Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Should strip searches be allowed in our schools?

Six years ago, an eighth grade student, Savana Redding, was strip searched because another classmate accused her of providing her with 400 milligrams of ibuprofen. Savanna was an honor student with no prior record of being a trouble maker. The vice principle took it to another level after a search of her backpack found nothing. With the assistance of the school nurse, they had Savanna strip down to her undergarments and then told her to pull out her bra and her panties which revealed that she had no drugs on her body. The school never once informed her mother of the incident and when Savanna's mother confronted the school official she was simply told that it was a good thing that Ibuprofen was not discovered on her.

Ibuprofen? Really? Now I know that schools have gone over the top on insisting that certain over the counter medicines be held at the school infirmary. I myself have had to take in extra strength Tylenol in for my teenage son. It was kept in the infirmary and was only allowed to be administered by the school nurse. My friend, Kat, has had major complications with the high school keeping and administering a migraine medication for her teenage son. They wouldn't even allow the prescription to be kept at school because it was on a very high narcotic list. Yet her son would come home two –three times a week suffering from migraines. Does this make sense to any of you?

Now Savanna was pulled out of school by her mother shortly after the incident because other students made it difficult for her to be there. At only 13 years old she was humiliated and shamed by school officials being overly rambunctious about their protecting other students against drugs. Savanna is now 19 and is waiting on the ruling of the highest court in the land. The U.S. Supreme Court.

It has taken six years for the this case to be heard and this will definitely be the deciding point on how far schools can and should go in protecting the students welfare from harmful drugs and weapons. I sure hope that someone in that court has common sense and will halt such indecent actions and prohibit another incident like this.

Now, I am all for a school that has a zero tolerance of illegal substances and weapons. But this incident along with many other bullshit stunts that schools have partaken in is just too over the top for me. How many of us would be irate to know that our daughters were stripped searched at school without being informed? I know that Katie's dad and I would be irate and livid and pretty much would want to see blood for violating our daughter. There is no question in my mind that schools are getting way too big for their britches. A teacher can violate/humiliate a student, a student can be mentally and physically brow beaten by bullies and general debauchery can be overlooked but someone carrying a few ibuprofens in their pockets and/or purse will be taken in like a lamb to be slaughtered.


Christine said...

I saw on the news that Savana had asked to be allowed to call her mother before the strip search, but that was not allowed. Sheesh, even violent criminals are allowed one phone call when they are busted and taken to the jail.

And for IBUPROFEN? Sheesh, but I carry it with me all the time, guess I didn't get the memo that it's illegal.

I'm glad I don't have to deal with this school crap, I'd likely have killed somebody by now if I'd had to deal with what Kat has been going through. No wonder more and more parents are home-schooling their kids.

I truly hope that Savana's family wins this case. Then maybe that will be a wake-up call to these schools whose policies have gone beyond ridiculous.

Mindy said...

Christine: I hear ya! My daughter, Katie, is in elementary school and so far it has been a great experience for her. I just dread her high school years. As for Kat, I only hope that Sebastians final two years will be better ones because there is only so much bullshit that Kat is going to put up with.