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The School Crotch Inspector - Fighting the Advil menace, one strip search at a time
Reason ^ | April 2, 2008 | Jacob Sullum

Posted on 04/02/2008 3:39:20 PM PDT by neverdem

There are two kinds of people in the world: the kind who think it's perfectly reasonable to strip-search a 13-year-old girl suspected of bringing ibuprofen to school, and the kind who think those people should be kept as far away from children as possible. The first group includes officials at Safford Middle School in Safford, Arizona, who in 2003 forced eighth-grader Savana Redding to prove she was not concealing Advil in her crotch or cleavage.

It also includes two judges on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, who last fall ruled that the strip search did not violate Savana's Fourth Amendment rights. The full court, which recently heard oral arguments in the case, now has an opportunity to overturn that decision and vote against a legal environment in which schoolchildren are conditioned to believe government agents have the authority to subject people to invasive, humiliating searches on the slightest pretext.

Safford Middle School has a "zero tolerance" policy that prohibits possession of all drugs, including not just alcohol and illegal intoxicants but prescription medications and over-the-counter remedies, "except those for which permission to use in school has been granted." In October 2003, acting on a tip, Vice Principal Kerry Wilson found a few 400-milligram ibuprofen pills (each equivalent to two over-the-counter tablets) and one nonprescription naproxen tablet in the pockets of a student named Marissa, who claimed Savana was her source.

Savana, an honors student with no history of disciplinary trouble or drug problems, said she didn't know anything about the pills and agreed to a search of her backpack, which turned up nothing incriminating. Wilson nevertheless instructed a female secretary to strip-search Savana under the school nurse's supervision, without even bothering to contact the girl's mother.

The secretary had Savana take off all her clothing except her underwear. Then she told her to "pull her bra out and to the side and shake it, exposing her breasts," and "pull her underwear out at the crotch and shake it, exposing her pelvic area." Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between drug warriors and child molesters.

"I was embarrassed and scared," Savana said in an affidavit, "but felt I would be in more trouble if I did not do what they asked. I held my head down so they could not see I was about to cry." She called it "the most humiliating experience I have ever had." Later, she recalled, the principal, Robert Beeman, said "he did not think the strip search was a big deal because they did not find anything."

The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a public school official's search of a student is constitutional if it is "justified at its inception" and "reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the interference in the first place." This search was neither.

When Wilson ordered the search, the only evidence that Savana had violated school policy was the uncorroborated accusation from Marissa, who was in trouble herself and eager to shift the blame. Even Marissa (who had pills in her pockets, not her underwear) did not claim that Savana currently possessed any pills, let alone that she had hidden them under her clothes.

Savana, who was closely supervised after Wilson approached her, did not have an opportunity to stash contraband. As the American Civil Liberties Union puts it, "There was no reason to suspect that a thirteen-year-old honor-roll student with a clean disciplinary record had adopted drug-smuggling practices associated with international narcotrafficking, or to suppose that other middle-school students would willingly consume ibuprofen that was stored in another student's crotch."

The invasiveness of the search also has to be weighed against the evil it was aimed at preventing. "Remember," the school district's lawyer recently told ABC News by way of justification, "this was prescription-strength ibuprofen." It's a good thing the school took swift action, before anyone got unauthorized relief from menstrual cramps.

© Copyright 2008 by Creators Syndicate Inc.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Crime/Corruption; Editorial; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: advil; arth; ashredux; authoritarianism; healthnazis; homeschoolingisgood; nannystate; publicschool; schooldiscipline; stripsearch; teens; twoequalsthree; wod; wodlist; zot
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1 posted on 04/02/2008 3:39:21 PM PDT by neverdem
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To: neverdem; metmom

Homeschooling reason ping


2 posted on 04/02/2008 3:41:34 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: neverdem
We must keep aspirin out of the hands of kids or they'll overdose themselves on it. Such is the brainlessness of zero tolerance drug policies.

"Show me just what Mohammed brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached." - Manuel II Palelologus

3 posted on 04/02/2008 3:43:05 PM PDT by goldstategop (In Memory Of A Dearly Beloved Friend Who Lives In My Heart Forever)
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To: neverdem
Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between drug warriors and child molesters.

