Hall lockers? Some schools say no
Via USA Today
This is a difficult trend to understand, especially given the state of school safety legal reform. Educators have a wide range of options available with the campus and the physical plant. As a matter of law, school officials in every state have the power to preserve the physical plant and campus for the primary use to which it is dedicated. Therefore, lockers belong to the school and may be searched. Students have no reasonable expectation of privacy in the lockers. When educators have a written policy that is communicated to the students that school lockers are the property of the school, periodic general inspections may be conducted at any time. The power of educators to search lockers follows from the affirmative obligations of school authorities to supervise the children entrusted to their care and the consequent retention of control by them over the lockers through a written policy. This right becomes a duty when there is a reasonable suspicion that school safety is threatened by the use of a locker by a student. Two states appear to give students a reasonable expectation of privacy in lockers. See Florida Education Code Section 1006.09(9), and the Iowa decision in State v. Jones, 666 N.W.2d 142, 2003 Iowa Sup. LEXIS 134 (Iowa 2003). However, these laws are insincere. The Iowa courts permit school searches under the reasoning that the search of student lockers is not an intrusive type of search, given the nature of the school’s concerns of maintaining a safe and effective learning environment. Florida law does not prohibit the use of metal detectors or dogs in the course of a search for illegally possessed substances or objects.