Students: Know your rights

What students need to know about what House Bill 2627 requires, and what it doesn’t

Mary Jane Deer, News Editor

House Bill 2627 has expanded the rights of students during criminal questioning on school grounds, but to an extent. The student rights under this law are confined to school hours and property and when being questioned by a law enforcement official, school resource office, or security guard. 

A “reasonable effort” to contact the questioned student’s parents or legal guardians must be made and recorded, and officers should make a  “reasonable effort” to have a parent, legal guardian, or school staff member who is a mental health professional present during questioning. 

If the questioning is for criminal action, the student rights are not protected under the law if it is necessary to protect bodily harm or injury to the student or any other person, stop the destruction of evidence, apprehend a fleeing suspect, or address an emergency or dangerous situation. 

When being questioned by a dean, school resource officer, or any other staff member, students are advised to request adult representation by either a parent, counselor, nurse, or trusted adult and have that attempted request recorded. If the questioning is not regarding criminal charges or investigation, the new law does not apply.