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  1. #1
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    Question Can a School Search Students' Cars

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: Indiana

    Can my school search my car? My school is searching everyone's car until the end of the year but people are telling me that they have to because I didn't do anything but other people in my school were coaut vaping and smoking in school or in their cars. Do I have a right to say no to the search if I'm 18.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: School

    The school or cops are searching your car?

    Often times a rule such as this can be imposed. A little more info will help. Have you read the school rules you are bound to when utilizing the parking lot? You have the right to refuse to use the parking lot so your car isn’t searched.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: School

    The school is searching the car and no I didn't read it bc it's my bf's car but I drive it to school with him. and I have to use the parking lot bc if I don't then I will have to walk across the highway

  4. #4
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    Default Re: School

    If the school has a policy that all cars parked in the school parking lot may be searched, then students who don't want to have their vehicles searched should take the bus, get dropped off, or park elsewhere.

    Searches may be conducted with permission, and if the school won't allow anybody to use the school parking lot unless they grant permission to have their vehicles searched, that would be a choice a student would make when opting to use the lot. Additionally, as long as they have a compelling reason to do so, schools can perform random sweeps or searches of parking lots and lockers for security reasons, without individualized suspicion. These days, making sure that there are no weapons in students' vehicles is likely going to be deemed sufficiently compelling.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: School

    Quote Quoting first2000
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    The school is searching the car and no I didn't read it bc it's my bf's car but I drive it to school with him. and I have to use the parking lot bc if I don't then I will have to walk across the highway
    Maybe you should read policies that apply to you.

    If you are old enough to drive, I’m not seeing walking across a highway as much of an argument that you need to park in the school lot.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: School

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
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    If the school has a policy that all cars parked in the school parking lot may be searched, then students who don't want to have their vehicles searched should take the bus, get dropped off, or park elsewhere.

    Searches may be conducted with permission, and if the school won't allow anybody to use the school parking lot unless they grant permission to have their vehicles searched, that would be a choice a student would make when opting to use the lot. Additionally, as long as they have a compelling reason to do so, schools can perform random sweeps or searches of parking lots and lockers for security reasons, without individualized suspicion. These days, making sure that there are no weapons in students' vehicles is likely going to be deemed sufficiently compelling.
    Agree in part, disagree in part.

    I don't agree that the school can make random sweeps of cars without individualized suspicion. Lockers, yes. Cars, maybe not.

    Indiana Code 20-26-18.2-3 School resource officer's police powers
    Sec. 3. (a) A school resource officer may:
    (2) conduct a search or a seizure of a person or property using the reasonable suspicion standard;

    https://iga.in.gov/legislative/laws/...tles/020#20-26

    Reasonable suspicion would apply to the students who were caught vaping and that could allow their cars to be searched without consent.

    However, I do agree that the consent issue is a key factor. If the school does have a policy of random searches of vehicles to which students/parents consented, either actually or constructively, then I would agree that the searches of all the vehicles in the parking lot were constitutional.

    I don't believe that Indiana courts have addressed the issue but the Supreme Court of Mississippi emphasized that "G.W.'s registration form was signed by his mother and specifically states that 'vehicles will routinely checked/searched." (Covington County v. G.W. 767 So. 2d at 188.)

    Quote Quoting first2000
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    The school is searching the car and no I didn't read it bc it's my bf's car but I drive it to school with him. and I have to use the parking lot bc if I don't then I will have to walk across the highway
    First2000, I suggest you follow up on whether there is a written policy for searching vehicles to which students/parents have given consent. Otherwise, there may be a 4th Amendment issue.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: School

    It is a given that a school officer can search a specific student using the reasonable suspicion standard. But security sweeps of lockers and parking lots are not directed at individuals. From the standpoint of a security sweep on school grounds, no, there is no material difference between a locker and a vehicle.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: School

    As far as I can tell, no Indiana courts have ruled on the issue while other states have ruled either way.

    Might still be up for grabs in Indiana if somebody wants to push the issue up through the courts.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: School

    Quote Quoting adjusterjack
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    As far as I can tell, no Indiana courts have ruled on the issue while other states have ruled either way.

    Might still be up for grabs in Indiana if somebody wants to push the issue up through the courts.
    We don’t know what any apppicable school rules say to the matter. That can make a difference. If one agrees to searches as a condition of using the lot, it’s reslly hard to argue it would come down to a matter of rights.

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