Can my child have their backpack searched without my permission or my being present?

UPDATED: May 7, 2012

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Can my child have their backpack searched without my permission or my being present?

My 4th grader had their backpack searched when money went missing from a teacher. The school states that right is explicitly outlined in the student handbook, which reads: “To ensure the safety and security of all students, the X Public School System reserves the right to conduct warrant-less searches of students, their possessions, and school lockers, providing that there is a reasonable basis for the search. Therefore, students should have no expectations of privacy in these areas.” Further,”When you’re on school property…there’s no expectation of privacy”.

Asked on May 7, 2012 under Personal Injury, Massachusetts


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

In answer to your question, given the written policy of the school that your child attends that there is no "expectation of privacy" under the student handbook.

Your child can have his or her backpack searched without the parents' permission or a parent being present when the child is on school grounds based upon what you have written.

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