Scituate, MA asked in Civil Rights and Education Law for Massachusetts

Q: can someone at my school or the police search my bag without a warrant

Also there is a school resource officer at my school

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1 Lawyer Answer
John Espinosa
John Espinosa
  • Lowell, MA
  • Licensed in Massachusetts

A: Because of the lower expectation of privacy that students have in schools, school officials need only have "reasonable suspicion" to conduct a search of a bag a student brings to school, not a warrant. This document summarizes the applicable laws (but it is several years out of date, there is more recent caselaw so you should consult with an attorney who knows about school searches):

A quick search on some recent relevant cases to show you the complexity of this:

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