Your child is in school. You believe your child is safe. Your child comes home after school, hysterical and unwilling to ever go back. The part of the world in which you thought your child would be safe just exploded in front of your eyes.
What happened? Well, if your name is Mrs. Redding, you just discovered that your child was stripped almost naked in front of more than one school official who had no legal right to do so. You then find out that the school is perfectly fine with what happened, because they are “doing it because they feel an intense need to protect the safety of the students.” How’s that for irony!
This is what happened (as will be heard by the Supreme Court of the United States of America). A 13 year old honor student in a small Arizona town was hauled down to the principal’s office to strip down to her underwear, because another eighth grade student who was found with a cigarette and some pills pointed the finger at our victim. The 13 year old denied having anything. They searched her backpack: nothing. That’s when the vice principal said the school nurse would conduct a strip search.
“They saw everything. It was really embarrassing. These are people I see every day,” said the victim. The school did not call her mother, child services, or police; they just stripped her down.
Believe it or not, after the school lost a lawsuit in a Federal appeals court, and the school was found liable, they have taken the case to the Supreme Court, who will hear the case tomorrow.
I agree that it’s important for the school to find dangerous drugs and weapons. Dangerous weapons can be found in a “pat-down,” but even that is a kind of sexual harassment.
I believe that you parents should tell your children to always refuse to fully remove their clothes (except, perhaps, for jackets and coats), even if it is the principal who demands it. Parents should make sure that the rules in their school district include sequestering the student, calling the parents and the police/child protective services before a child’s body is touched, unless there is considerable reason to believe that the child is armed with a deadly weapon.