Don’t Strip Search Kids

20 Apr

This one makes me want to puke, then start a riot. From CNN:

The case of a 13-year-old Arizona girl strip-searched by school officials looking for ibuprofen pain-reliever will be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court this week.

The case is centered around Savana Redding, now 19, who in 2003 was an eighth-grade honors student at Safford Middle School, about 127 miles from Tucson, Arizona. Redding was strip-searched by school officials after a fellow student accused her of providing prescription-strength ibuprofen pills.

The school has a zero-tolerance policy for all prescription and over-the-counter medication, including the ibuprofen, without prior written permission.

Redding was pulled from class by a male vice principal, escorted to an office, where she denied the accusations.

A search of Redding’s backpack found nothing. Then, although she never had prior disciplinary problems, a strip search was conducted with the help of a school nurse and Wilson’s assistant, both females. According to court records, she was ordered to strip to her underwear and her bra was pulled out. Again, no drugs were found.

In an affidavit, Redding said, “The strip search was the most humiliating experience I have ever had. I held my head down so that they could not see that I was about to cry.”

This is just fucking crazy. Here’s more about it at

In October 2003, acting on a tip, Vice Principal Kerry Wilson found a few 400-milligram ibuprofen pills (each equivalent to two over-the-counter tablets) and one nonprescription naproxen tablet in the pockets of a student named Marissa, who claimed Savana was her source.

Savana, an honors student with no history of disciplinary trouble or drug problems, said she didn’t know anything about the pills and agreed to a search of her backpack, which turned up nothing incriminating. Wilson nevertheless instructed a female secretary to strip-search Savana under the school nurse’s supervision, without even bothering to contact the girl’s 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.”

Sweet fucking Jesus. 13 year old honour student. This isn’t Cruel Intentions doing lines from a crucifix, this is an 8th grader. How sick does this VP have to be? I’m looking into this dude. I wouldn’t be surprised if he were a child molester.

So what do Savana’s parents think of this? The LA Times tells us:

When her mother arrived at the school to pick her up, another student called out to her: “What are you going to do about them strip-searching Savana?”

Upset and angry, April Redding said she marched to the principal’s office, then to the superintendent’s office nearby. Both denied at first knowing that a student had been strip-searched.

She later met with the principal but left, unsatisfied: “He said you should be happy we didn’t find anything.”

When no one apologized, April Redding sued the school district for damages. Her lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union say the strip-search went far beyond the bounds of reasonableness, especially when there was no imminent danger.

I don’t even know how to express this anger. How fucked up do you have to be to treat a little kid like a drug smuggler. At 13 years old, what kid is smart enough to stick Advil in their crotch anyway? And what kid is dumb enough to put said Advil in their mouth? This reminds me a lot of the humiliation tactics they’re using in Guantanamo.

To make this story even crazier, the district courts didn’t even find this to be a problem.

While a federal magistrate and a three-panel appeals court found the search was reasonable, the full 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled in favor of Redding last year.

It’s reasonable to strip search a kid based on a tip from a kid that’s already in trouble? Considering she said herself that she was “shy and nerdy”, it’s pretty obvious what’s going on here. I may be no vice principal, but I did go to school, and I saw how kids treat each other. They are fucking savage most of the time and will do hurtful things just because they enjoy it. When I was at school, 80% of the kids were sociopaths. When a kid can get away with something, they will go for it. If a kid can get out of trouble by blaming another kid, they will- and that’s 100% of the time.

The sad thing is, the VP that ordered the strip search is going to have nothing happen to him. Well, here’s hoping a meteor lands directly on his house.

6 Responses to “Don’t Strip Search Kids”

  1. jeff April 20, 2009 at 2:20 PM #

    It strikes me that the school official probably has a bad case of Gary Glitter jangleleg and should probably have to sit down with a team of shrinks.

  2. PoppinF April 20, 2009 at 6:54 PM #

    i’m just glad in not school student in Arizona, although i am fed up with daylight-savings.

  3. Eva April 21, 2009 at 4:12 PM #

    What gets me is those parents couldn’t press charges!!!

    That right there is one of the main outrages for me..

  4. Rachael Eastman April 21, 2009 at 4:49 PM #

    What I still can’t get over is that it was ADVIL, not HEROIN or LSD or crystal meth–not even cigarettes. God forbid someone not have a headache or PMS in school. What exactly was the crime? OTC medications are not illegal, aso how can schools include them in their “zero tolerance” policy for drugs? This whole War on Drugs BS has gotten way out of hand. I WISH someone would try to strip search one of my kids. They’d need more than Advil when I got done with them…

  5. headrushed April 24, 2009 at 4:21 PM #

    I’m with you on the puking and rioting, Jim.

  6. mamorrow May 6, 2009 at 12:45 AM #

    If the school suspected actually illegal drugs then wouldn’t they call the police and have them handle it? Since these drugs weren’t illegal and just against school policy why on earth would it be necessary to take it to that level? Wouldn’t it make more sense to call in a parent and ask their permission? You need a permission slip for everything else…except strip search.

    I can imagine the amount of rage that mother must have felt, and then to find that the law is against you?

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