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Search and Seizure in Schools


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School Resource Officers
Search and Seizure in Schools
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School Resource Officers

School Resource Officers are also often certified law enforcement officers. A “law enforcement officer” must have “probable cause” to conduct a lawful search, but a school employee only has to establish “reasonable suspicion”. If the request from the search was directed by a school administrator, then the SRO may conduct the search on “reasonable suspicion”. However, if that search is conducted because of law enforcement information, then it must be made on “probable cause”. The SRO also needs to consider whether the subject of the search was in violation of a school policy. If the SRO is an employee of the school district, then “reasonable suspicion” will be the more likely reason to conduct a search. Finally the location and circumstance of the search should be taken into account.

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