Searches of students’ vehicles that are parked on school grounds are subject to the T.L.O. guidelines. However, like locker searches, it is prudent for school districts to have a written policy regarding vehicle searches and even some type of parking permit system that clearly outlines the school’s policy on vehicle searches.
The following is an extract from a Virginia School district statement on policies on search and seizure.
FAIRFAX COUNTY (VIRGINIA): Desks, lockers, and storage spaces are the property of the school and the principal may conduct general inspections of those areas periodically in the presence of a witness. These areas, in addition to vehicles parked on school property may be searched on an individual basis if there is reasonable grounds to believe there may be illegal drugs, weapons, stolen property or other contraband. The search must be conducted for maintaining order and discipline at the school rather than for criminal prosecution. Reasonable effort will be made to locate the student prior to the search. Further, students believed to have any contraband on their person may be searched and metal detectors may be used. Personal searches may extend to pockets and the removal of outer garments and also to pocketbooks and backpacks. (Regulation 2601.14P, G)