Foundations and Assessment of Education/Edition 1/Foundations Table of Contents/Chapter 12/Student Soapbox
Savanna Redding was 13 years old and an 8th-grade honors' student in Arizona in 2003 when she was strip-searched by school officials after a classmate had reported that she had prescription-strength Ibuprofen.
In April 2009, her case was heard by the US Supreme Court. They voted 8-1 to uphold the students' rights and declared the search unreasonable under the 4th Amendment .
Do you support this decision? Some agree with the court that school officials went too far and that the search was too invasive for the suspected offense. Others argue that this decision gives students a free license to hide drugs in their underwear (since school official will now have to think twice about searching students). Where do you stand as far as this issue is concerned?
Add your response below. Extra credit will be awarded to multimedia responses.
The 4TH Amendment to the Constitution says: 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. I think a strip search for prescription ibuprofin is unreasonable and my only problem with this is that it took so many years for this girl to find justice. I know drugs are a problem in schools but strip searching anyone goes too far, this was a school not prison. I do agree with locker searches because they belong to the school but the girls body belongs to her and they would need a search warrant and probable cause to search her.Jnemo001 (talk) 04:58, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I would absolutely say that schoool officials should not have stipped search this girl. It was uncalled for and there was no evidence that this girl had done anything wrong or had been carrying anything having to do with drugs. I do not believe any child should ever have to experience a strip search.Sston008 (talk) 00:49, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I think that this case is crazy! I certainly understand the importance and need to keep drugs out of schools; however, I think it is also very important to trust children until they have given you a reason not to. If the child had been notorious for bringing dangerous or illegal things to school, then why not take a step further and search her for drugs/weapons. But based on something that another student said (which could very well be made up) it is critical that you give the other child a chance to explain. This teaches the children about trust, consequences, etc. I absolutely think that jumping right to a strip search should be out of the question! Khedl002 (talk) 23:28, 9 August 2009 (UTC)khedl002
This was ridiculous! Especially since this girl had no prior issues in school, was on the honor roll, and there was no real basis for the search. Besides, why would she have pills down her underwear? If there were no signs of the pills on her or in her backpack, that should have been sufficient enough. Hcogg001 (talk) 23:18, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I'm very surprised that the administrators were willing to take this leap. To me it doesn't seem like the reaction fit the accusation. An administrator must have their endorsement which means they have to have had a school law course on the graduate level. I'm sure at some point there was mention of unreasonable searches. Maybe they were absent during that class. A good rule of thumb that I have used with students and teacher alike is "If in doubt, dont... or ask". I find it hard to believe there wasn't at least a small amount of doubt in the administrators mind before administering the strip search. Jtmitchem (talk) 16:30, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I was very upset after reading this article. I would be appalded if I were that student or parent. I can not believe she was stripped searched over Ibprofen. I do not think children should be strip searched at all let alone in the school system. There are so many other ways to deal with a child that may be carrying something in school that is not allowed. After reading the article I began wondering how the girl in the article was feeling when this happened and following the incedent dealing with the courts and the media. This situation could have been avoided. Lwill031 (talk) 14:26, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
This was definitely unreasonable. A 13-yr old for Ibuprofen? Come on, really? I wonder what effect this incident had on her. I do not believe that anyone should be strip-searched at school, especially for meds you can get at wal-wart?! I believe that strip-searches should only be used in extreme cases. What if someone is suspected of carrying a gun or other weapons? Or, if a student has been caught multiple times already. This is a fine line because we all want schools to be safe. And as parents of school age children, I hate to think about any of these things being in front of my kids. But in reality, there is no stopping some of these things. Aferg006 (talk) 01:23, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Wow. How is that girl ever going to be able to deal with the fact that she was strip searched at the young age of 13, for over-the-counter medications! That is madness. I agree with some of the people below that there isn't much you can do to prevent drug abuse. Even if there was a magic way to check people at school, there is nothing you can do about a student that takes drugs (prescription or not!) and comes to school under the influence. That's one of those things that you're not going to be able to do anything about. That's a pretty sad excuse to strip-search anyone! Ldomm002 (talk) 00:10, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I feel like no matter what schools do to try and prevent drug use at their school, it is still going to happen. No matter what kind of regulations are put in place, students will always find some way to get around them. I think that strip searches are terrible and should only be used as an absolute last resort (i.e. the student has been caught with drugs multiple times). I think that schools should have a no-tolerance drug policy and should make it clear what punishments will await a student who breaks these rules. Sbutl016 (talk) 17:33, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
That is ridiculous. Did they consider that because of her age is was appropriate to strip search her or something? What in the hell is wrong with people? This is the sort of thing that makes me laugh at how abusive people get over their authority. There was nothing logical at all about strip searching that girl, and everyone involved should be utterly ashamed. Hsmit022 (talk) 22:10, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
