school strip searches...who else thinks the world has gone mad? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 11:06 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Anybody else hear this story on NPR today?

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/s...ryId=103215199

The story is about the case before the supreme court today where a 13 year old girl was stripped search at school.

Having been a public school teacher, and hearing stories from my DH, who currently teaches in a public high school, I am not as shocked as one might think. But still! : :

Add this to the very long list of reasons my children will not be going to public school.

What is really sad, is when I talked to my Mom about this story this morning, she told me I had nothing to worry about because I'm an involved and aware parent so this could never happen to my kids. My kids will know how to handle themselves and I will be able to trust the school officials that are in charge of MY kids. But isn't this just the the scary thing about the story? Didn't this parent have that trust?

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#2 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 11:13 AM
 
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In its brief, the school says the fact that Redding was an honors student who had never been in trouble before is not evidence of good conduct, but only evidence that she had never been caught.
Ridiculous! Who do these people think they are? Prison guards?
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#3 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 11:15 AM
 
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So, because she was in a public school setting she loses her constitutional rights against illegal searches???

Yeah, my kids are never going there either.

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#4 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 11:26 AM
 
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Our city is arguing over the use of padded rooms for mentally handicapped children.

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#5 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 11:36 AM
 
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#6 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 11:36 AM
 
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So I guess not only do you have to make sure you opt out your kids so they don't get spanked/paddled in school, you also have to opt out of getting them strip searched.

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In its brief, the school says the fact that Redding was an honors student who had never been in trouble before is not evidence of good conduct, but only evidence that she had never been caught.
I guess none of us here are good people, we're just bad people that have never been caught.

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#7 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 11:57 AM
 
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It is a terrifying case. The interview I saw with the girl and her mother said that what pointed suspicion her way was another student pointing at her when that student was asked where she got the cigarette and pills (ibuprofen) in her hand. Did I write that in a way it can be followed? So, in other words, this student with no past history of misbehavior was strip searched because another student (the one with the contraband) pointed at her. First, they searched her backpack and found nothing. So you'd think that would make them think the other student was lying. But no, instead, they decided to strip search her to make sure she hadn't stashed it anywhere. Ridiculous.

I used to teach at a public high school. And I'd like to say this story completely surprises me, but it doesn't. Our district did a couple of police dog drug searches completely unannounced. They would take the dogs and let them run the parking lot, sniffing cars. Then, they would bring the dogs into the school, lock the doors, tell everyone to remain in the classrooms while the dogs ran and sniffed all the lockers. Then, they would bring the dogs into the classrooms and tell everyone to sit still and calm (yeah, right! these dogs are intimidating!) while the dogs sniffed up and down the aisles at backpacks and purses. If they caught a funny scent, those students were taken to the office. Who knows what all happened at that point. It is one of the reasons I left teaching. It turned my stomach to go through this treatment and to watch students go through it. Anyway...

Somehow in this country, we are letting fear of drugs take away a lot of freedom. I hope the SC rules against the use of such searches in a school.

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#8 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 12:07 PM
 
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I was outraged after hearing that story this am. That should NEVER have happened.

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#9 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 12:28 PM
 
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I heard something like this on Dr. Phil a few months back..not sure if it was the same girl or another one It is insane! Recently some money and other things were stolen at my dd's school. I asked her if anyone accused her of stealing them and she said no. I explained to her that sometimes schools tell kids to take off their clothes and search them for stolen things..and that she has the right to say NO, I WANT YOU TO CALL MY MOM! She is only in third grade but I am not taking any chances that it can't start in elementary school. I didn't want to scare her and I told her it was very unlikey to happen but I wanted her to understand that it's HER BODY and she NEVER has to agree to something like that. For this and many reasons, she may be doing cyberschool next year. This world is disgusting.
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#10 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 12:31 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Equuskia View Post
So I guess not only do you have to make sure you opt out your kids so they don't get spanked/paddled in school, you also have to opt out of getting them strip searched.


