Can a student be searched on a

About 5 weeks ago, some high school students were rumored, and later found to be true to have built 2 or 3 pipe bombs.all students involved were suspended. My son who is 16 and doesn’t hang out with the accused, is an a/b student, working on his Eagle scout badge, is on the hockey and football teams and has never been in any trouble was pulled out of class by a police officer and searched because of a

Asked on July 11, 2017 under Criminal Law, New Jersey


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

It has been ruled that a school official may conduct a search of a student if there is a “reasonable suspicion” that a crime is being/has been committed or that a school rule has been broken. Since your son made a model rocket and the authorities were that having been said, checking for poosibe pipe bombs it can be argued that the search was "reasonable". That having been said, reasonable suspicion means more than a hunch that the student is up to something unlawful. At this point, you may want to consult directly with a local criminal law attorney. After having reviewed all of the facts of the case, they can best advise you further.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

If it was in school, it would have been legal. Schools are "in loco parentis": they have parental-like authority over their minor students during the school day. The school has the authority to search students on its premisies and can delegate that authority to a police officer to search for them, the same way a parent could let the police search his/her child.

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