Skip to comments.The School Crotch Inspector - Fighting the Advil menace, one strip search at a time
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.
Easy, she is a little girl that was made to feel
No source, natch.
The source is the little girls’ own words, you imbecile. Why do insist that she is somehow NOT a victim here?
lmao. This thread is making my husband more against schools. He still can’t understand why simple questions can’t be answered.
I've spent years conducting interviews of those that are less than truthful, those that think they have perfected the art of deception.
No offense, but you're no good at it.
It might appear so to Lilliputians.
Okay. I see I need to be more specific with you. Could you tell us whether you agree or disagree with my assessment of your position regarding nudity and exposed privates as explained in post 605?
Thanks. I try to be polite at least most of the time.
This was like a game of Whack-a-Mole.
Nothing. So you’re a welfare deadbeat, then? Sucking off society for food and medical care?
I went to a public school that was one of the ‘good’ systems at the time, but with everything that goes on or has gone on, I’ve become very anti-govt school.
No. This thing is a pale shadow. Now that rp is gone there will be no more grandiose theories of Constitutional law only the subsidiary nastiness that went along with them. Nothing but a grotesque shell resembling rp's outward appearance.
I think he forgot that his alias didn't have any information.
Sometimes those on the left are damn good on 4th Amendment cases. The only area where I routinely agree with Marshall and Brennan are on the 4th Amendment issues.
That’s not an answer to the question. Here’s a clue. An answer is related to the question.
No, I’m not a nurse. The answer is related to my screen name, which is far more information than your homepage gives, because we all know you’re NOT Ronald Reagan.
So have I. Thats why my daughter will never have to be forced to disrobe because a moron in a school tells her too.
We covered that a few hundred posts back. We all agree, except RP and Mojave of course, that we would beat the living s**t out of any moron who violated our children's privacy.
So you THINK that robertpaulsen hasn't met metmom & how do you know that? Are you thinking for RP or speaking for him? Hmmmm
You said it man. You said it and it is on no one but yourself. LOL!
I really must be losing it. I hadn't noticed that robertpaulson had vanished but then again, I had pretty much stopped noticing robertpaulson's posts any way. What brought about it's departure.
More like Whack-A-Troll.....
We got rp’s first account....
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