Oh, that's going to go over big with FR'S own Drug Warrior contingent. ;)

4 posted on 04/02/2008 3:45:43 PM PDT by Mr. Jeeves ("Wise men don't need to debate; men who need to debate are not wise." -- Tao Te Ching)
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To: neverdem

That principal is extremely lucky that was not my daughter.


5 posted on 04/02/2008 3:55:06 PM PDT by microgood
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To: neverdem

The public school system would be firing the principal if the searched-for pill induced abortion.


6 posted on 04/02/2008 3:56:26 PM PDT by ricks_place
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To: Mr. Jeeves

So if you want to legally rape kids all you have to do is become a principal and accuse the child of possessing ibuprofen.

amazing


7 posted on 04/02/2008 3:56:32 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: metmom; Tired of Taxes; AuntB; wintertime; Aquinasfan; wagglebee; fieldmarshaldj; ExTexasRedhead; ..

Just when we thought we’d heard it all, we discover a reason to homeschool that would never have occured to us.


8 posted on 04/02/2008 3:57:33 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Those in the national Republican leadership do the work of three men- Moe, Larry, and Curly.)
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To: traviskicks; MinnesotaLibertarian; mysterio

Our taxpayer dollars at work.


9 posted on 04/02/2008 3:58:07 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Those in the national Republican leadership do the work of three men- Moe, Larry, and Curly.)
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To: neverdem
Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between drug warriors and child molesters.

Sometimes there is no difference between drug warriors and child molesters.

10 posted on 04/02/2008 3:58:10 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: driftdiver
Homeschooling reason ping

While I understand the sentiment, this repeated suggestion is a horrible cop-out, a call to surrender our civil liberties and attempt to withdraw behind private fortifications. But if your civil liberties are not safe in the public commons what will protect your civil liberties on your own property?

11 posted on 04/02/2008 4:00:49 PM PDT by AndyJackson
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To: neverdem
...the principal, Robert Beeman, said "he did not think the strip search was a big deal because they did not find anything."

Principal Beeman, I'm sure, would have no problem with being strip-searched, since he's got nothing to hide.

12 posted on 04/02/2008 4:01:39 PM PDT by DuncanWaring (The Lord uses the good ones; the bad ones use the Lord.)
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To: LiberConservative; Recovering_Democrat; sionnsar; SandRat; Borax Queen; greyfoxx39; brenda b; ...

Crotch searches for Advil. What will they do next, strip searches for M & M’s?


13 posted on 04/02/2008 4:02:47 PM PDT by Clintonfatigued (Those in the national Republican leadership do the work of three men- Moe, Larry, and Curly.)
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To: neverdem

“..the principal, Robert Beeman, said “he did not think the strip search was a big deal because they did not find anything.”

Then YOU, Beeman, should be sued so that your legal expenses amount to every nickel of equity in your home, your car, and your salary for the next 8 years, and if you’re found not guilty, why then, it’ll be no big deal for you either. Sound fair?


14 posted on 04/02/2008 4:02:47 PM PDT by Attention Surplus Disorder (We've checked, and all your zeroes are OK. We're still working on your ones.)
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To: microgood
That principal is extremely lucky that was not my daughter.

If a few of these "Education Professionals" began meeting the large end of a baseball bat, it might start doing some good.

Or more than a few.

15 posted on 04/02/2008 4:05:13 PM PDT by Gorzaloon
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To: AndyJackson

“While I understand the sentiment, this repeated suggestion is a horrible cop-out, a call to surrender our civil liberties and attempt to withdraw behind private fortifications.”

Oh I agree with you but the two aren’t mutually exclusive. I can refuse to sacrifice my children at the alter of liberal gods and still fight against this.

Public schools are an abysmal failure and yet the answer is always more tax money.


16 posted on 04/02/2008 4:05:29 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: neverdem
I have zero tolerance for brainless school teachers and administrators. When common sense is tossed out in favor of a "zero tolerance policy", it is time to toss out the brain dead parties who created the policy.
17 posted on 04/02/2008 4:05:29 PM PDT by Myrddin
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To: neverdem
-those idiots are SICK! even if they found an ibuprofen.......SO? they sexually molested a child for THAT?
18 posted on 04/02/2008 4:05:35 PM PDT by tioga
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To: Gorzaloon
If a few of these "Education Professionals" began meeting the large end of a baseball bat, it might start doing some good.

