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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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To: 50mm; robertpaulsen; Mojave

Oops. Forgot to ping you here, Bobby.....er....Mojave.


801 posted on 04/05/2008 1:40:24 PM PDT by 50mm (I love the smell of napalm in the morning....It smells like victory!)
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To: metmom; darkwing104; Old Sarge

Time to call the VK’s for an investigation.


802 posted on 04/05/2008 1:41:42 PM PDT by 50mm (I love the smell of napalm in the morning....It smells like victory!)
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To: brazzaville

Happened yesterday, or last night.

See posts 388 and 389.


803 posted on 04/05/2008 1:42:16 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: 50mm

But it’s so much fun when we get to play with the trolls before they get zotted.

Thanks to the mods....


804 posted on 04/05/2008 1:43:43 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: 50mm

I missed something here, robertpaulsen rode the lightening, but other than being a complete jackass in the same vein, why do people seem to believe that him and this dipwad Mojave are one and the same? I mean, I’ve never seen them in the same place together, but that doesn’t mean anything...does it?


805 posted on 04/05/2008 1:43:53 PM PDT by Grunthor (http://constitutionparty.com/join.php)
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To: brazzaville; robertpaulsen; Mojave
What brought about it's departure.

Bad attitude mostly. Mojave says he's only suspended.

806 posted on 04/05/2008 1:44:23 PM PDT by 50mm (I love the smell of napalm in the morning....It smells like victory!)
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To: Grunthor

Just a hunch at this point.


807 posted on 04/05/2008 1:45:46 PM PDT by 50mm (I love the smell of napalm in the morning....It smells like victory!)
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To: Grunthor

Oh they’ve been on the same threads before but that means nothing. People can have 2 computers etc. Its just how strange it is one was removed & then one just like it came on..Just a bit odd.


808 posted on 04/05/2008 1:47:39 PM PDT by pandoraou812 (Out, damned spot......OUT)
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To: Darren McCarty
Oh Damn..ROFL..there's a blast from the past. Speaking of which, what happened to Kevin Curry?

Or Cultural Jihad?

809 posted on 04/05/2008 1:47:48 PM PDT by Trailerpark Badass
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To: Grunthor
I doubt if they're the same person, but they certainly seem to think alike, and trolls are known to have more than one screen name. Could be the same noid with different accounts, or maybe teachers at the same school. Either way, I'm glad rp is no longer with us. There's nothing more annoying than an idiot who thinks he's smart, and tries to prove it by making idiotic arguments.
810 posted on 04/05/2008 1:48:43 PM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: pandoraou812
Your husband is not the kind of man who plays word games. Not like this. He should read some of these posts and realize that people like this could well be school employees. That is not a surprise or the important point though. What is important here, and illustrated by the attitude displayed, is that the courts have a hard time rejecting such blatantly absurd arguments and are uncertain about whether the intent of the law or the letter of the law is more important.

It is illustrated here quite clearly that some know very well that this legal confusion exists and gives them great confidence that they can do almost anything with a child under their authority and fear no legal repercussions. There is a definite sense in these posts of a gleeful excitation that this is so. Knowing a little about your husband I recommend that he doesn't put himself in a position where he is faced with having to accept that the authorities have found refuge in this legal confusion and used it to play with your daughter.

Justice would be served I have no doubt. But the reaction by the state that followed it would only bring more suffering to all of you.

811 posted on 04/05/2008 1:50:55 PM PDT by TigersEye (Beijing 2008 - Berlin 1936. Olympics staged for murdering tyrant regimes.)
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To: ozzymandus; Mojave
Mojave says RP is just suspended. If you don't ping RP, Mojave will start whining.

BTW, since you are a veteran FReeper, what's an "ash alert?"

812 posted on 04/05/2008 1:51:35 PM PDT by 50mm (I love the smell of napalm in the morning....It smells like victory!)
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To: ozzymandus

Well said!


813 posted on 04/05/2008 1:51:57 PM PDT by pandoraou812 (Out, damned spot......OUT)
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To: metmom
Good afternoon.
“See posts 388 and 389.’

Yep, that would do it. Good riddance, RP.

Michael Frazier

814 posted on 04/05/2008 1:52:07 PM PDT by brazzaville (No surrender, no retreat. Well, maybe retreat's ok)
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To: 50mm

“Just a hunch at this point.”

Probably a good one. I’ve not had many dealings with trolls but this one seems to believe that what was done to a little girl was just fine and dandy.

I have daughters.

I’d be in prison for what I’d have done to the people that tried this with my kid.


815 posted on 04/05/2008 1:54:43 PM PDT by Grunthor (http://constitutionparty.com/join.php)
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To: 50mm
Bad attitude mostly. Mojave says he's only suspended.

How would he know?

Hmmmm.....

816 posted on 04/05/2008 1:55:50 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: brazzaville

You have FReep-mail.


817 posted on 04/05/2008 1:57:13 PM PDT by TigersEye (Beijing 2008 - Berlin 1936. Olympics staged for murdering tyrant regimes.)
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To: 50mm

I’d guess “ash alert” would refer to what is left over from a zot.


