Questioning of Students: Law Enforcement or Child Abuse/Neglect Investigations 5-64.1

School Board of the City of Virginia Beach
Regulation 5-64.1


Questioning of Students: Law Enforcement or Child Abuse/Neglect Investigations

  1. Generally

    Any school visitors from outside agencies are considered invitees to School Board property and are expected to adhere to the requirements of School Board Policy 7-17 and School Board Regulation 7-17.1.

    To protect students and faculty, to preserve instructional time, and to maintain the confidentiality of students and their records, outside visitors must report to the school office or security desk to sign in and present proper identification in order to receive permission to visit.

  2. Law Enforcement

    The School Board shall protect the constitutional rights of minor students entrusted to its care until such time as the parents or legal guardian(s) can be contacted. The principal should verify that the interrogating officer is authorized to investigate the case. There shall be a clear understanding at the opening of any interrogation as to the distinction between the jurisdiction of the school, the home and the law enforcement agency.

    Except, as described below, in investigations involving alleged child abuse or neglect, the questioning of students by law enforcement officers regarding acts committed outside the School Board's jurisdiction shall be held outside the school day and off school property whenever possible. If this restriction impedes swift law enforcement, the questioning of a student or students may be permitted within the school in a private place designated by the principal and in the presence of a designated school representative. The principal is expected to make a reasonable effort to notify a parent or legal guardian that law enforcement officials are seeking permission to question the minor student at school. The principal, or designee, shall maintain information derived from the questioning in strict confidence unless law enforcement procedures require otherwise.

    Minor students may be removed from the school by a law enforcement officer after the parents or guardian have been contacted and have given their consent or when the law enforcement officer presents to the school official either warrants for the arrests of such students or detention orders issued by the judge or the clerk or deputy clerk of the juvenile and domestic relations district court or when the officer has probable cause to believe that the student has violated or is violating the law.

    The law enforcement officers must identify themselves with a proper badge of authority from the applicable jurisdiction.

  3. Child Abuse or Neglect

    During the course of an investigation for alleged child abuse or neglect, Virginia law authorizes, and school personnel shall allow, law enforcement personnel and/or child protective service workers, in the performance of their duties, to interview any child suspected of being abused or neglected and/or their siblings outside the presence of his/her parent/legal guardian or other person standing in loco parentis or school personnel and without first obtaining parental consent.

    The Department of Social Services (DSS) Caseworker must show photo identification indicating that he/she is employed by DSS. In order to visit the student, the DSS Caseworker must provide official documentation, in the form of an order from a court of competent jurisdiction or letter on official DSS letterhead, which indicates that there is a health or safety emergency. The DSS Caseworker will be permitted to meet with the student in a private location, to be determined by the principal of the school. DSS will only be permitted to visit students during school hours for investigations or interviews necessary for health, safety, or child abuse/neglect concerns.

  4. No Duty to Inform

    School personnel do not have an obligation to inform parents, guardians, legal custodians or other persons standing in loco parentis that a child protective service worker or law enforcement personnel has requested to interview or has interviewed the child in connection with an investigation of alleged child abuse or neglect involving the child interviewed and/or his/her sibling.

  5. Access to Records

    Requests for access to student records by law enforcement officers or DSS is governed by School Board Policy 5-31.

Code of Virginia §16.1-246, as amended. When and how a child may be taken into immediate custody.

Code of Virginia §63.1-248.10, as amended. Authority to talk to child or sibling.

School Board Policy 5-31
School Board Policy 7-17
School Board Regulation 7-17.1

Approved by Superintendent: October 15, 1991
Revised by Superintendent: March 21, 1995
Revised by Superintendent: May 23, 2014