Strip Search Goes to Supreme Court

A case rose up through the court system from Safford, Arizona all the way to the Supreme Court. The plaintiff, Savana Redding will be 19 when it gets to the Supreme Court on April 21. She was wearing black stretch pants with butterfly patches and a pink T-shirt on the day school officials had strip-searched the eighth grade student. The Assistant principal Kerry Wilson, was enforcing the school’s anti-drug policies, they suspected her of having brought prescription strength ibuprofen pills to school. She was searched by two female school employees, Peggy Schwallier, the school nurse, and Helen Romero, a secretary. They forced her to strip to her underwear, pull out her bra and move it from side to side, then open her legs and pull out her underwear. The honors student, Savana Redding had no pills. Today she has an infuriated mother and a lawyer, Adam B. Wolf from the ACLU. The case will require the justices to consider how much flexibility school officials should have in policing zero-tolerance policies for drugs and violence, and the court is likely to provide important guidance to schools around the nation. The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, in San Francisco, ruled that school officials had violated the Fourth Amendment’s ban on unreasonable searches. This is just amazing that adults can think strip searching a 13 year old to find a couple of pills, where did they really think she put them.

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