Do you have a problem with unruly sports fans? Angry patrons? Parents feuding with each other on school property? Some patrons may claim that they are entitled to act however they want to at school and school-sponsored events, since the grounds and buildings are public property, but the notion that adult misbehavior must be tolerated at school is misguided and incorrect. The board of education and its administrators, as designees of the board, have the authority under K.S.A. 72-1416 to maintain “control of the school-district property, including the school building or buildings, school grounds and all buildings and structures erected thereon.” Implied in this authority is the power to banish or exclude from the premises anyone who threatens others, damages property or otherwise makes an intolerable nuisance of themselves.
Board policy KGDA addresses public conduct on school property. The policy states: “The superintendent or the superintendent’s designee may deny access to the school buildings, facilities, and/or grounds of the district to persons who have no lawful business to pursue at the school, persons who are acting in a manner disruptive or disturbing to the normal educational functions of the school, or persons who are on school property in violation of Board and/or building policy. Administrative personnel may demand identification and evidence of qualification for access of anyone desiring to use or come upon the premises of the particular school or facility.”
The policy goes on to make clear that those who have legitimate reasons for being on school property must abide by board policies, which are to be included in school handbooks and posted in a place where those entering the building can see them. If a person fails to leave the premises after being asked to do so, the district may contact law enforcement and prosecute the individual for criminal trespass.
If the district believes someone’s conduct is egregious enough to warrant banning the person from school property for a period of time, a written trespass notification letter should be sent. A form letter for this purpose is available from KASB attorneys.
The district may have to make allowances for parents to visit school buildings for educationally necessary purposes, such as IEP meetings, parent-teacher conferences or student discipline hearings. It is within the district’s authority to require the parent to check in at the office, to be escorted while on the premises, and they require the parent to leave if further misconduct occurs during the visit.