TITLE 16
Education

CHAPTER 16-21.5
Student Interrogations

SECTION 16-21.5-4


§ 16-21.5-4 Student interrogations under exigent circumstances.

The provisions of §§ 16-21.5-2 and 16-21.5-3 shall not apply if any of the following conditions exist:

(a) The law enforcement officer reasonably believes that, due to exigent circumstances, the inability of the officer to immediately question the pupil will materially interfere with the ability of the officer to conduct his or her investigation and any delay would significantly impede the timely apprehension of a suspect. In that case, if an elementary school pupil is being questioned, the principal or his or her designee shall be present during the questioning and shall take immediate and continuous steps to notify the parent or guardian by telephone about the questioning, and if unsuccessful in doing so before the questioning, shall take immediate steps to notify the parent or guardian about the questioning after the questioning has been completed. If a high school pupil is being questioned, the pupil shall be given the option of having the principal, or his or her designee, present during the questioning.

(b) The law enforcement officer reasonably believes that there is a substantial risk of immediate personal injury or substantial property damage. In that case, if an elementary school pupil is being questioned, the principal or his or her designee shall be present during the questioning and shall take immediate and continuous steps to notify the parent or guardian by telephone regarding the questioning, and if unsuccessful in doing so before the questioning is completed, shall take immediate steps to notify the parent or guardian regarding the questioning after it has been completed. If a high school pupil is being questioned, the pupil shall be given the option of having the principal or his or her designee present during the questioning.

(c) The minor pupil being questioned is suspected of being a victim of child abuse or neglect, and either the principal or his or her designee or the law enforcement officer has reasonable belief that the pupil would be endangered by the notification requirements of § 16-21.5-2 or § 16-21.5-3. In that case, if the pupil is an elementary school pupil, the principal of the school, or his or her designee, shall inform the pupil that the pupil has the right to select a school administrator, school counselor or school teacher who is reasonably available to be present during the questioning, as provided in paragraphs (c) and (d) of § 16-21.5-2. If the pupil is a high school pupil, the principal of the school, or his or her designee, shall inform the pupil that the pupil has the right to select another person to be present during the questioning as provided in subsection 16-21.5-3(b).

(d)(1) In the case of an elementary school pupil, the law enforcement officer's questioning of the pupil concerns the commission of criminal activity by the person who would otherwise be present during the questioning pursuant to § 16-21.5-2. In that case, the principal of the school, or his or her designee, shall inform the pupil that the pupil has the right to select a school administrator, school counselor, or school teacher who is reasonably available to be present during the questioning as provided in subsection 16-21.5-2(c).

(2) In the case of a high school pupil, the law enforcement officer's questioning of the pupil concerns the commission of criminal activity by the person selected by the pupil pursuant to § 16-21.5-3. In that case, the principal of the school, or his or her designee, shall so inform the pupil and advise that the pupil has the right to select another person to be present during the questioning as provided in subsection 16-21.5-3(c).

(e) The pupil is on probation or parole and is being interviewed or otherwise contacted by a probation or parole officer in the normal course of duties of the probation or parole officer.

(f) Except in exigent circumstances as determined by the law enforcement officer, any questioning of a pupil by a law enforcement officer for any reason other than the ordinary, day-to-day conversation that is to be expected among members of a school community, shall take place in a private location, including, but not limited to, the principal's office, and may not take place in a classroom or hallway or other areas where pupils or others may be present.

(g) A school official present during the questioning of a pupil under this section may not disclose matters discussed with the pupil other than to the parent or guardian of the pupil, the attorney for the pupil, other school officials, or a court.

(h) Any school officer or staff member present at the questioning of the pupil by a law enforcement officer pursuant to this section is immune from civil or criminal liability arising from his or her participation during the questioning of the pupil.

(i) For the purposes of this section, "questioning" means only formal questioning in which the principal, or his or her designee, makes a pupil available to a law enforcement officer, at the request of the law enforcement officer, the principal or his or her designee, for questioning as a victim, suspect, or person with information concerning a suspected violation of a school rule that constitutes grounds for expulsion or a suspected commission of a crime. For the purposes of this section, "formal questioning" means only questioning of a pupil by a law enforcement officer that occurs on school grounds. "Formal questioning" does not include ordinary, day-to-day conversations between a pupil and a law enforcement officer.

History of Section.
(P.L. 2005, ch. 409, § 1.)