Can my school search me?
Question Details: My second period class was over and I went to the bathroom before my next class. The bathroom smelt like weed when I got in there and when I left the assistant principal saw me. He then pulled me out of class a couple of minutes later even though he didn't see me smoking or anything in the bathroom, which I wasn't anyway. I was searched by one of the school's administration workers but I asked them before they searched me how they where allowed to do that and they said the smell of weed gave them suspicion to search my backpack. However, I didn't smell like weed at all and neither did my backpack; it was just the bathroom. So I'm just confused on how they were allowed to search me. I just want to know if I could fight it in court and have a chance of winning. This will be my second MIP and I don't think it was fair how I was searched. I looked up state laws for searching students and it said that they aren't allowed to search over a hunch and that's what I feel like they did.
The school's code of conduct is its voluntarily assumed set of guidelines for behavior or action. Since the school creates these guidelines itself and voluntarily chooses whether to adhere to them, they are not binding on the school: the school may choose to ignore its own code of conduct. The code of conduct is not a law and not binding on the school.
Schools are "in loco parentis": that means that by law, they stand in the shoes or place of your parents or legal guardians and have, at the school, essentially the same power and authority your parents or legal guardians have over you. So just as your parents could legally search you or or backpack over a "hunch," so can the school; the search was legal.