>School Strip Search

Posted on April 21, 2009 by Joseph

>Today the United States Supreme court will hear the school strip search case, Redding v. Safford Unified School Dist. No. 1, 531 F.3d 1071 (9th Cir. 2008). If the Supreme Court sides with the school district, it will open the door to consequence-free human rights violations by teachers and administrators nationwide.

This is not rocket science, folks. The question is simple: Does uncorroborated suspicion of Ibuprofen possession justify school officials’ strip searching a 13 year-old girl? Reasonableness is the touchstone of the Fourth Amendment. This is unreasonable. Duh.

That some would attempt to justify this intrusion in the name of discipline is outrageous. If teachers are to be given a free hand here, what’s to stop them from conducting body cavity searches? The virulent anti-drug crusaders in America—those who support the school’s actions—are so hot to fight drugs as a culture war issue, that they have lost all perspective on what it means to protect children.

If you care about protecting children from sexual abuse, have no illusions about what the cultural right-wing of this country, and their lawyer champions like Ken Lay and Ted Olson believe: They think that keeping children drug-free is more important than maintaining a child’s dignity. They think that school officials should be able to force children to expose their genitals, based on the flimsiest level of drug suspicion.

This is beyond stupid. It is sick. Calling this a privacy debate underplays the seriousness of what is at stake. This is about whether the Supreme Court will condone human rights violations in public schools.