Does Your Kid's School Hold Strip Searches?

Suzanne Murray

redding strip search middle schoolLast week, the United States Supreme court ruled that the strip search of a middle school student violated her constitutional rights.

School officials suspected 13-year-old Savana Redding (now 19) of bringing prescription-strength ibuprofen to school. They made her strip down to her bra and underpants and then pull them away from her body, exposing her breasts and pelvic area. No drugs were found.

The Supreme Court said that the search of her backpack and outer garments didn't violate her Fourth Amendment rights, but that the pills in question (each no stronger than two Advils) didn't justify the strip search, an "embarrassing, frightening and humiliating search."

The school had justified the search with its zero-tolerance policy for drugs and violence. But some states and cities, such as New York City, have decided that strip searches are unreasonable and have banned them no matter what the circumstances.

The Supreme Court did not, however, say that strip searches are always unreasonable. It said that these searches must be supported by solid evidence—the circumstances in Redding's case (another student told on her) didn't justify the search.

What do you think about searches in Middle Schools? Do you think strip searches are ever justified or should they be banned in all cases?



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