Reading, Writing, Arithmetic And, Oh Yeah, Strip Searches

Guest Blogger, NinjaStyle

Savana Redding was 13 when the assistant principal of her school in Safford, Arizona, suspected her of being in possession of (OMG!) prescription strength ibuprofen, which are the strength of…wait for it…TWO ADVIL! (DUN DUN DUNNNNNNN). The extremely dedicated vice principal (I’m giving the benefit of the doubt here because the other option is extremely stupid and/or idiotic) had the thirteen year old girl stripped down to the nude and searched by the nurse and a secretary for the offending pills…which were not found. (Full Article)

The supposed issue here is how far can schools go, acting ‘in good faith’ to, quote “obviate a potential threat to the health and safety of their students.” Ms. Redding is arguing that this search violated her fourth amendment right, which protects us from unreasonable search and seizure, not to mention the right to privacy, dignity, the list goes on. The school district argues that it is on the ‘front line’ in the struggle against drugs and that the strip search was “not excessively intrusive in light of Redding’s age and sex [because that makes a difference?] and the nature of her suspected infraction [which was bringing a LEGAL drug to school].”

I am so beyond disbelief here that I can’t even coherently describe it. What sane person would even think that strip searching a thirteen year old girl for ibuprofen was a good idea? What were the assistant principal and the women that actually conducted the search thinking? This is absolutely ridiculous and CLEARLY, I repeat CLEARLY way out of line and far beyond the realms of a reasonable search and seizure. I don’t care if students don’t have all their rights at school, this should absolutely not be allowed and the school should be punished for their willing compliance in violating a constitutional right.

I mean, the drug wasn’t even illegal; it was ibuprofen for crying out loud! Oh no! One pill has the strength of two Advil. Yeah now that I’ve taken one I’m totally going to be tripping out in class. Admittedly they were searching for ‘prescription’ strength pills, which can be a problem, but I’m sorry, it’s a legal drug and the fact that they strip searched a girl over it and are calling this disgraceful act “not excessively intrusive in light of Redding’s age and sex and the nature of her suspected infraction” is utterly and completely sickening and inexcusable.


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14 responses to “Reading, Writing, Arithmetic And, Oh Yeah, Strip Searches

  1. This is beyond belief! They can take my daughter for an abortion in California and never tell me or my wife, but if she has cramps and ibuprofen in her purse, she gets strip-searched?
    I’m so SICK of the way things have gotten in our schools now. Instead of saving for my kids to go to college, I’d be money ahead if I’d used it for private school instead.

  2. Ann

    Good God. Do people not see the idiocy here? We freak out when a kid might have a legal drug such as Ibuprofen, but hey – feel free to go out and get an abortion or the Plan B pill w/o your parent’s knowledge.

  3. j.k.lynn

    I read about this story this morning in the NYT and thought about blogging about it with the EXACT same opinion. It is ridiculous and terribly invasive.

    My gripe with this family is the length of time that they allowed to pass before turning this into a the public scandal that it deserved. Perhaps they were trying to protect the identity or privacy of their young daughter, but this needed to be brought to light. It is inexcusable to put a child of this age through this prison-type humiliation in search of prescription, non-illegal drugs (ANY drugs) and ESPECIALLY without the express permission and presence of their parents/legal guardians!!


    • paulag1955

      I’m trying to think of any circumstances under which it would be appropriate for a school to strip search a student and I’m coming up pretty dry. Even if the student is suspected of carrying illegal drugs, it seems that the proper response would be to turn it over to law enforcement. In this case, since it was a legal drug, that was obviously not an option. The proper course of action, in my mind, would have been to isolate her in a room and call her parents. Conducting strip searches doesn’t foster a desirable relationship between the students and faculty/staff.

  4. Unbelievable; time to stop the insanity at all levels of the system. I can hardly type I am so angry and the saddest part is this is not an isolated incident.

    The brainwashing and abuse is now to the point of doublespeak in justification of the ‘terror’ war on this and that and all in the name of freedom lost long ago and a vague distant memory.

    I pray for an awakening and a turning from wickedness in our land while we may do so . . .

  5. Prison or jail is the ONLY place appropriate for strip searches, and that school qualifies for neither.

  6. Hellebore

    Thats insane. Whats she going to do with uber Ibuprofen? Get ulcers? Which she apparently got from anxiety afterwords… nutty world

    Never even heard of Safford AZ

  7. Unfortunately, I’ve been to Safford more than once. Didn’t seem like the usual freakshow of a small town where crap like this happens. Wait, DOES crap like this happen elsewhere? I hope not.

    Those involved wouldn’t be sleeping very soundly tonight if this had happened to my daughter.

    Just sayin’.

    • paulag1955

      It made my daughter laugh to think about me going to school to discuss this if it had happened to her. Of course, she wouldn’t have gone along with it.

  8. OMG! I can not believe this, I am dumbfounded … how could something like this happen in any school, and how could a single person defend the actins. I think this will be added into my pro/con list for home schooling!

  9. Do we need another reason to homeschool? After reading stuff like this, it seems pretty cut and dried.

  10. Good post here!

    The problem is that the school system has one of those “zero tolerance” policies. That means that the staff of the school have little to no discretion to make reasonable judgement calls. they can’t exempt an ibuprofen tablet because exceptions chip away at the strength of the policy and leave loopholes that lawyers can later exploit.

    So in order to create a policy strong enough to withstand most lawsuits, they create a situation where the school had to strip-search a teenager, whether the staff wanted to or not.

    See what happens when we leave the responsibility for our children and a good chunk of common sense to the government?

    • paulag1955

      I understand the rationale behind zero tolerance policies but one has to wonder why those policies would include strip searches for any infraction. Schools should not be in the strip search business.

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