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Administrative Procedure 357: Student Search Procedure

The Board takes seriously its responsibility pursuant to the Education Act to ensure students are provided with a safe and caring environment that fosters and maintains respectful and responsible behaviours. The Education Act requires that students comply with the rules of the school and that teachers and the principal of the school are responsible for maintaining order and discipline among students while they are in school or on the school grounds and when participating in school-sponsored activities.

  1. Student property and school property, including school lockers, may be subject to unannounced searches from time to time as determined by the school administration.
  2. Students and parents should understand that such searches may include the use of a police service dog to detect the presence of illegal drugs or other contraband on school property.
  3. Students and parents should understand that there should be no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to the use and contents of lockers provided to students by the Palliser School Division.
  4. From the time of approval of this procedure, parents of students in Grades K-6 will be required to review and sign a Locker Agreement, and students in Grades 7‑12 will be required to sign their form.
  5. All searches conducted pursuant to this procedure will be in accordance with the clauses set out below (procedures 6-14) and with the background set out above at the beginning of this procedure.
  6. Information regarding this and related procedures shall be delivered to the general student body and distributed to parents/guardians through handbooks, agendas, newsletters and, if feasible, posted on the school website.
  7. The school principal is responsible for maintaining an environment that is safe and conducive for learning for all students and, consistent with this duty, will exercise appropriate discretion in conducting searches and in the use of police service dogs.
  8. Searches may be conducted if the principal has reasonable grounds to believe that the locker or student property, including backpacks or purses, contains contraband or there are rule violations in respect of materials within or on the locker. The grounds for conducting such a search shall be recorded, in writing, by the principal and kept on file.
  9. The student whose property or locker is being searched shall be present during the search when possible and practical.
  10. In addition to the searcher, at least one other adult witness should be present when the search takes place.
  11. When possible and practical, the parent/guardian of the student shall be informed of the search and the reasons for it prior to it being undertaken. If prior notification is not possible, the parent/guardian shall be notified as soon as possible after the search is undertaken.
  12. The school principal may request the use of a police service dog to conduct a search of school lockers if the school principal has reasonable grounds to believe there is contraband (illegal drugs, weapons) in school lockers. Further, the school principal may request the use of a police service dog to conduct a search at random intervals when deemed appropriate, in his/her discretion, to maintain a safe and caring school and minimize the potential presence of drugs and other illegal contraband within the school.
  13. Should, according to local community circumstances, police officers require a signed copy of this procedure in order to assist schools to provide searches through the use of service dogs, schools will accommodate this request by having students sign the declaration of understanding that is stated at the bottom of this procedure.
  14. In these circumstances, the student(s) have no reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to the police service dog searching school lockers for contraband (illegal drugs, weapons). This is deemed a general search of all school lockers and property.
  15. If the police service dog identifies there may be contraband present in the student locker, the principal shall conduct a search of the locker pursuant to this procedure as outlined above. 


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