Registering My Disapproval – School Strip-Search Case
I caught this piece on NPR this morning, “Supreme Court To Hear School Strip-Search Case.” It’s about a 13-year-old honors student with no history of disciplinary problems who was “asked to strip down to her underwear and stood there while the nurse and secretary inspected her clothes and shoes.”
Because they just *suspected* she might have drugs on her. They found nothing.
“Then, you know, I thought they were going to let me put my clothes back on, but instead they asked me to pull out my bra and shake it, and the crotch on my underwear, too,” Redding says.
Oh. hell. no.
I don’t even think school kids should have to do random drug tests or drug tests to be allowed to participate in after-school activities. I figure that if a kid is experimenting with drugs, it’s better for them to be in an after-school program than having unsupervised free time. I’m sure it’s something to do with school insurance and whatnot, but it’s not-in my opinion-in the best interest of the students.
Strip searching a young girl – especially by random school administrators, especially without a parent present, especially on the basis of schoolyard gossip – is beyond the pale. The school’s lawyer said “We just have to ask ourselves, as a policy matter, do you really want a drug-free environment? And if you do, then there are going to be some privacy invasions when there is reason to suspect that those drugs are being dispensed on campus, that they’re being used by students.”
No. Just no.
The lawyer also made this argument about the relatively benign nature of the supposed hearsay drug possession, which was prescription ibuprofen:
“School administrators are not pharmacologically trained in being able to assess the relative dangers any one drug might present, but what they are charged with is to make sure that students are kept safe from such threats of danger.”
When students are subject to strip searches from school administrators, they are not safe from threats of danger. That possibility is a threat of danger.