I guess none of us here are good people, we're just bad people that have never been caught.
Isn't that just the stupidest, most paranoid argument EVER?? If that's the best they've got, I think they'll get reamed in court. They should.
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#11 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 01:06 PM
 
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I hope there are riots in the streets if the Supreme Court sides with the school. I'd be extremely concerned if there were NONE. I can't imagine what kind of sick people think that this is justified. Certainly no one who should be within ten yards of a child. :

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#12 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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This is horrifying to me. So, so horrendous and scary.

Like others, this is just more fodder for my decision to homeschool.

The mental anguish something like this would have caused for me would have been unbearable. I feel for this poor, poor girl.

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#13 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 01:14 PM
 
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Omigosh, I would pull my kid out of that school so fast! I've been hearing about this and am just disturbed on so many levels... man, I hope their attendance has plummeted since all this has come out.

That poor girl. She must feel so violated and afraid.

The persons responsible need to be charged and held accountable. Sick nasty perverts.
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#14 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 01:15 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Dr.Worm View Post
I heard something like this on Dr. Phil a few months back..not sure if it was the same girl or another one It is insane! Recently some money and other things were stolen at my dd's school. I asked her if anyone accused her of stealing them and she said no. I explained to her that sometimes schools tell kids to take off their clothes and search them for stolen things..and that she has the right to say NO, I WANT YOU TO CALL MY MOM! She is only in third grade but I am not taking any chances that it can't start in elementary school. I didn't want to scare her and I told her it was very unlikey to happen but I wanted her to understand that it's HER BODY and she NEVER has to agree to something like that. For this and many reasons, she may be doing cyberschool next year. This world is disgusting.

I just want to say that I think its wonderful that you've taken a proactive approach to education your DD on this type of a situation.

I commend you.

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#15 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 01:25 PM
 
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I just want to say that I think its wonderful that you've taken a proactive approach to education your DD on this type of a situation.

I commend you.
Oh thank you so much for that. I was afraid maybe I shouldn't have told her that so I really appreciate you telling me that. :
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#16 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 01:32 PM
 
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From the article:

In its brief, the school says the fact that Redding was an honors student who had never been in trouble before is not evidence of good conduct, but only evidence that she had never been caught.

The school views itself as a protector of its students' health and safety, which includes protecting students from both illegal and over-the-counter drugs. From the school's viewpoint, any suspicion that a student possesses drugs may be justification for a strip search.

Essentially this school believes that you are guilty until proven innocent (and even then the girl wasn't allowed to go back to class,) and that the ends justify the means. Heck, even cops have to have something more to go on to do a search like this. And apparently the protection of "health" this school claims to protect doesn't extend to mental anguish.

This is truly horrible. I'd yank my kids out of this school faster than you can say "law suit."

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#17 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 01:55 PM
 
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This makes me sick. This kind of cr@p is why I will not ever put my kids in public schools. I was a public school teacher and this sort of attitude is pretty common.

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#18 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 02:18 PM
 
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re: the "guilty until proven innocent" comments. I have to say that, as much as this story turns my stomach, the school is right on that point. There have always been plenty of "good" kids who are up to all kinds of crap behind the backs of their parents and teachers and who count on their good reps to protect them from even being under suspicion. Being an honour student, or never having been in trouble before, doesn't mean you're always on good behaviour. DS1 is a great kid, with a really good rep at school - but that doesn't mean he's never going to be tempted to get hammered with his friends or smoke a joint (I hope he doesn't, as his family background makes me very paranoid about drug use).

That said...it's no excuse for doing this - none at all. Just the fact that anybody thinks that ibuprofen is strip-search worthy disturbs me to no end. The fact that they did this to a school kid, with no probable cause (a random accusation from another student certainly doesn't qualify - wonder if school authorities have ever heard of a grudge?) is outrageous...absolutely outrageous. It terrifies me that they still seem to believe this was an acceptable course of action.

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#19 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 03:03 PM
 
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re: the "guilty until proven innocent" comments. I have to say that, as much as this story turns my stomach, the school is right on that point. There have always been plenty of "good" kids who are up to all kinds of crap behind the backs of their parents and teachers and who count on their good reps to protect them from even being under suspicion. Being an honour student, or never having been in trouble before, doesn't mean you're always on good behaviour.
Of course, there's always a first time for offenders and yes, even good kids can make mistakes. But the school went on another child's accusation as probable cause, they assumed that the girl was guilty and they just needed to catch her. Even when no evidence was found, the girl was retained from going back to class. That just reeks of witch hunting.

