Posts Tagged ‘violation

22
Jul
08

Big Brother: The Indecent Assault of a Child

Note: 08/31/2008 – The title of this post has been changed.  Unfortunately, my attempt to create a provocative headline resulted in many detestable websites (of the kind I wish not to associate with) linking to this post.  Hopefully, the new headline will still make it’s point without drawing their sickly interest.  I changed the permalink too.  Sorry to those of you who used this post for it’s correct purposes.

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In 2003, Savana Redding, a 13-year old eighth-grade honor student, was forced to strip for Arizona school officials looking for 2 over-the-counter ibuprofen pills.

When the Vice Principal pulled her out of class, Savana agreed to a search of her backpack.  When nothing was found, Vice Principal Kerry Wilson ordered a female secretary and the school nurse to strip search her without bothering to even contact her mother.

The secretary had Savana take off all her clothing except her underwear. Then she told her to “pull her bra out and to the side and shake it, exposing her breasts,” and “pull her underwear out at the crotch and shake it, exposing her pelvic area.” Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference between drug warriors and child molesters.

“I was embarrassed and scared,” Savana said in an affidavit, “but felt I would be in more trouble if I did not do what they asked. I held my head down so they could not see I was about to cry.” She called it “the most humiliating experience I have ever had.” Later, she recalled, the principal, Robert Beeman, said “he did not think the strip search was a big deal because they did not find anything.”
Source: The School Crotch Inspector

Is this what “zero tolerence” is all about?  We all know the saying, but seem to forget that it’s message holds especially true when it comes to surrendering authority to the government.

Be careful of what you wish for, you just might get it!

These school authorities clearly violated Savana and her constitutional rights, however, the courts first held that the school didn’t violate the Fourth Amendment because officials have a legitimate interest in protecting students from prescription drugs.  Luckily, a federal appellate court ruled that the school officials did violate Savana’s constitutional rights.

“A reasonable school official, seeking to protect the students in his charge, does not subject a thirteen-year-old girl to a traumatic search to ‘protect’ her from the danger of Advil,” the court wrote in today’s opinion. “We reject Safford’s effort to lump together these run-of-the-mill anti-inflammatory pills with the evocative term ‘prescription drugs,’ in a knowing effort to shield an imprudent strip search of a young girl behind a larger war against drugs.”

“It does not take a constitutional scholar to conclude that a nude search of a 13-year-old girl is an invasion of constitutional rights. More than that: it is a violation of any known principle of human dignity,” the court continued.
Source: ACLU

But it’s not over … the government and their “do-gooder” constituency aren’t going to give up, and they’ve got the Supreme Court in their back pocket!

In a 1985 decision upholding a high school principal’s perusal of a purse belonging to a freshman who was caught smoking in the girls’ room (a search that found marijuana as well as cigarettes), the Court said public school officials, as agents of the government, are bound by the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition of unreasonable searches and seizures. But given the importance of maintaining order at school, it said, officials do not need a warrant or probable cause to search a student; it’s enough that the search is “justified at its inception” and “reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the interference.”

In subsequent cases, the Court has indicated that a search can be deemed reasonable even when officials have no grounds to suspect a student has done anything wrong. In 1995 it upheld random drug testing of student athletes, and in 2002 it said that requirement could be extended to all students participating in extracurricular activities.

To justify compelling a student to urinate into a cup under a teacher’s supervision and surrender the sample for laboratory analysis, the Court not only did not require any evidence that the student was using drugs; it did not require any evidence of a drug problem at the school. The fear of potential drug problem was enough, in its view, since “the nationwide drug epidemic makes the war against drugs a pressing concern in every school.”
Source: Strip for the Principal

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