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505: Agencies Interviewing Students at School

Date: September 29, 2021

Responsible Administrator: Associate Superintendent, Education Services


PURPOSE

Schools have a responsibility to protect the confidentiality, safety and well-being of students where access by outside agencies for investigative purposes is requested.

PROCESS

The Associate Superintendent, Education Services or designate is delegated the responsibility of maintaining this Administrative Procedure.

PROCEDURE

School level investigations shall be deferred to the police once an offense is believed to fall within the Criminal Code.

1. Interviewing of Students by Officers of the Law

1.1 The Principal or designate shall ensure that the following guidelines concerning interviewing of students by officers of the law are observed:

1.1.1 The officer shall be questioned as to the urgency of the matter.

1.2 The Principal or designate must allow the officer to proceed under the following circumstances:

1.2.1 if the officer possesses a warrant (either for arrest or search);

1.2.2 if the officer is “in hot pursuit” after the commission of an offence;

1.2.3 if the officer possesses blanket powers of search, etc., as defined by legislation (an example is drug offences);

1.2.3.1 The Principal or designate shall attempt to contact the parent or legal guardian of the student in order to apprise them of the situation prior to an interview.

1.2.3.2 In the event that the parent or legal guardian could not be contacted per Section 1.2.3.1, the parent or legal guardian shall be notified of the interview by telephone, failing that by registered letter.

1.2.3.4 In the absence of the parent or legal guardian, the student shall be informed that he/she has the right to have the Principal or designate remain with the student at all times during which the officer is present.

1.2.3.5 The Principal or designate will ensure that the student is advised of his/her rights as set out in Section 1.3.

1.3 The student has the right:

1.3.1 to be informed of the reason for the interview;

1.3.2 to contact a lawyer;

1.3.3 to not answer any question, except as to identity, and to the identity of his/her parents;

1.3.4 to be advised that statements he/she makes can be used against him/her in subsequent proceedings;

1.3.5 to know whether or not he/she is under arrest, and if so, the reason therefore;

1.3.6 to refuse to continue to answer questions until he/she has had an opportunity to obtain advice either from his parents, legal guardian or a lawyer.

1.4 An officer requested student interview that fails to answer the criteria as set out in Section 1.2 shall be informed that the interview must take place outside of school hours and premises.

1.5 Documentation Must be Maintained

1.5.1 The Principal shall ask the officer of the law to present identification, and to provide an explanation as to the nature of the investigation being conducted, to state reasons for wanting to conduct the interview in the school and to complete the Alberta Children’s Services & Law Enforcement Disclosure Form.

         1.5.1.1 A written copy of the Alberta Children's Services & Law Enforcement Disclosure Form will be kept by school administration for the current school year.

2. Interviewing of Students by Children's Services representative

2.1 School authorities have a responsibility to cooperate with personnel from the Department of Children's Services and the Principal or designate also have a responsibility to the students to stand in loco parentis. Both of these areas of responsibility must be considered in instances when personnel from Children's Services request permission of school authorities to interview a student on school premises during school hours.

2.2 The Principal shall ask the Children's Services worker to present identification, and to provide an explanation as to the nature of the investigation being conducted, to state reasons for wanting to conduct the interview in the school and to complete an Alberta Children's Services & Law Enforcement Disclosure Form.

2.3 The Principal or designate shall ensure that the following guidelines concerning the interviewing of students are observed:

2.3.1 The Children's Services representative must acknowledge that the matter falls within their legislated right.

2.3.2 The Children's Services representative must complete and sign the Alberta Children's Services & Law Enforcement Disclosure Form.

2.4 The school shall attempt to contact the parent or legal guardian of the student in order to apprise them of the situation unless instructed by Children's Services not to do so.

2.5 The Principal or designate shall inform the student that he/she has the right to request the Principal or designate be present during the interview.

2.6 A written copy of the Alberta Children’s Services & Law Enforcement Disclosure Form will be kept by school administration for the current school year.

3. Interviewing of Students by Other Agencies

3.1 Requested access to students by other external agencies without legislated access must be accompanied by a written consent of parent or guardian.

References:

Admin Procedure: 500 Child Abuse and Neglect Prevention
Alberta Children's Services & Law Enforcement Disclosure Form
Children First Act
Child, Youth and Family Enhancement Act
Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIP)