K-12 Student Search and Seizure

Education law expert Rick Verstegen will help you identify legal risks inherent in school security and potential liability for breaches. You will learn when and how to search students and their property.

Topics Covered

  • When may you search students and their personal property?
  • May you seize dangerous or distracting items?
  • Does your duty to maintain safety outweigh students’ rights?
  • What laws apply to school security? What policies should you adopt?
  • What guidance have agencies and associations provided?
  • How do searches by school officials differ from searches by law enforcement?
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INFORMATION
Training Overview

Learn how to search students legally. Balance your safety obligations with Fourth Amendment rights.

The recent shooting of teacher Abigail Zwerner by a first-grade student has prompted K–12 school officials to want to understand their rights to search students and seize weapons. Other searches may target cell phones used for cheating, drugs, or stolen property.

Before digging into backpacks, flinging open lockers, rummaging through vehicle trunks, and asking students to empty their pockets, you need to understand and carefully consider the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Schools must adhere to the law while preserving safety and maintaining an environment conducive to learning.

  • When may you search students and their personal property?
  • May you seize dangerous or distracting items?
  • Does your duty to maintain safety outweigh students’ rights?
  • What laws apply to school security? What policies should you adopt?
  • What guidance have agencies and associations provided?
  • How do searches by school officials differ from searches by law enforcement?
Recommended Audience
Who Should Attend?
  • Superintendents
  • Deputy, associate, and assistant superintendents
  • Chief business and operations officers
  • Diversity and equity officers
  • Directors of special education
  • Student services directors
  • Technology directors
  • Business managers
  • School resource officers
  • Personnel and human resources directors
  • Athletic directors
  • Principals
  • Vice principals and assistant principals
What's included
Training includes
  • Certificate of Attendance
  • All resources and training materials
About

Expert Presenter

Richard F. Verstegen
  • Partner with Boardman & Clark, LLP of Madison, Wisconsin
  • School Law Practice Group and Labor and Employment Group
  • Represents educational institutions in a variety of education law matters
  • Published many articles regarding education and employment law
  • Former president of the Wisconsin School Attorneys Association
  • Current member of the State Bar of Wisconsin
  • JD degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School