This time of year is hectic for Indiana families. From getting the right supplies to clothing shopping, adjusting schedules, and making sure our children are getting their schoolwork done on time – everything is happening fast. What’s important to remember is that there are now additional legal factors to be aware of with school back in session.

The roads are going to be filled with inexperienced drivers and school buses while law enforcement officers play a role in securing safety within the walls of our schools. Your surest way to preserve your freedom is to know the law, your rights, and your children’s rights in school.

Traffic reminders

First and foremost, it’s time to share the roads with school buses and the drivers who are still learning to drive or got their license over the summer before this school year. These factors will play a role in traffic, safety, and liability.

We all need to be attentive to school buses on the roads. It’s important to keep a safe distance from school buses and to pay close attention when buses are stopping. If a school bus comes to a complete stop and raises its stop signs then you are legally required to stop in all lanes of traffic, even if you’re going in the opposite direction several lanes away. The only time you’re permitted to ignore the stop signs is if there is a divider between you and the bus. Otherwise, you should come to a complete stop and wait for the children to clear the road and the bus to drop the stop signs before moving again.

In 2020, state officials said nearly 2,700 tickets and 1,400 warnings were given for unsafe driving around school buses during a two-month enforcement program. Don’t find yourself caught in any of those situations. It puts children and your future at risk.

Otherwise, we must also be considerate of the new drivers on the roads. There are no additional legal reminders when it comes to new drivers but young drivers are statistically more likely to be involved in crashes so proceed with caution this time of year.

Property searches in school

When the police are looking for evidence they have to present a warrant to search our homes or our bags. This is a well-known and important legal fact to understand should you ever be confronted by the police. It’s just as important, however, to understand that these rights do not always extend onto school property.

School officials have the right to subject any student to a thorough search, whether it’s to search their bag, their locker, or both. The same is true for when police officers enter schools or bring dogs out to sniff around cars in the parking lot to search for explosives or drugs.

Officials insist this is necessary to protect our children while they’re in school to learn. You and your child should both understand that searches may take place at any point. This means no drugs or weapons should ever enter school property – otherwise not only could your child get in trouble but you could also find yourself in trouble depending on the circumstances.

This time of year is exciting for a lot of reasons, but the excitement can turn to terror quickly if you or your child get caught doing the wrong thing. We believe that you shouldn’t have to pay for those mistakes for the rest of your life. Contact Blankenship Law and let us help you protect your freedom.