818 posted on 04/05/2008 1:58:20 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Grunthor; Mojave; robertpaulsen

See post 605. Mojave is avoiding that one like the plague. RP didn’t like the jist of it either...hmm!


819 posted on 04/05/2008 1:58:44 PM PDT by 50mm (I love the smell of napalm in the morning....It smells like victory!)
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To: TigersEye

Very true & thats another very good reason to get her away from the govt schools. There is no point in sending my child to a place where she can be terrorized & her rights be dismissed as though she is nothing. And without my permission as her mother her clothing removed for a ADVIL.. I wonder how comfortable were the adults who did this? If I were the asked to be a part of such a search without the mother being present I would have said no. I am going to call my BOE & ask if this is part of a nurse’s job or any school employee’s.


820 posted on 04/05/2008 1:59:04 PM PDT by pandoraou812 (Out, damned spot......OUT)
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To: 50mm

Oh I understand, I posted to it a few times and still await a response. Not that I expect a coherent one.


821 posted on 04/05/2008 2:01:03 PM PDT by Grunthor (http://constitutionparty.com/join.php)
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To: 50mm; Grunthor; Mojave; robertpaulsen

Just the usual MO. He’s not answering ANY questions.


822 posted on 04/05/2008 2:01:14 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: metmom; robertpaulsen
Oh. You mean like this picture of RP? RP is at the arrow:


823 posted on 04/05/2008 2:01:52 PM PDT by 50mm (I love the smell of napalm in the morning....It smells like victory!)
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To: metmom

“Just the usual MO. He’s not answering ANY questions.”

Might give away the whole dual identities thing, can’t have that now.


824 posted on 04/05/2008 2:04:10 PM PDT by Grunthor (http://constitutionparty.com/join.php)
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To: brazzaville
Yep, that would do it. Good riddance, RP.

Michael Frazier

That was a short eulogy. You're not very sentimental are you? /s

825 posted on 04/05/2008 2:05:11 PM PDT by TigersEye (Beijing 2008 - Berlin 1936. Olympics staged for murdering tyrant regimes.)
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To: 50mm

That’d be my guess....


826 posted on 04/05/2008 2:05:35 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Grunthor; Mojave; AndyJackson

I just went through and compiled a partial list of questions that he has yet to answer. My apologies to anyone who I didn’t ping whose questions they might be.

Here is what I found. Questions asked directly of mojave that he has not yet answered:

***********************************************************

Do you approve of the actions of these school officials?

Why do you think it is ok to go searching the skivies of a teenage girl for an Advil?

Is it ok to do this if she “volunteers?”

What about it, Mojave? What do you do for a living?

If this is OK with you, then I take it you wouldn’t object if some half-witted school nurse of company nurse strip searched you on some other employees baseless accusation?

Why aren’t you answering the questions?

Is it OK with you that someone would do this to you?

Is it OK with you that someone would do this to your children?

Do you think the schools should have the right to force a child to strip down to their underwear and then pull the underwear off so that their private parts are exposed for people to see?

Are you a public school principal?

So you’re a welfare deadbeat, then? Sucking off society for food and medical care?


827 posted on 04/05/2008 2:08:47 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Mojave
Thanks. 9th Circuit. Figures.

I don't care for how the 9th equated a strip search on the same level as a container search/Terry stop. The one thing they had solid evidence was is the planner - and we don't know how the knives and pills got into the planner. Was there enough for a pocket search? Under precident, yes. Strip search? nope. I can not believe this passed the scope test. This is advil. A 400mg ibreprohen(sp) pill is 2 advil. That's it. Normal dose. This isn't even Codine. The court recklessly dismissed that. Parents wern't called is considered reasonable? All of this was based on the loaning of a planner and some statements of other students without collaberating evidence of extremely scared students. On governmental interest - Tobacco isn't enough for a strip search according to a persuasive non-binding authority (another circuit). Tobacco is illegal by most LAWS in school. Advil is not.

I agree 100% with the dissent here. I hope this is reversed en blanc or by SCOTUS. What a piss poor decision, and I don't care who appointed the judges.

828 posted on 04/05/2008 2:09:00 PM PDT by Darren McCarty (Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in - Michael Corleone)
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To: metmom; 50mm

Ash was a site pest. He got to be something of a fixture before he finally wore out his welcome and got hisself banned.

People used to ping each other to watch the show when he turned up on a thread by issuing an ‘Ash Alert’.


829 posted on 04/05/2008 2:09:42 PM PDT by null and void (What sexist attack? She is emotional. ~ Toddsterpatriot 4/5/08 (/f-news/1996139/posts?page=247#247))
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To: dirtboy

Say, have you been following this thread? It isn’t over yet. rp got a replacement.


830 posted on 04/05/2008 2:10:29 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: pandoraou812
And without my permission as her mother her clothing removed for a ADVIL..

Yes, indeed. After a moment's reconsideration of my last post I think your husband would be busy trying to put you in some kind of restraints. I'd really hate to be the EMT that had to tend to his wounds. ;^)

831 posted on 04/05/2008 2:11:36 PM PDT by TigersEye (Beijing 2008 - Berlin 1936. Olympics staged for murdering tyrant regimes.)
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To: null and void

Thank you for the “Ash” explanation.