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#20 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 03:07 PM
 
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I think if the offense is so bad that they are strip searching they really out to be calling the cops, not handling it at school. How violating.

I talked to my 13 year old today and I said, "If you are EVER in trouble at school they are to call me, and you are NEVER EVER to undress in front of anyone at school. They are NOT allowed to do that to you ever."

Now my kid is an honors student, as geeky and shy as can be, so I'm not feeling like drug dealing is in her future, but I wanted her to know that under no circumstances is the school allowed to circumvent me, or attempt to mentally/emotionally/physically assault my child's well being.

This is why I hate public school. We would homeschool, if my kids weren't so damn social.
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#21 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 03:07 PM
 
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Of course, there's always a first time for offenders and yes, even good kids can make mistakes.
That wasn't actually my point. A lot of "good" kids are kids who simply haven't been caught yet. I can't imagine anybody teaching or working in administration at a public school without realizing that. I can't imagine anybody going through public school as a student without realizing that.

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But the school went on another child's accusation as probable cause, they assumed that the girl was guilty and they just needed to catch her. Even when no evidence was found, the girl was retained from going back to class. That just reeks of witch hunting.
I don't see it as witch hunting, but I see it as incredibly short-sighted. There's no reason to believe the girl who made the accusation, because she could have had any of a wide variety of motives for it (first person she thought of to pass the blame, the guy she likes is interested in the girl who got searched, hates her for being on the honour roll, etc. etc. etc.). However, I don't think the girl's status as a honour student has anything to do with the issue at hand.

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#22 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 03:26 PM
 
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This story has been bothering me all day. I just don't even have the words to express how angry it makes me. And count me among the others who just got yet one more reason to homeschool. Let's hope the supreme court does the right thing this time.
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#23 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 03:58 PM
 
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Let's hope the supreme court does the right thing this time.
I think I'm more bothered by the idea that there's any doubt which way the court will rule than I am by the strip search itself. It's one thing that some school administrators may have way over-stepped their bounds...but it's much, much scarier to me that it may end up being legally sanctioned!

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#24 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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I explained to her that sometimes schools tell kids to take off their clothes and search them for stolen things..and that she has the right to say NO, I WANT YOU TO CALL MY MOM! She is only in third grade but I am not taking any chances that it can't start in elementary school. (
You definitely did the right thing.

Sadly you are also right to have that fear/concern even at an elementary lvl. My friends dd was in K last year. One day her dd comes home from school acting very strange and withdrawn, she finally told her mom what was bothering her. "A lady looked at my private parts today." Needless to say my friend was beyond upset. She called the school and they told her that her dd was itching a lot in class so they had taken her to the nurses office and had a licenced nurse from the health department come in and "examine her" for sexual abuse. But don't worry we didn't find anything." She went off on them then called the health department and talked with them they told her that they were completely within their rights because #1 It is the school's responsibility to investigate all suspicion of child abuse. and #2 Her dd had already been red flagged because she had a past cps investigation.
Her past cps investigation was that when her dd was younger she took her to the ER several times for extreme joint pain/swelling and the cps got involved. After several months of extreme emotional stress they got their dd in with a specialist and it turned out that her dd had/has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis that she is on medication for now. The case was dropped but apparently the public school still considered it enough for her dd to be red flagged for possible abuse?
Sadly that is as far is my friend took it. She considered homeschool for a little while, her dd was a nervous wreck and deeply disturbed/distrustful of adults for a long while after. She has talked at length with her that she NEVER has to do that again, but can a little one like that really say no and be listened to by those kind of people?
No child of any age should be subjected to that. My heart goes out to the girl in the story, it's so sad/anger inducing.

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#25 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 04:29 PM
 
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I couldn't even finish the article. That poor girl and what she must have been feeling as the people she trusted violated her in such a terrible way. I don't even know what to say.