Baseball bat was exactly what I was thinking.
19 posted on 04/02/2008 4:08:57 PM PDT by microgood
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To: neverdem

Let me say this,,,,,if that was my daughter, the principal and I would definetly have had WORDS, actually, my daughter probably would have stood her ground against being searched. I’m sure I would have gotten a phone call.


20 posted on 04/02/2008 4:10:28 PM PDT by rockabyebaby (PLEASE PRAY FOR OUR INFIDEL STEPHENJOHNBANKER)
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To: AndyJackson

My dad’s and my gun(s) ......


21 posted on 04/02/2008 4:12:43 PM PDT by SkyDancer ("I Believe In Law Until It Interferes With Justice")
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To: Mr. Jeeves

Yes, the FR drug warriors will be unhappy.


22 posted on 04/02/2008 4:13:25 PM PDT by JLS
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To: ricks_place

In my town, if the kid has a condom, I think they get a “Good Citizen Safe Sex” award. If they have a cigarette, the parent pays a $50 fine and $70 in court costs. I know because I’ve paid it.


23 posted on 04/02/2008 4:14:11 PM PDT by Emmett McCarthy
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To: neverdem

I can find no justification whatsoever for this. As a mom I am outraged. I believe zero tolerance policies serve no useful purpose except for to put too much power in the hands of those least able to handle it.


24 posted on 04/02/2008 4:15:08 PM PDT by lastchance (Hug your babies.)
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To: tioga

She was searched by females, the principle wasn’t present.

Not that I’m agreeing with the strip search, which was completely OTT...

It’s even more OTT however, to suggest that she was the victim of paedophile rape....


25 posted on 04/02/2008 4:16:29 PM PDT by thundrey
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To: neverdem

Wanna bet the principal is an ex-coach? They’re all bullies.


26 posted on 04/02/2008 4:17:02 PM PDT by mtbopfuyn (The fence is "absolutely not the answer" - Gov. Rick Perry (R, TX))
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To: microgood
Baseball bat was exactly what I was thinking.

As in "Harbor Seals". I know, I am old fashioned and Not Correct. Silly me, for considering a sexual assault on an infant to be a killing offense. It IS, but never mind that because the fear of Devil Aspirin Substitute is far more important.

It is not even that the individual is a teacher, with some possibility of adding value to the student. It's just some fat leech petty bureaucrat administrator.

27 posted on 04/02/2008 4:17:17 PM PDT by Gorzaloon
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To: thundrey

-so the principle sends YOU behind closed doors to search this girl and you ask her to do those things.......it’s NOT peverted? for a glorified aspirin? YOU would be innocent in that? I think NOT.


28 posted on 04/02/2008 4:22:32 PM PDT by tioga
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To: neverdem

“without even bothering to contact the girl’s mother.”

where’s daddy in this picture?

if you think that I have a bone to pick w/this issue, you would be correct.


29 posted on 04/02/2008 4:24:07 PM PDT by tired1 (responsibility without authority is slavery!)
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To: neverdem

The principle and the ones that did the search need to be stripped naked and tied to roadsigns in a very public place.


30 posted on 04/02/2008 4:25:49 PM PDT by Bobalu (What do I know, I'm a Typical White Guy)
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To: DuncanWaring
Principal Beeman, I'm sure, would have no problem with being strip-searched, since he's got nothing to hide.

Just prior to his public flogging and subsequent tarring and feathering and then being "sent" out of town on a rail. We used to do these things, you know.

31 posted on 04/02/2008 4:29:39 PM PDT by liege
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To: tired1

What bearing does that have on this case?


32 posted on 04/02/2008 4:29:51 PM PDT by tokenatheist
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To: thundrey

Sexual molestation by proxy.


33 posted on 04/02/2008 4:36:28 PM PDT by Kirkwood (Ask me again tomorrow.)
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To: AndyJackson
But if your civil liberties are not safe in the public commons what will protect your civil liberties on your own property?

A gun.

But children are defenseless. Even if you brief them on what to do they are liable to back down in the face of authority.