Did you come for the entertainment in the thread?


832 posted on 04/05/2008 2:13:49 PM PDT by 50mm (I love the smell of napalm in the morning....It smells like victory!)
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To: null and void

Never would have guessed that. Thanks.


833 posted on 04/05/2008 2:13:55 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: 50mm; metmom

I use it because I’m lazy :)


834 posted on 04/05/2008 2:14:11 PM PDT by Twink
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To: Twink

Welcome back, Twink! Join the party.


835 posted on 04/05/2008 2:15:33 PM PDT by 50mm (I love the smell of napalm in the morning....It smells like victory!)
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To: metmom
C'mon, metmom. No one has actually asked those questions.
They were all typed and you know it. /Mojave logic
836 posted on 04/05/2008 2:15:41 PM PDT by TigersEye (Beijing 2008 - Berlin 1936. Olympics staged for murdering tyrant regimes.)
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To: Twink

I use it, too, for the same reason.


837 posted on 04/05/2008 2:16:22 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: TigersEye

I think you have him pegged.


838 posted on 04/05/2008 2:17:29 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: 50mm

Nahhhhh, job hunting...


839 posted on 04/05/2008 2:17:45 PM PDT by null and void (What sexist attack? She is emotional. ~ Toddsterpatriot 4/5/08 (/f-news/1996139/posts?page=247#247))
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To: 50mm

I’d have to read too many posts to know what’s going on since the other night.


840 posted on 04/05/2008 2:19:25 PM PDT by Twink
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To: TigersEye

Oh I’ve been known to lose my temper but of the two of us he would be the one to get really violent. I would just call our lawyer on the way to the school. I might even call the cops & tell them my child’s rights were violated. Its so good to have a lawyer as your child’s Godfather. I think the school is going to give a BIG sigh of good riddance at the end of this year.


841 posted on 04/05/2008 2:20:49 PM PDT by pandoraou812 (Out, damned spot......OUT)
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To: Twink; Mojave

In a nutshell, rp got banned and mojave stepped up to fill the void.


842 posted on 04/05/2008 2:24:15 PM PDT by metmom (Welfare was never meant to be a career choice.)
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To: Twink; robertpaulsen; Mojave
I'll give you a brief description of the current debate. It's basically RP and Mojave against every other FReeper on the question of authorities violating a girl's privacy.

RP and Mojave have no problem with government employees coercing a 13 year old girl into exposing her privates in search of nonexistent Advil tablets because of another girl's uncorroborated accusation. RP was ZOTted because he blew a fuse and has sent Mojave here to defend his defenseless and ridiculous position.

843 posted on 04/05/2008 2:25:10 PM PDT by 50mm (I love the smell of napalm in the morning....It smells like victory!)
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To: null and void

Okay. I’ll bite. What job are you hunting?


844 posted on 04/05/2008 2:26:03 PM PDT by 50mm (I love the smell of napalm in the morning....It smells like victory!)
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To: pandoraou812
I think the school is going to give a BIG sigh of good riddance at the end of this year.

That works.

845 posted on 04/05/2008 2:31:48 PM PDT by TigersEye (Beijing 2008 - Berlin 1936. Olympics staged for murdering tyrant regimes.)
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To: Twink

Yada, yada, yada!


846 posted on 04/05/2008 2:33:24 PM PDT by 50mm (I love the smell of napalm in the morning....It smells like victory!)
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To: TigersEye

Yes it does & I am going to tell that vp & nurse just what I think of them too while I am at it. Freedom of speech ya know, however I will be very polite as I am doing it.


847 posted on 04/05/2008 2:34:44 PM PDT by pandoraou812 (Out, damned spot......OUT)
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To: pandoraou812

Your town’s school is doing it the right way- if drugs are suspected it is a problem for parents and LEOs, not the school. These schools that have lost their minds on witch hunts for contraband should be concerned about the education aspect and let the parents and LEO handle anything that is truly criminal.


848 posted on 04/05/2008 2:39:19 PM PDT by Tammy8 (Please Support and pray for our Troops, as they serve us every day.)
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To: 50mm; metmom

Thanks :)


849 posted on 04/05/2008 2:44:40 PM PDT by Twink
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To: metmom
Well, I had a great night’s sleep but DANG!!!! I hate missing all the fun. You guys are great.

I went to bed last night, and to work today so I missed much more than you did- but I agree, all of you have done great!

The truly sad thing is it is not just a couple (or same) people on this thread that think schools have every right to do things like this- usually the court backs up the school in these incidents, so the schools just get farther and farther out there. I feel like a voice in the wilderness when I say "the school's job is to educate and leave the rest for parents and LEO unless there are very extreme circumstances" to me it is just common sense and schools did work that way for many years before all this foolishness.

850 posted on 04/05/2008 2:50:53 PM PDT by Tammy8 (Please Support and pray for our Troops, as they serve us every day.)
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