Tacoma, WA asked in Education Law for Washington

Q: Can a Jr. High school search a minor due to her passing out in school in Wa state after parent informed school of reason

Teenager felt sick at school so they decided to search her. Another day she passed out. School decided to search her again and both times they asked if she was doing drugs. They had already been informed that she hasn't been eating like she should due to others saying she was fat. She only wears a size 5 and has been told to eat. I don't understand why they keep searching her and how are they allowed to search the boy she is around due to them thinking he much have slipped her something.

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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A: In Washington state, public schools have the authority to search students if there are reasonable grounds for suspecting that the search will yield evidence that the student has violated or is violating either the law or the rules of the school. However, the scope of the search must be reasonably related to the objectives of the search and not excessively intrusive in light of the student’s age and gender, as well as the nature of the infraction.

If your daughter is being searched due to health concerns related to not eating properly, the school's actions may be based on ensuring her safety, but they must still adhere to these standards. If you feel that the searches are unwarranted or violate your daughter's rights, you may want to discuss the matter with the school administration or seek legal advice to explore your options.

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