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Use of Dogs to Search School Property

The Superintendent of Schools may authorize, as part of an overall effort to maintain safe schools, the periodic use of narcotic detection dogs to alert staff to the presence of substances prohibited by law or Board policy.

The use of narcotic dogs is subject to the following administrative regulations, authorized by the Superintendent:

1       The Superintendent or designee shall authorize the search and the Principal or his/her designee shall be present while the search is taking place.

2.      Parents and students shall be notified in writing of the practice of using narcotic detection dogs at least once annually, through its inclusion on the district website. 

3.      All school property such as lockers, classrooms, parking areas and storage areas may be searched.

a.      Dogs shall not be used in rooms occupied by persons except for demonstration purposes with the handler present.

b.      When used for demonstration purposes, the dog may not sniff the person or any individual.

c.      The dogs may sniff the air around lockers, desks, or vehicles on District property or at District-sponsored events as long as they are not allowed to sniff within close proximity of any student’s person.

d.      Individual(s) shall not be subjected to a search by dogs. To avoid the potential of allergic reactions, dogs shall be kept away from the students.

4.      Once notification has been given to parents and students (through the inclusion in the Public Notices section of the district website) the school district will have met its obligation to provide written notice of the searches. Additional notices need not be given and actual times or dates of planned searches need not be released in advance.

5.      Only properly trained dogs that are handled by trained personnel shall be used for searches of school property.

6.      Only the dog’s official handler will determine what constitutes an alert by the dog.  If a dog alerts on a locker and a search is subsequently conducted by school officials, the search will be conducted in the presence of the student(s) whose locker(s) is/are being searched or, in the absence of the student(s), the search shall be conducted in the presence of at least one other person. If a dog alerts on a locked vehicle, the student who brought it onto District property shall be asked to unlock it for a search conducted per procedure outlined in Board of Education Policy. An effort shall be made to protect the student’s privacy to the greatest degree possible.