34 posted on 04/02/2008 4:51:55 PM PDT by Dan Evans
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To: Gorzaloon
Brass knuckles are good too
35 posted on 04/02/2008 4:57:18 PM PDT by Charlespg (Peace= When we trod the ruins of Mecca and Medina under our infidel boots.)
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To: neverdem

IB is now contraband??...wow...who would have thunk it. /s


36 posted on 04/02/2008 5:03:12 PM PDT by Conservative4Ever
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To: driftdiver
and yet the answer is always more tax money

In my view the only folks allowed on the public school salary role would be bonifide teachers, who should be well paid, a secretary and principal per school and maintenance staff (about 1-2), i.e. the answer is obviously a lot less tax money.

37 posted on 04/02/2008 5:07:10 PM PDT by AndyJackson
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To: Clintonfatigued; Abathar; Abcdefg; Abram; Abundy; akatel; albertp; AlexandriaDuke; ...
Libertarian ping! To be added or removed from my ping list freepmail me or post a message here.
38 posted on 04/02/2008 5:08:59 PM PDT by traviskicks (http://www.neoperspectives.com/Ron_Paul_2008.htm)
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To: tioga

It’s humiliating and OTT, but comparing it to sexual abuse trivialises the genuine article, which this was certainly not...


39 posted on 04/02/2008 5:09:20 PM PDT by thundrey
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To: neverdem

School Crotch Inspector General??

Perfect job for Bill Clinton.


40 posted on 04/02/2008 5:12:06 PM PDT by austinaero
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To: AndyJackson

“i.e. the answer is obviously a lot less tax money. “

Less money and fewer liberals in charge. IMO

Several years ago I read a story about LA County schools. How they laid off 3 teachers to fund a study on why they didn’t have enough teachers.


41 posted on 04/02/2008 5:13:59 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: neverdem

And these same school officials probably wonder what motivates children to bring weapons to school and slaughter teachers and administrators.


42 posted on 04/02/2008 5:15:14 PM PDT by USMCPOP (Father of LCpl. Karl Linn, KIA 1/26/2005 Al Haqlaniyah, Iraq)
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To: thundrey

“It’s humiliating and OTT, but comparing it to sexual abuse trivialises the genuine article, which this was certainly not...”

Its not physical rape but it is sexual abuse. Forcing a child to strip meets the definition of sexual battery. It was certainly traumatic for this young girl.


43 posted on 04/02/2008 5:20:49 PM PDT by driftdiver
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To: neverdem
The U.S. Supreme Court has held that a public school official's search of a student is constitutional if it is "justified at its inception" and "reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the interference in the first place.

I say we strip search the Supremes and see how they like it! Especially Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the little rat.

44 posted on 04/02/2008 5:27:20 PM PDT by my_pointy_head_is_sharp (Remember the phrase "He'd sell out his own grandmother..?" Well, Obama sold out his own grandmother.)
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To: thundrey
It’s humiliating and OTT, but comparing it to sexual abuse trivialises the genuine article, which this was certainly not...

If they had taken pictures, it would have been a Federal felony.

45 posted on 04/02/2008 5:30:34 PM PDT by gitmo (From now on, ending a sentence with a preposition is something up with which I will not put.)
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To: robertpaulsen

This case was made for you.


46 posted on 04/02/2008 5:33:08 PM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: Gabz; SheLion

nanny state/health nazi gone mad ping


47 posted on 04/02/2008 5:35:24 PM PDT by neverdem (I'm praying for a Divine Intervention.)
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To: Clintonfatigued
Crotch searches for Advil. What will they do next, strip searches for M & M’s?

Just wait... edu-nazi's in schools all across the country are banning the possession, consumption and sale of sugar and "junk food" by students. One more incremental step toward taking away parental control and training kids to accept a totalitarian state.

48 posted on 04/02/2008 5:36:38 PM PDT by Sparticus (Libs, they're so open minded that their brains leaked out.)
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To: thundrey

breasts and crotch ARE sexual, ya can’t deny that......


49 posted on 04/02/2008 5:37:20 PM PDT by tioga
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To: traviskicks
Reminds me of this pic.

http://www.jessanderson.org/img/statue.jpg
50 posted on 04/02/2008 5:55:39 PM PDT by July 4th
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