Investigations and Arrests by Police
or Other Law Enforcement Officers
Police or other law enforcement officers may be called to the school at the request of school administration, or may initiate contact with the school in connection with a criminal investigation. The school district shall not allow law enforcement officers access to students to conduct an investigation during school hours unless the officers are investigating charges that the student has been the victim of abuse or neglect. Contact between the school and law enforcement authorities on matters involving students shall be made through the office of the superintendent or principal and the law enforcement officer.
Law enforcement officers may talk to a student away from the school before or after school hours, and they should be encouraged to do so. Law enforcement officers shall be allowed to conduct an interview at the school only when the interview is conducted at the request of the school or when they can show that special circumstances exist. This determination should be made by the appropriate building principal or superintendent. Law enforcement officers should be permitted to interview students on school grounds only after providing the superintendent or appropriate building principal with a statement in writing that the law enforcement officer has reason to believe and does believe that the student is the victim of child abuse or neglect perpetrated by the child’s parent(s) or some other member of the child’s immediate family, and that the law enforcement official wishes to interview the student regarding such abuse or neglect.
Throughout this process, all attempts should be made to avoid embarrassing the student before his or her teachers and peers, and to avoid disrupting the student’s and school’s education program.
1. Law enforcement officers should be permitted to take custody of a student if they possess an arrest warrant or if they otherwise assert a lawful basis for doing so. Whenever possible, the arrest or release of the student should be conducted in the building principal's office and out of the view of other students. When a principal or other school official releases a minor student to a law enforcement officer for the purpose of removing the minor from the school premises, he or she shall take immediate steps to notify the parent, guardian, or other responsible adult regarding the release of the minor to the officer and the place to which the minor is reportedly being taken, except when a minor has been taken into custody as a victim of suspected child abuse. If the law enforcement officer indicates that the child is being taken into custody because the child is the victim of suspected child abuse, the principal or other school official shall, as a condition of releasing the student to the law enforcement officer, require the officer to sign the statement appended hereto certifying that the child is being removed from school premises because he or she is believed to be the victim of child abuse and that the officer understands and will comply with the legal requirements of Neb. Rev. Stat. § 79-294.
2. Law enforcement personnel shall not be allowed to roam about the school until the student is found, and shall remain in the administration office while school personnel seek the student.
3. If possible, the education program of the student should not be disrupted to allow for police questioning of the student during class time.
4. Any questioning by law enforcement officers that is permitted should be conducted in a private room or area where confidentiality can be maintained. This should be an area removed from observation by or contact with other pupils and school personnel.
5. If law enforcement officers are to be allowed to question a student under the age of 18, the principal or school official shall make a reasonable attempt to notify the child’s parents before questioning begins, except in cases of suspected child abuse or child neglect involving the parent or other family member. The parents should be given the opportunity to come to the school prior to the questioning.
6. If the parents are notified and are able to attend, they should be allowed to be present at the interview. The principal or designee should be present at the interview, but should not take part in any questioning. The principal or designee should remain a neutral observer at all times.
Adopted on: July 13, 2009
Revised on: _________________________
Reviewed on: May 12, 2014
Reviewed on March 13, 2016