School systems in Louisiana are faced with ever-increasing violence and the use of weapons on or adjacent to school campuses and after-school functions.  In this connection, it is generally believed that a so-called "wand" metal detector would prove useful as a deterrent when utilized in a publicized random search program.  Therefore, in accordance with state law, the following provisions have been established for the use of metal detectors in parish schools.  Based upon guidelines issued by the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE), the purpose of this policy is to deter the bringing of weapons onto school grounds, and to thereby reduce the potential for violent incidences.  The Board shall indemnify and defend all employees who follow this policy and are involved in litigation as a result of compliance.


All teachers and administrators who have reasonable belief that a student is in possession of weapons or illegal drugs shall be authorized to search the person of said student.  Any such action by teachers or administrators shall not be done maliciously or with the intention of embarrassing, harassing, or intimidating the student.




When metal detectors are used, the individuals to be searched shall be requested to remove all metal objects from their pockets along with any bags, parcels, or other containers being carried.  If the detector activates on a person, the individual conducting the search shall request that any remaining metal objects be removed.  If the detector activates again, the individual will be personally searched by an administrator of the same sex.  At least one witness, also of the same sex as the student, shall be present throughout the search.




Should an individual be found in possession of a weapon (i.e. firearm, knife, or other implement which can be used as a weapon), the administrator shall notify the appropriate school official and/or law enforcement officer.  The administrator and/or law enforcement officer shall take custody of all weapons and other prohibited objects.




Students shall be put on notice that they will be searched at various hours of the school day to avoid predictability.  To the extent possible, locations will be selected for the search within a building or grounds that do not expose the students to the view of the general student population.  A notice shall be posted at the major point of entry to each school which states:  "Random searches using metal detectors are conducted on these premises."  These notices shall be maintained as permanent notices.




The plan to search students includes the following:


  1. Search/detect students at random as they enter school, enter cafeteria and leave school, search all or every third student.

  2. Select at random students who arouse a reasonable suspicion that they are carrying a weapon or contraband.  The reasonable suspicion actions to recognize should be taught/trained by law enforcement officers.

  3. The parent or guardian of every student shall be notified that random searches will be conducted.  This notice should be done in a way to insure that the parent/guardian has received the notice (i.e. student handbook and/or letter to parent or guardian.)

  4. Parents shall be notified as soon as possible upon the decision to personally search a student.  A record of search shall be made - one copy shall be filed by the principal and one copy shall be sent to the Superintendent of Schools.  Students shall be given a receipt for all items impounded.



Ref:     La. Rev. Stat. Ann. ยงยง17:416, 17:416.3

State v. Stein, 203 Kan. 638 456 P.2d (1969)


Richland Parish School Board