(The right of youth to protection from unreasonable invasion of personal privacy)

Being “Persons” under the constitution of the United States, youth are protected from unreasonable search and seizure.


  1. Routine searches of youth’s lockers, suitcases, cars, or other closed areas that contain personal items or strip searches of youth are illegal.
  2. Where there is no threat of imminent danger or harm but the youth is believed to have an illegal item on the youth’s person or is believed to have access to such items, the youth should be confronted by officials (in the presence of an adult witness) and reasonably questioned regarding the item(s).
  3. If the youth readily admits to possession of an illegal item such as alcohol, weapons, or drugs, the youth, in the presence of adult witnesses, is to surrender the items to the officials.  In turn, law enforcement should be notified when appropriate, and a follow-up with parents should take place at the earliest possible time.
  4. If a youth is confronted by an Extension employee concerning possession of a dangerous or illegal item and there is no imminent danger or harm, but the youth refuses to acknowledge or discuss the presence of such items on his/her person or in his/her possession, one of the following is to be carried out:
    1. Call the parent/guardian and ask that the youth involved be picked up. (Never release the youth except into the direct care of a parent/guardian.)
    2. Notify proper authorities if it is felt there is sufficient cause or necessity.
  5. Where there is clear reason to believe that a youth has on his/her person an illegal or dangerous item and there is good reason to believe the youth may harm him/herself or others, then Extension personnel or volunteers may take any reasonable steps necessary to prevent such harm until the proper authorities arrive.
  6. If the youth refuses to open lockers or other closed areas and will not submit to a personal search wherein personal items may be kept and officials believe that there is good cause that there is imminent danger of harm either to the youth or others should the youth come into possession of the item, then officials should remove the items.  Ideally, this should be done in the presence of at least one other adult witness.  Until parent/guardian or law officials arrive, the youth should be removed from the presence of other children.   
  7. Documentation is important!  All Extension employees and volunteers involved in the situation should, as soon as possible, complete an “Accident/Incident Form.”  Time is of the essence since important facts tend to become fuzzy with time.  A copy of all documentation should be kept by the Agent, with copies forwarded to the appropriate State Specialist and the Assistant Director.