Lesson 3: Legal Rights for Youth

Topic 7: Don’t Look in My Locker

Youth Rights: At School

Laws about schools are made by the provinces. In BC, for example, the law is known as the School Act. The School Act sets out the legal powers and responsibilities of teachers, school administrators and school boards. Section 6 of the School Act sets out the duties of students. For example, it says that a student must obey the school rules and follow the code of conduct and other rules and policies set by the school.

Many schools have police liaison officers who work with the schools in a range of positive ways. They address safety issues and are involved in anti-bullying and anti-violence programs.  This scenario looks at what the law says about police officers when they are involved in school searches

School officials can search you without your consent.  This is because while you are in school they are responsible for your safety and well-being (the law says that they “stand in the place of the parent”).

School officials can also search lockers. They must have good reason to do so. Police can search only if they are arresting you, or they have a search warrant, or with your consent.  The bottom line is, when you are at school, you and your locker can be searched.

Scenario from the “Don’t Look in My Locker” Video

On his way to his first afternoon class Yuri hears that students and their lockers are being searched.  Nobody seems to know if the principal or the police are doing the searches. Yuri and his friends are talking about it. View the video on the LegalRights4U website.