND SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS (4373)

Chapter 3: PLANNING FOR POLICY IMPLEMENTATION

Section 3. Responsibilities of County Boards of Education

Policy Dissemination and Training: To ensure understanding of the county policy for Expected Behaviors in Safe and Supportive Schools, each county board of education shall develop and implement an ongoing awareness campaign for all students, staff and parents/guardians.

  • The county board of education shall ensure that all schools provide appropriate policy training.
  • The county board of education shall review their policy as needed for compliance with federal and state law and WVBE policy.
  • The county board of education policy shall be made readily available to the public in written or electronic format.
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