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Common Questions

Can they search my school locker without my consent?

While you are in school, teachers and school administrators are responsible for your safety and well-being. During this time, the law says that they "stand in the place of the parent or guardian." As well, the school owns the lockers used by students. This means that they can search lockers. However, students do have some expectation of privacy in this area. So, for example, there should be reasonable grounds (a serious/good reason) for a search.

Good starting points to learn about locker searches and other rights at school include:

  • Rights Talk: Students and Civil Liberties at School, from the BC Civil Liberties Association, has a chapter on legal rights relating to "search and seizure", which includes school locker searches.
  • Youth and Criminal Law, from the Justice Education Society of BC, explains legal rights in various scenarios common to young people. Each scenario is described in a video. One of the scenarios is about school locker searches.

Need more help?

  • Lawyer Referral Service, from Access Pro Bono, helps you connect with a lawyer for a free initial consultation of up to 30 minutes.
  • Law Students Legal Advice Clinics, from UBC Law Students' Legal Advice Program (LSLAP), provides free legal advice and representation to low income clients.

See our related common questions:

Last reviewed September 2018

rights of children & teens, rights at school, search & seizure, locker search, student rights