I will be bringing this up at my own LO's school and seeing what their views are about it. I'll also ask DH what he thinks about it since he has the LE angle.

Absolutely horrific.

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#26 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 06:35 PM
 
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You definitely did the right thing.

Sadly you are also right to have that fear/concern even at an elementary lvl. My friends dd was in K last year. One day her dd comes home from school acting very strange and withdrawn, she finally told her mom what was bothering her. "A lady looked at my private parts today." Needless to say my friend was beyond upset. She called the school and they told her that her dd was itching a lot in class so they had taken her to the nurses office and had a licenced nurse from the health department come in and "examine her" for sexual abuse. But don't worry we didn't find anything." She went off on them then called the health department and talked with them they told her that they were completely within their rights because #1 It is the school's responsibility to investigate all suspicion of child abuse. and #2 Her dd had already been red flagged because she had a past cps investigation.
Her past cps investigation was that when her dd was younger she took her to the ER several times for extreme joint pain/swelling and the cps got involved. After several months of extreme emotional stress they got their dd in with a specialist and it turned out that her dd had/has juvenile rheumatoid arthritis that she is on medication for now. The case was dropped but apparently the public school still considered it enough for her dd to be red flagged for possible abuse?
Sadly that is as far is my friend took it. She considered homeschool for a little while, her dd was a nervous wreck and deeply disturbed/distrustful of adults for a long while after. She has talked at length with her that she NEVER has to do that again, but can a little one like that really say no and be listened to by those kind of people?
No child of any age should be subjected to that. My heart goes out to the girl in the story, it's so sad/anger inducing.
What infuriates me about stories like this is that nobody involved will ever acknowledge that her dd was sexually abused...by the school system. I cannot imagine having a strange nurse come to my school and look at my genitals when I was a kid. Holy crap - how traumatizing.

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#27 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 06:56 PM
 
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Stupid, stupid school.

I would have been severely traumatized by something like that. I imagine most young girls would have.

I hope the school gets what's coming to them. :

And all this is reason #768 that we homeschool. :
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#28 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 09:50 PM
 
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This type of thing used to be common place, not necessarily "strip searching" but forcing a child to go in front of a "board" in nothing but their underwear. I know because it happened to my mom in the 60's because she was deemed socially awkward because she hated these 2 girls who repeatedly harassed her. My G-ma let her be taken into a room in front of a panel of all men and they looked her over and said horrid things to her about her appearance and subjected her to a bunch of b.s. "tests".

I know it's a different type of thing, but both are a complete violation of a child's rights.

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#29 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 09:51 PM
 
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oh my . . .i feel like I am going to throw up.

I am severly traumatized just reading about it. the thought of people taking my clothes off and touching me. horrifying. I grew up with drug dogs and such and have no problem with that (it was a police matter and school officials had no interaction with the students. the first thing the police did was contact parents) but this is just a violation. I can't imagine anyone telling my children to take their clothes off. I don't even let them have medical screenings at school. strangers do not get to touch their bodies. period. grrr, guess I have to teach my children what to do if this happens to them. perhaps I should have them carry my attorneys number as well. . . .

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#30 of 80 Old 04-21-2009, 10:47 PM
 
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I remember reading about this when the girl first filed suit. It is just insane. I simply don't understand why the school administration didn't just keep the student in the office until a parent arrived to help sort the matter out.

I hope I manage to teach my children to really defend themselves against this kind of tyranny. I don't know what we can really expect a young girl to do, but wouldn't it be awesome if our daughters (and sons) would respectfully and forcefully say "I will absolutely not do what you are asking. What you are asking is wrong. It is invasive, predatory, illegal. I want my parents here before you ask me to do another thing." Then I'd want her to say she wanted the presence of another party--say a trusted teacher--until mom and dad arrived.

There were some funny moments in the NPR story today. Apparently one of the (male) justice said, "kids don't care about taking their clothes off. They do it in locker rooms all the time." Ruth Bader Ginsburg--the sole woman on the court--took her colleague to task quite firmly. Also, one of the other justices said he often stuck stuff in his underwear as a kid. WOW!

Happy mom to DS2000, DS2002, DD2004, DS2006 and DS 10/2009:
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