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I am trying to get some clarification regarding some issues I have had with my local High School.

What is the proper way for police to deal with an incident regarding, drugs we'll say. For example, the principle has a punk kid in his office and developed information that he has drugs in his locker and also on his person.

I have a couple of questions. How far can the principle go regarding questioning and searches? What the hell do I do when I get to the High School and the principle just hands me over drugs (This actually happened to me.) I just want to cover my Arrss.
 

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As far as I know, a principal can not act as an agent of the police, unless he / she is first solicited by the police to obtain specific information. If the principal / school official finds or discovers any information regarding a crime and pass it on to the police it is okay. As far as I know, a principal can ask as many questions as they feel necessary and pass it along to support your probable cause. You may also want to check New Jersey vs. T.L.O. a federal land mark case the touches on this matter. Pat Rogers also has some information on this very matter in his books.

www.commonwealthpolice.net

Fed0202
 

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School administrators are held to the standard of reasonable suspicion and can conduct searches of lockers without notifying the student, seeing the lockers belong to the school. If the school has information regarding a crime, they can pass on the information to the police. If the police receive information regarding a particular issue in the school, the police can notify the school administrator. If the school administrator feels that the issue is a potential safety concern, they can address the student(s). In this case, they are not acting as an agent, but merely acting on information that was provided to them. If the police instruct the school administration on what to do during an investigation, then the school administrator is acting as an agent of the police. There is nothing preventing the police to provide a training session at the beginning of the school year, breaks, etc. that inform the school administration on what to look for regarding drugs or evidence of crimes. School administrators are a good tool to have when dealing with juvenile issues, seeing their hands are as tied as the police's hands are. Law Enforcement Dimension has a great Juvenile reference book.[/align]
 
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