Thursday, June 25, 2009

Strip Searches

The Supreme Court ruled today that strip searches for middle and high school students were unconstitutional if conducted without reasonable cause.

At age 13, Savana Redding was suspected of having prescription strength ibuprofen at Safford Middle School in Arizona. When school authorities searched her personal belongings and found nothing there, they demanded that she strip to her underwear.

The high Court heard the case, and determined (in an 8-1 ruling) that such searches were unreasonable. Typically, schools need only "reasonable suspicion" -- that is, just a slight belief without even much cause usually needed for non-school situations -- to search a student's belongings. But the Court has changed that rule, stating that, in situations like Redding's, a strip search was an excessive one, unreasonable even for the "reasonable suspicion"

This ruling is a just one; such a search is unreasonable and unnecessarily places the student in an embarrassing situation. If school administration cannot find drugs on a student by eye-contact and through searching their belongings, they shouldn't force the student to strip naked in order to discover they were probably wrong all along.

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