School Strip-Search Case Heads to Supreme Court
The U.S. Supreme Court next week will hear a case on the strip-search of a 13-year-old girl at a public school, wading into the legal balancing act between protecting students’ privacy rights and allowing school officials to take steps to ensure a safe campus environment.
The case, which has attracted national media attention—as well as friend-of-the-court briefs from national education groups, civil-liberties advocates, and the Obama administration—could have major implications for how schools proceed when they wish to search students.
At issue in Safford Unified School District v. Redding (Case No. 08-479) is the search of 8th grader Savana Redding by school personnel at an Arizona middle school. The 2003 action came amid suspicion that the honors student possessed prescription-strength ibuprofen tablets, a violation of the school’s anti-drug policy. No such pills were found on Ms. Redding, who stripped down to her undergarments, which she pulled away from her body so that two female personnel, including the school...
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