Even after Supreme Court decision most states allow strip-searches of students: home school anyone?
(TheExaminer) – The U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that school officials went too far when they strip-searched an eighth grade honor roll student, suspecting that she was hiding ibuprofen pills in her bra or underwear.
In an 8 to 1 decision, with only Justice Clarence Thomas dissenting, the Court in Safford Unified School District v. Redding held that the search violated the girl’s Fourth Amendment rights to the U.S. Constitution.
The Fourth Amendment states:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.
Savana Redding, who was 13-years-old when the strip-search occurred, commented on the Court’s decision:
People of all ages expect to have the right to privacy in their homes, belongings, and most importantly, their persons. But for far too long, students have been losing these rights the moment they step foot onto public school property — a lesson I learned firsthand when I was strip-searched by school officials just because another student who was in trouble pointed the finger at me.
I do not believe that school officials should be allowed to strip-search kids in school, ever. And though the U.S. Supreme Court did not go quite so far, it did rule that my constitutional rights were violated when I was strip-searched based on nothing more than a classmate’s uncorroborated accusation that I had given her ibuprofen. I’m happy for the decision and hope it helps make sure that no other kids will have to experience what I went through.
While some states ban strip-searches of students (California, Washington, Iowa, New Jersey, Oklahoma, South Carolina and Wisconsin), the vast majority of states allow it.
Today’s Supreme Court decision will make it harder for school officials to strip-search a student, but unfortunately the decision does not ban the practice.