Zero-tolerance policy or not unless somebody’s life is in danger there is never a good reason to strip search a child. This comes close to being sexual abuse, my goodness she is only a 13 year old child. Students look up to those with authority at school. I could only imagine all those students and parents who were affected by this incident.Mlipl001 (talk) 00:52, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree with the post above. There is nothing more we can do to prevent drug abuse. We can talk and tell students the effects of drugs until we are blue in the face but they are either going to listen or not. I know that strip searches happen and that is great if it is done the correct way (if there is such a thing). In the case of the young girl and the ibuprofen I'm not sure what is exactly right or wrong. Drug searches need to happen but not in the manner that was conducted in the article. I do believe that searches can stereotype certain students who aren't drug users/abusers. This could ruin them in the social scene and in the classroom. So I vote to keep the hands off as well. Hcomb003 (talk) 17:44, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
This is an easy issue to report on. I am familiar with that case and would not expect the outcome to be any different. Why would anyone think it is all right to strip search a 13 year-old girl for ibuprofen? That almost makes me sick. Furthermore, there was no reasonable suspicion. It was the word of another student. Seriously? I can say no more. I pray for that little girl and hope she is able to move past the embarrassment and humiliation of such a despicable act. Abitt002 (talk) 18:06, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I can't imagine how humiliating it was for the girl who was subjected to this horrible act. I do not condone strip searching ofr school children, especially over an allegation by another student and the subatance involved. A child wants to feel safe and protected while they are in school. As educators, we struggle daily with strengthening student self worth as well as self esteem. School are concerned with illegal substances on campuses and drug abuse in general. However, strip searches violate the rights of the students and, in my opinion, scar a student for live. In this case, over an Advil! There are far less trumatizing ways to punish a student who breaks a school rule. I agree with the Surpreme Court...leave the students alone! Acrow005 (talk) 18:24, 6 August 2009 (UTC)
I feel that no matter what the situation, students should not be strip-searched. I feel that this is an invasion of privacy on the student and should never be used. Teachers and administrators can tell students not to bring drugs and prescriptions to school until they are blue in the face, however, students will always find a way around it. In the case of the young girl and the Ibufrofin, I do not agree with strip-searching. I also think that strip-searching can stereotype certain students who do not use drugs. Most of the time administrators and teachers are actiing upon unreasonable suspicions, anyway. Afett001 (talk) 11:58, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
I find this completely invasive and a violation of one self. I can't imagine this happening to me in middle school in front of everyone, I would be so ashamed. As a future teacher I would hate to see this happen in public to a students. They completely approached it the wrong way. They should have taken the student to the principles office and spoken to her and confirmed that the medication was given with a prescription verifying with the parents and the doctor if it was needed. Strip searching is sending such a negative message to our students, it is giving them more reasons to hide things and it is making it harder for teachers to get close to them and open up about things. It is the same as if your boss gave you a negative evaluation in front of the entire office, it's just unethical. We as adults need to teach children how to be respectfull of others, how are we suppose to teach this when children have no trust and respect from us. My elders have always told me that respect and trust needs to be earned, but if it has not been broken why mistrust.Bpenn005 (talk) 16:57, 7 August 2009 (UTC)
This was a shameful, horrifying invasion of a young girl's privacy. There is never cause to do this and the Supreme Court made a wise judgement. If there was a seriously suspected drug problem at a school, couldn't a drug sniffing dog find drugs without violating a student's personal privacy? It makes me angry beyond words. 18.104.22.168 (talk) 00:02, 8 August 2009 (UTC) Sciaston (talk) 23:08, 7 September 2009 (UTC)
I remember seeing this story on the news a few weeks ago and when it first came to light. My initial, and present, thoughts were how ridiculous the school officials acted. The student was clearly a model student, since she was an honors’ student and she was 13 at the time of the strip-search, a time where many girls her age begin taking prescription-strength Ibuprofen. Another thing that disturbed me was that the Redding was reported by another student. While it is important for student to report cases of drug use on school property, how did the school official know if it was not a personal, indirect attack? It might not have been, however, considering the situation it seems very likely. In the case of Savanna Redding, I do support the decision of the Supreme Court and agree that the school officials were too invasive, especially considering the fact it was a 13 years old girl with prescription-strength Ibuprofen. I also understand the opposition because the decision may seem that students will now have an effortless time bringing drugs on school property. Currently, the only solution I see for the moment is to have effective drug prevention programs within a community. I strongly stress community, because in many cases, drug programs only have a police officer come in once a year to discuss drugs and alcohol. In order to be effective, teachers are going to have be better informed themselves about drugs and parents are going to have to start participating as well. Adart001 (talk) 01:29, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Oh my gosh, how dare they! I cannot believe that the school thought this was appropriate action to take. This is supposed to be a school in United States, not a prison in a third world country. I understand the zero tolerance to drugs...but come on, this was extreme measures and the school should have to pay for their infraction. Not only did they violate the teenager (young teenager at that), she will probably have serious emotional issues for a while. It is one thing to search a child's locker and backpack...but this could be classified as emotional and physical rape without penetration. How will this child feel safe in the school again? The Supreme Court found in favor of the student which should be applauded. When it comes to drugs, even over-the-counter medication such as Ibuprophen, Tylenol, Benedryl, etc. cannot be brought to school without a note signed by a physician and taken to the nurse for despensing. This is because kids are very creative when it comes to drugs and should not be allowed to take them by themselves in school. When I worked at a high school, one of the students had taken his ADHD medicine, crushed it up, mixed it with over-the-counter medicine, and sold it to a lot of students to snort, until the school police officer caught him.Scarlett1 (talk) 04:16, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
