Supreme Court Rules Strip Search of Female High School Student Illegal


File this under "Phew": the Supreme Court ruled today that the strip search of an Arizona high school student was unconstitutional.  The student was suspected of having prescription-strength ibuprofen on her person.

Writes the New York Times:

The officials in Safford, Ariz., would have been justified in 2003 had
they limited their search to the backpack and outer clothing of Savana
Redding, who was in the eighth grade at the time, the court ruled. But
in searching her undergarments, they want too far and violated her
Fourth Amendment privacy rights, the justices said.

Interestingly, the fact that school officials were looking just for ibuprofen was a factor in the justices’ decision. David Souter, author of the majority opinion, noted that had the school suspected Redding of carrying illegal or more dangerous drugs, the search may have been justified.

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  • invalid-0

    As a parent, I was very relieved to see this decision. It’s true that when we send our children to school, we give the school the power to act for us ‘in loco parentus’, however we do NOT give them the power to peek in our daughter’s underwear on the unsubstantiated allegation of another student without calling us first. This was just way over the line. We seem to be having a run of principals who are hysterically over-reacting to anything that hints of drugs, porn or sex, and I for one wish they’d hire people who have some sense of proportion.

  • invalid-0

    While I agree that many school officials do seem to lack a sense of the proportionality of incidents, I also think they’re not entirely to blame. There are many vocal parents out there who demand thos sort of exaggerated response from schools. It doesn’t make them right, but I can understand the pressures that officials are under from these people. Hopefully this decision will make at least some headway against the tide of over-protectiveness.

  • invalid-0

    While I agree that many school officials do seem to lack a sense of the proportionality of incidents, I also think they’re not entirely to blame. There are many vocal parents out there who demand thos sort of exaggerated response from schools. It doesn’t make them right, but I can understand the pressures that officials are under from these people. Hopefully this decision will make at least some headway against the tide of over-protectiveness.