School District Proposes Changes To Police-Student Interview Policy
The Natrona County School District is considering revising its policy to give principals more latitude in dealing with parents when law enforcement officials need to interview students on school property.
The idea for the revision came from Dean Braughton, the district's director of student support services, trustee Dana Howie said. "Dr. Braughton was worried that principals might be held as an obstruction -- interfering with law enforcement -- if they waited too long or if it was going to take too long for the parent to get there," she said. "He didn't want the principals to be left hanging out and have the police mad at them if they wanted to question the kid."
An adult must be present when a law enforcement officer needs to interview a student, and ideally that adult would be a parent or guardian, Howie said. Usually if a law enforcement officer comes to the school to talk to a student, the principal will notify the parent immediately, she said. "If (the principal) can't get hold of them or if they have to wait a really long time, then sometimes the principal may need to say, 'Okay, I'll be the designee,'" Howie said.
The key is if the parent is reasonably available, she said. "Part of the question is, 'how long do we wait,'" she said. The board of trustees will vote whether to approve the revised policy at its next meeting at 7:30 p.m. Jan. 26.