In order to ensure the safety and well-being of students and staff, the Board recognizes the need for and is supportive of law enforcement and social service presence in our schools when appropriate. The Board encourages close cooperation with law enforcement and social service agencies. The Board recognizes that the responsibility to cooperate with law enforcement and social service agencies must be balanced with the District’s duty to maintain an appropriate learning environment.
The following guidelines are to be used by administrators when law enforcement and social service officials interview students in school during regular school hours. These guidelines do not apply to interviews conducted by District professional staff.
1. Whenever practical, the time and place of interviews will be scheduled by the appropriate building administrator. Administrators, in consultation with the law enforcement officer or agency representative, will consider the need for the student interview during regular school hours and will work toward minimizing interviews that disrupt the instructional day. If access to the student interview is denied, the building administrator will notify the District Administrator of this decision and the reasons for it. The denial and its rationale shall be explained in a written report.
2. Every effort should be made by the administrators, law enforcement officers and/or agency representatives, to minimize school disruption by:
a. Conducting plain-clothes interviews whenever possible
b. Interviewing in private, low student traffic areas
c. Notifying students individually by school personnel when an interview is to be conducted
d. Interviewing during noninstructional time (e.g. study hall, lunch) whenever possible
3. The building administrator or appropriate school designee shall be present during the interview unless statute or other compelling reasons (as outlined in 4b1 and 2) exist which require a private interview, such as instances of neglect or abuse. The building administrator shall obtain in writing the reasons for excluding school personnel from the interview. If no written rationale is provided by the agency, then the building administrator shall prepare a report indicating why no school personnel were included. If a parent or any other legal representative is present for the interview, then the presence of school personnel is not required and should be noted in the report. The parent may waive the right to have any representation present.
4. Notification to parents or guardians when students who are minors are to be interviewed by law enforcement officers in the schools are governed by the following guidelines:
The term “notification” as it is used in this policy means a reasonable effort to contact the parent or guardian. A “reasonable effort” means at least three attempts to contact a parent over a 24 hour period. If circumstances exist which make meeting these notification requirements impractical, they shall be explained in written form.
For all students, parents or guardians will be entitled to notification prior to commencing the interview, except in the case of child abuse/neglect referrals. The interview may proceed prior to notification of the parent or guardian if:
1) The situation is determined to require prompt action
2) The situation is determined to be of a serious nature
3) The attempt at contact has been unsuccessful
If a student interview is conducted without prior parent notification, then subsequent contact by a school administrator or the law enforcement department is required.
5. In cases where a student is asked to leave the building and accompany the non-school personnel, the school administrator shall inform the parent or legal guardian of the change in custody, unless such notification is prevented by statute.
6. Any student interviewed by non-school personnel shall be informed that they do not have to answer questions if they do not desire to do so.