Wow I feel like this was definitely unreasonable! No one should have their privacy violated like that, especially a thirteen year old girl who is in honors classes! Usually those in honors classes don't get into delinquent behavior as often. And come on, it was Ibuprofen not anything illegal,they didn't have to go as far as they did for that kind of search. I definitely agree with the court and feel that her rights were violated. I cannot believe that some people believe that is okay for the school to search students like that. And in the first place, they should have asked her if she had a reason for having that kind of medication. She may have had a note from her doctor allowing her to have the medication for any conditions she may have. The school definitely did not take the appropriate action in that situation, I hope that they have not taken similar actions since then. Rburt005 (talk) 13:05, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I think that this type of search was uncalled for. Though I understand the concern about students bringing in any type of drug into schools, this is a 13 year old girl accused (technically word of mouth) by a peer. This matter should have been handled in a more private and less chaotic manner. If parental and doctors notes are provided there's no need to go to such extremes for ibuprofen. The girl may have had the medical need for it. Definitely uncalled for! Ehern004 (talk) 18:47, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I have been following this case for a while now. I can not believe that they did that. While I am in support of the investigation of illegal drugs, there is a limit to what can be done! I have an almost 13 year old daughter, how horrible it must have been for this girl in school to be embarrassed like this! I think that the court made the right decision and there are far too many other druge filtering through schools to be worrying about a girl who had or did not have ibuprofen. Get real...she is after all still a kid and no one should be treating a kid like that without her parents involved. Also, if they would have called the police do you really think that they would have searched this girl for that??? The school would have been laughed at and told no way. Jnewh001 (talk) 19:13, 8 August 2009 (UTC)
I am still in disbelief at the actions of these school officials, the strip search was completely uncalled for. This girl was exposed, vulnerable, and ultimately mishandled. This situation has forced us to revaluate how these things are handled in the future. The parents should first be contacted and asked if their child is permitted to have the medication, and the police should be called in regards to illegal drugs. Though it was unfortunate what this adolescent had to go through, her incidence drew the parameters for future events. Rpaige (talk) 15:36, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
The search was, in my opinion, totally uncalled for. Ibuprofen is not a controlled substance, sure the article mentions it was “prescription strength” but that just means the pills were larger. Taking several over the counter pills would have the same effect. Strip searching anyone for medication that is basically over the counter is absurd and calls into question the validity of “zero” tolerance programs all together. (If anyone saw the Colbert report last week and saw the story on the young lady who was expelled for taking a birth control pill during lunch that is another prime example of the Kafka-esque scenarios that ensue from “zero-tolerance”) I mean, sure strip search students if they’re suspected of selling potentially harmful controlled substances but cases like this just take the “war on drugs” into the realm of absurdity. BitterAsianMan (talk) 18:16, 9 August 2009 (UTC)
Strip searching a 13 year old honors student is unnecessary. In some cases, maybe stripe searches are necessary, but in this situation it was very uncalled for. A middle school student's ibuprofen does not merit the stripe search of this poor young girl. Not only did this go beyond the means for this particular situation, but it also tainted the innocence of this child. The war on drugs is a serious cause, but ibuprofen does not merit such extremes.Scrai010 (talk) 01:49, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
I agree with everyone else. It was absoulutely uncalled for. The school officials should be embarrassed at their lack of judgement. Yes, drugs in schools may merit a strip search, but not ibuprofen. Alucy001 (talk)
This is a difficult situation to be in. I understand the fact that the school wanted to make sure that she wasn't hiding them anywhere else, but to strip search an eighth grader is a little crazy. A regular search would have sufficed. I'm sure if the school administration had asked her for them that she probably would have given them to her. I understand the need to keep the drugs out of school but that is crissung the line a little bit. Rcoll029 (talk) 04:42, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Search Away. Anything to keep the drugs at Bay.
Search her!! I am definitely in favor of searching students if they are suspected to have drugs. However, if they need to do a strip search, I think that they should have appropriate personnel, namely a female police officer take care of it. Students need to know that they cannot get away with hiding drugs or any kind of dangerous item in their clothing while they are at school. Students have rights and so a student should not have to be asked to be stripped searched at the drop of a penny. Rather there needs to be some kind of standard for deciding when it is appropriate for a strip search to take place. Mbrowder (talk) 00:35, 17 August 2009 (UTC)