Thursday, April 23, 2009

Strip Search for Advil

We have gone from being ridiculous to completely falling over the line. In Safford vs Redding, the Supreme Court is looking at the case of the middle-school girl who was strip-searched for Advil.

MSNBC has a story here.

School officials are "looking for drugs" ( Ibuprophen ). Was there really a danger to the school or students? No, even if she had Motrin. "So what?"

What reason to search? Another girl said she had it and had given her some. Did they confirm this information? No. Did they search her locker? No. Apparently, it didn't occur to Starsky and Hutch that Huggy-Bear might be providing false information.

They searched the backpack and found nothing. So they strip-searched her: they told her to remove her clothes and shake out her underwear. This takes an amazing amount of institutional chutzpah and self-righteousness.
  • You have to assume that any rumor is legit.
  • Anything in pill form is dangerous, even Motrin.
  • All 13-yo girls tell the truth except the one who's guilty.
    • How do you know she's guilty? she denies it.
    • Want further proof? Search her backpack. If you don't find it there, it means she's more clever than that.
    • It's in her pockets because she's guilty. Nothing.
    • She's guilty, look in the seams. Nope.
    • Aha! She must have hidden it in her underwear.
  • and Parents don't care if this happens.
  • and Administrators are always right.
  • Zero tolerance. Zero brains.
The ends always justify the means. Drugs are so scary bad that any rights or reason must be ignored. The drugs must be found even if they don't exist and the student punished severely regardless of guilt.

Once you're identified, you're guilty until proven innocent - and even then we're still not satisfied - you must have swallowed them!

The Supremes are wondering about danger to school in extreme cases and not wanting to set a precedent. I can buy that because that's their purpose.  There's talk of meth and crack and "possibly having other children die while in their care." This is all well and good but the case in front of them remains a strip-search for nothing on false grounds by an over- zealous administration with no sense of reality or proportion. "The school's lawyer argued that the courts should not limit school officials' ability to search out what they think are dangerous items on school grounds."

Really. Even for Advil?

1 comment:

  1. They should fine the living daylights out of that particular school for sheer stupidity.

    It does cause problems for schools who have a legitimate need to search lockers or backpacks. Our local school does have some issues with meth use among students, and the school should have the ability to deal with drug abuse on its premises.

    I would like to say I can't see how this could happen over an Advil, but our family actually experienced this to a lesser degree when our daughter attempted to take some over-the-counter migraine medicine at school. She wasn't strip searched, fortunately, but she was hauled to the office and threatened with detention. And since she wasn't allowed to take the medicine, she did end up coming home from school with a nasty migraine! The end result was we were required to leave a bottle of Excedrin Migraine with the school nurse, and our daughter had to be excused from class to visit the nurse's office when she needed it. Unfortunately, the nurse was only there part-time and migraine medicine doesn't work well unless it is taken early on. Interestingly, this happened when our daughter was in middle school. At the high school (same school district) it wasn't an issue.