Can school personal question a minor child without first informing the child or the parent of their rights

Can a school question a minor and hold their statements as legal binding statements without having a parent present or even knowledgable of the schools questioning. in a criminal investigation. Can the minors statements be held as legal binding statements when the parent has no knowledge of the school questioning of the minor.. Like most laws state, the law can not question a minor without a child's parent to be present for such questioning.. Does the law hold true for school involement too. Can schools also use statements made by minors without parents being present for questioning which would result in school discipline issues/possible criminal charges passed on from the school to law enforcement agencies.

Plymouth, MN -

Attorney Answers (4)

Thomas C Gallagher

Thomas C Gallagher

Juvenile Law Attorney - Minneapolis, MN
Answered

In Minnesota there is no "bright line" requirement that a parent be present during police questioning of a juvenile. However, any statement obtained by police that is either involuntary or coerced may be suppressed. The legal test for that is not a bright line test, but rather a totality of the circumstances test. Factors relevent to that test include: age of the person who made the statement, whether parents were present (if a juvenile), and so on. This rule applies to everyone, not just police - so it would include school employees. As a criminal lawyer, I am not sure if the rule would apply to school disciplinary actions or hearings.

Andrew M. Leone

Andrew M. Leone

Criminal Defense Attorney - Chanhassen, MN
Answered

I agree that the school officials (not the police) could question the child without the parents present. Also, since the school official is not a police officer, there would be no requirement that the child's right be read.

Maury Devereau Beaulier

Maury Devereau Beaulier

Criminal Defense Attorney - Minneapolis, MN
Answered

Yes. There is no requirement under law that school officials or even police, advise parents before questioning a juvenile.

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Christine C McCall

Christine C McCall

Administrative Law Lawyer - Pasadena, CA
Answered

You haven't provided any factual context for your questions, so the general answer may be inapplicable on one factual basis or another. But the general rule is that the school can question the student without the presence or permission or knowledge of the parents, and that the statements elicited in response can be provided by the school to the police and law enforcement.

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