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21 April 2009

Children and their Drugs

The Supreme Court is currently hearing a case on whether or not school officials should be allowed to strip search students if they are suspected of carrying drugs. An article can be found here.
This really pisses me off. I heard the story on NPR this morning. A 13 year old girl (and honor student) was brought to the principle's office and questioned about drug possession. Another girl had been caught with a 400mg ibuprofen tablet (equivalent to 2 Advil), and had claimed (falsely) that the first girl had given it to her. When the 13 year old didn't admit and turn over the drugs (which she didn't have), the official searched her locker and her backpack (an act which was made legal by a previous Supreme Court decision). When they didn't find anything there they took her into a separate office and had her remove her clothes, leaving her standing in her underwear in front of the school officials. They searched every seam of her clothing and still didn't find anything, so they made her remove her bra and shake it out and shake out the crotch of her underwear.
In my opinion this is a severe breach of her rights, and tantamount to molestation. She was humiliated, and distressed. After the incident, the girl developed ulcers and was unable to return to school for several months. Ultimately, she was forced to transfer to another school.
The perverse fear of (some) drugs that exists in this country is truly disturbing. Sure, some children get sick or die as a result of consuming drugs, but is that any reason to subject (innocent, at least in this case) children to the humiliation of a strip search based solely on a vague suspicion that they are carrying an innocuous drug? I don't think so.
So far, the Supreme Court seems to be on the side of the school officials. If they overturn this decision and allow schools to conduct strip searches based on such flimsy evidence, they will be denying these kids rights granted to them by the Fourth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and reinforcing an already authoritarian school system.
I think students should protest, if and when this decision is made; hordes of young teenagers with their pants stuffed full of Advil. They can't strip search you all!


emmett said...

I think that using drugs in school is entirely idiotic, but the oppressive and unlawful manner in which this girl was abused is worse. I'll walk in to school with an industrial drum of Advil on my back to protest this!
I'm gonna go raise awareness on my facebook now. Myface man, Away!!

idyllhands said...

Boo for the school system

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