Wednesday, April 22, 2009

"In my experience, people did sometimes stick things in my underwear"

At oral arguments in a case over whether a school in Arizona had the right to strip search a 13-year old girl to search for ibuprofen, US Supreme Court Justice Justice Stephen Breyer offered up this gem of a misstatement attempting to justify the school's actions: "In my experience, people did sometimes stick things in my underwear."

Unfortunately, the case itself is no laughing matter and Tony Mauro at the Legal Times said a majority of justices seem prepared to approve strip searching students in public schools, even though the state's attorney conceded that even "cavity searches" might be constitutional if SCOTUS rules for the school district.

Apparently there's little reason to fear yesterday's SCOTUS ruling in the Gant case will presage some renewed commitment to protecting our rights against unreasonable search and seizure. Just pitiful. We need more legislative champions willing to step forward to protect the Fourth Amendment via statute because it's increasingly clear federal courts aren't up to the task.


Anonymous said...

The intention here is to reduce drugs in the schools and that might actually be achieved in another, unintended way by further reducing the population of our public schools. The gulag disciplinary system enforced by administrators who have no understanding of the law or due process has already driven many away from it. Now this?

Anonymous said...

"No man is good enough to govern another man
without that other's consent."

Abraham Lincoln


"All government, of course, is against liberty."

H. L. Mencken

Anonymous said...

If you send your child to a government school you should expect these sort of things to happen.

I'm a betting man and I'll take a long shot here and say the high court will rule in favor of the student.

Anonymous said...

Time for more people to change to home schooling.

Anonymous said...

Many already have switched to home schooling. And some just tell their kids to stay in the house and watch TV while they are at work. They cannot handle the nonsense.

Anonymous said...

I thought Breyer was supposed to be a civil libertarian. What a stunningly ignorant thing to say.

Why the hell is a Supreme Court justice relying on his fond memories of a cute nurse asking him to cough during gym class, to rule on a critical kids' rights case?


Anonymous said...

I am rather torn on this issue.

On one hand, I know that young people these days are selling, using and abusing illegal drugs and legal pharmaceuticals. There have been numerous cases were students have overdosed from drugs that they have received from classmates.

On the other hand, I have children and I do not relish the idea of one of my daughters being strip searched. I would be extremely opposed if a child was strip searched by an educator of the opposite sex.

Schools are charged with the safety of their students. Schools are often criticized because they do not keep students safe.

So if we take away the schools right to act "en loco parentis" in regards to searches we cannot criticize educators whenever they are not able to ensure the safety of our children can we?

Tell me, how are schools supposed to keep students safe from guns and drugs? Should we give school resource peace officers expanded search authority?

Grits, what is your opinion?

Petra said...

WTF? Ibuprofen? I have it on me at all times. Why would you strip search someone for Ibuprofen? Using Ibuprofen as a recreational drug does not sound especially appealing to me.

Anonymous said...

If I thought that school personnel were knowledgable and respectful of probable cause and due process and were not given to the selective enforcement of rules and sanctions, I might be slightly less opposed.

If this goes through, the private schools should use a "no strip search policy" as a marketing tool.

dinoswim said...

It seems to me that anyone and everyone associated with the opinion that strip searching a 13 year old in school is ok has completely gone off their nut.

Strip searches for anyone in school is WAY over the top. You think you have a drug distribution problem? Send the kid home. Suspend her. Test the "drug" for pity's sake. Yes, schools must protect kids against potential harm from unknown "drugs" being passed. Ibuprofen, even if labeled, could be dangerous for some people. And yet... there is this funny thing in my head that keeps saying "We should strip teen girls?! No!"

Home school is great, but if that can't be done, suspend until confirmation can be made of a threat. If the threat is valid, send them to juvi. In the meantime, this kind of crap opens the liability door for schools getting sued - not just for the search, but for claims and actual occurrence of sexual abuse.

Can't you just see Coach Bob saying "I was checking him/her for drugs I heard about from Little Johnny". Why has no one thought of this potential problem?

Anonymous said...

I believe some rotten kids have to be searched, or stripped seached but the parent should be notified and present. But Ibuprofen is nothing to get all crazy about.
Kids, nowadays, have zanex, lortab, marijuana, crack,etc...thats what school administrators should be looking for. Not aspirin.
This little girl was a straight A student. They should have given her the benefit of the doubt.

The child who reported this young lady should have been asked to write a statement and told that if he is lying he could also face punishment.