DAR File No. 41366

This rule was published in the April 1, 2017, issue (Vol. 2017, No. 7) of the Utah State Bulletin.

Education, Administration

Rule R277-615

Standards and Procedures for Student Searches

Notice of Proposed Rule


DAR File No.: 41366
Filed: 03/15/2017 01:05:41 PM


Purpose of the rule or reason for the change:

Rule R277-615 is amended to provide technical and conforming changes consistent with the Utah Administrative Rulemaking Act and the Rulewriting Manual for Utah.

Summary of the rule or change:

Changes to the rule include renumbering, replacing outdated terminology, and making various other technical changes.

Statutory or constitutional authorization for this rule:

  • Art X, Sec 3
  • Section 53A-1-401
  • Section 53A-11-1305

Anticipated cost or savings to:

the state budget:

Technical and conforming changes are made to the rule, which likely will not result in a cost or savings to the state budget.

local governments:

Technical and conforming changes are made to the rule, which likely will not result in a cost or savings to local government.

small businesses:

Technical and conforming changes are made to the rule, which likely will not result in a cost or savings to small businesses.

persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local governmental entities:

Technical and conforming changes are made to the rule, which likely will not result in a cost or savings to persons other than small businesses, businesses, or local government entities.

Compliance costs for affected persons:

Technical and conforming changes are made to the rule, which likely will not result in any compliance costs for affected persons.

Comments by the department head on the fiscal impact the rule may have on businesses:

To the best of my knowledge, there should be no fiscal impact on businesses resulting from the amendments to this rule.

Sydnee Dickson, State Superintendent

The full text of this rule may be inspected, during regular business hours, at the Office of Administrative Rules, or at:

250 E 500 S
SALT LAKE CITY, UT 84111-3272

Direct questions regarding this rule to:

Interested persons may present their views on this rule by submitting written comments to the address above no later than 5:00 p.m. on:


This rule may become effective on:


Authorized by:

Angela Stallings, Deputy Superintendent, Policy and Communication


R277. Education, Administration.

R277-615. Standards and Procedures for Student Searches.

R277-615-[2]1. Authority and Purpose.

[A.](1) This rule is authorized by:

(a) Utah Constitution Article X, Section 3, which vests general control and supervision of public education in the Board[,];[by]

(b) Section 53A-11-1305, [that]which directs the Board and LEAs to adopt rules to protect students against unreasonable and excessive intrusion of personal rights; [and privacy on school property or at school-sponsored activities, ]and[by]

(c) Section 53A-1-401[(3)], which allows the Board to [adopt rules in accordance with its responsibilities]make rules to execute the Board's duties and responsibilities under the Utah Constitution and state law.

[B.](2) The purpose of this rule is to direct LEAs to adopt [rules or ]policies [or both ]to protect student rights with procedures and provisions that balance students' rights and privacy with the responsibility of school officials for the safety and protection of students and adults while on school property or at school-sponsored events.


R277-615-[1]2. Definitions.

[A. "Board" means the Utah State Board of Education.]

[B.](1) "Controlled substance[s]" [means substances identified under]has the same meaning as provided in Section[s] 58-37-2[, 58-37a-3 and 58-37b-2].

[C.](2)(a) "Law enforcement authorities" means officers working under the direct supervision and in the employment of police or law enforcement, as opposed to under the supervision of an LEA[public education, agency].

(b) Law enforcement authorities have received police officer training and are acting in that capacity.

[D.](3) "LEA," [means a local education agency, including local school boards/public school districts, charter schools, and]for purposes of this rule, includes the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind.

[E. "Reasonable suspicion" means a particularized and objective basis, supported by objective and articulable facts leading the searcher to believe that there is a moderate chance of finding evidence of wrongdoing. Reasonableness considers the totality of the circumstances including such factors as the scope and manner of the intrusion, the justification for the search, the nature of the infraction, the place where the search is conducted, the student's age, history and school record, the prevalence and seriousness of the problem in the school, the exigency requiring the search without delay, the reliability of the information used as a justification for the search, and the school official's prior experience with the student. The search shall be reasonable both in inception of the search and the scope of the search.

F. "School official" means a school superintendent, associate superintendent, school district specialist, school principal or assistant principal or charter school employee who is a director, principal, headmaster, or assistant administrator.]

[G.](4) "Weapon" means any item capable of causing death or serious bodily injury or a facsimile or representation of the item.


R277-615-3. [Board]Superintendent Responsibilities.

[A.](1) The [Board]Superintendent shall provide consistent definitions for LEAs to include in search and seizure policies.

[B.](2) The [Board]Superintendent shall develop a model search and seizure policy as guidance for LEAs.

[C.](3) The [Board]Superintendent shall [include]require an assurance [for]from LEAs in the Utah Consolidated Report regarding the student search policy required under Section 53A-11-1305[in the Utah Consolidated Report, beginning with the 2012-13 school year].


R277-615-4. LEA Responsibilities.

[A.](1) An LEA[s] shall develop a policy for searching students for controlled substances and weapons[as required under Utah law and for weapons before June 30, 2012].

[B.](2) An LEA[s] shall include appropriate interested parties in the development of student search policies, including :

(a) parents[,];

(b) school employees[,]; and

(c) licensed school employees.

[C.](3) An LEA [policies]policy developed pursuant to Subsection (1) shall ensure protection of individual student rights against excessive and unreasonable intrusion.

[D.](4) An LEA[s] shall make policies available [to parents ]electronically and in [materials provided]and in printed form to parents and students upon enrollment[ as soon as reasonably possible following adoption of policies].

[E.](5) An LEA[s] shall provide adequate training to appropriate classes of employees for fair and consistent implementation of student search policies.


KEY: students, searches

Date of Enactment or Last Substantive Amendment: [April 10, 2012]2017

Notice of Continuation: March 14, 2017

Authorizing, and Implemented or Interpreted Law: Art X Sec 3; 53A-11-1305; 53A-1-401[(3)]

Additional Information

More information about a Notice of Proposed Rule is available online.

The Portable Document Format (PDF) version of the Bulletin is the official version. The PDF version of this issue is available at https://rules.utah.gov/publicat/bull_pdf/2017/b20170401.pdf. The HTML edition of the Bulletin is a convenience copy. Any discrepancy between the PDF version and HTML version is resolved in favor of the PDF version.

Text to be deleted is struck through and surrounded by brackets ([example]). Text to be added is underlined (example).  Older browsers may not depict some or any of these attributes on the screen or when the document is printed.

For questions regarding the content or application of this rule, please contact Angela Stallings at the above address, by phone at 801-538-7656, by FAX at 801-538-7768, or by Internet E-mail at angie.stallings@schools.utah.gov.  For questions about the rulemaking process, please contact the Office of Administrative Rules.