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BOARD OF EDUCATION REVISES STUDENT INTERROGATION AND SEARCHES POLICY

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The Cumberland County Board of Education last night approved a revision to a policy concerning interrogations and searches.

The new policy states:

INTERROGATIONS BY SCHOOL PERSONNEL

Students may be questioned by teachers or principals about any matter pertaining to the operation of a school and/or the enforcement of its rules. Questioning must be conducted discreetly and under circumstances which will avoid unnecessary embarrassment to the student being questioned. Any student answering falsely, evasively or refusing to answer a question may be subject to disciplinary action, including suspension.

If a student is suspected or accused of misconduct or infractions of the student code of conduct, the principal may interrogate the student without the presence of a parent or guardian.

INTERROGATIONS BY POLICE AT PRINCIPAL’S/DESIGNEE’S REQUEST

If the police deem circumstances of sufficient urgency to interrogate students at school for unrelated crimes committed outside of school hours, the police department shall first contact the principal regarding the interrogation and inform him/her of the probable cause to investigate. The principal/designee shall notify the parent/guardian of the intended interrogation unless the circumstances reasonably require such contact not to be made. The interrogation may proceed without attendance of the parent/guardian but the principal/designee shall be present during the interrogation.

SEARCHES BY SCHOOL PERSONNEL

In order to ensure a safe and secure learning environment, the Director of Schools shall develop procedures regarding the searching of students, lockers, vehicles, and containers which are consistent with state law. The Director of Schools shall develop additional procedures to ensure compliance with all of the provisions of the School Security Act of 1981.

In other action from the board in the meeting last night, members approved guidelines for creating a sick leave bank for certified and non-certified employees. It would serve to provide an extended leave for unplanned personal illnesses or injuries once their personal sick leave runs out.


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