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School board approves policy on searches

October 20, 2004|by SCOTT BUTKI

The Washington County Board of Education on Tuesday approved a policy regarding searches and seizures.

The board approved the first reading of the policy at its Sept. 21 meeting.

The policy is effective immediately, said Tammy Turner, the system's chief legal counsel.

The school system is updating its policy on the issue in response to the passage of a state law, spokeswoman Carol Mowen said.

The main change would give teachers the authority to search students, if they have reasonable cause, during school-sponsored field trips, she said.

Teachers would not have the authority to search students on school premises but other school employees do have that authority, she said. Turner said her office will train interested teachers on what they should look for before doing a search, how the search should be done and related information.

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The training will include telling teachers when it would be appropriate to call police, Turner said.

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