Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Strip search?!!! I think not!

When my sons were in Kindergarten, they had quite the absentee record because of sickness, and I was constantly pressured to send them to school unless they had a fever. One day after my son had been home for a couple of days, I sent him to school with cough drops. Halls, to be exact. I mentioned to his teacher to remind him to take them in case he started coughing, which he was doing frequently. She had a minor fit, and informed me that I had to take them to the school nurse for dispensing. I thought that was pretty silly and made the use of cough drops a moot point, but I did as she directed.

I never got the cough drops back, and my son didn't get any. Maybe the school nurse had a party and served them as refreshments? For the record, I still don't consider cough drops to be medicine.

Did anyone else ever take Ibuprofen to school and keep it in their locker? Midol? According to today's rules, we would have been breaking school rules. I kept them in my hall locker AND PE locker. Double jeopardy! We all did it though. Most girls that I knew had something on hand for cramps, maybe in a locker, maybe in a purse.

I cannot imagine having to undergo a strip search to be sure I didn't have Ibuprofen on my person like this girl in Arizona (http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/story/2009/04/19/ST2009041902665.html).

Normally, the conclusions that school officials must have the leeway to make sure the school was a safe facility is reasonable. But a strip search because of another girl's accusation? The "drugs" they were searching for was Ibuprofen, people. Not what most people would call contraband. Even if it was contraband, there are certain legal procedures that should be followed. If schools are exempt from the law, what can't they do?!

Here's is another homeschooler's take on this situation (http://www.justenoughblog.com/?p=1460).

I remember dreading jr. high PE because of my sister's tales of having to take group showers. What degradation to have to shower with at least 10 other girls at a time. I have serious issues with that, and that was before the gay and lesbian culture came to the forefront. That was a contributing reason to why we weren't required to shower when I got to the same school. That issue wasn't taken into consideration for the 8th grader either. The sheer intimidation and degradation present by requiring the girl to strip in front of two fully-clothed women who were standing and watching her closely is uncalled for in a civilized society. It takes the girl's humanity down to that of an animal's. My dog will take a dump in front of you with nary a thought of it; is that where we want our society to go?

To think that this came from a "friend's" accusation that she had such a horrible, addicting drug and was sharing it with a friend. (heavy on the sarcasm here, folks) They found Ibuprofen in her notebook but none elsewhere. There was no cause for the strip search. Have you ever shared Ibuprofen with a friend? I have. Shame on me for wanting to help a friend. But the concern named is nuts (see the second paragraph specifically):

The law has long given school officials special leeway to search lockers and backpacks to enable them to better protect students in their care. Instead of "probable cause" -- the standard law enforcement officers must abide by when conducting criminal searches -- schools need only show "reasonable suspicion" that a student has violated the law or the rules of the school to justify a search. A more intrusive search, the Supreme Court has ruled, requires that schools show that it was "justified at its inception" and "reasonably related in scope to the circumstances which justified the interference in the first place." In rebuking Savana's school, the 9th Circuit departed from this sensible Supreme Court standard and issued a decision that would make it much harder for school employees to justify searches. The court also gave its blessing for Savana to go forward with her lawsuit against the vice principal.

The Supreme Court should strike down the lower-court ruling. School officials must have the flexibility to act quickly and decisively to avert all manner of danger. Fear of being sued for making reasonable if controversial judgment calls will only chill these efforts.

This is fear run amock. Heaven help us if our court system does not protect our children.

1 comment:

Jen said...

This made me mad too. Ridiculous.