Supreme Court Upholds Fourth Amendment in Strip Search Case

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Today, the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in Safford Unified School District #1 et al v. Redding that school officials violated the 4th Amendment when they strip-searched a 13-year-old girl.  Savana Redding was subjected to a strip-search that included looking inside her underwear, after school officials received a tip that she might be in possession of prescription Ibuprofen. None was found.

By a strong majority, the Court declared the search unreasonable under the 4th Amendment, finding that a full strip search was unjustified based on the nature of the drugs and in question and the absence of specific evidence that contraband would be found in her underwear.

Unfortunately, despite upholding the 4th Amendment in this case, the Court left the door wide open for future violations of student rights. The justices agreed by a 7-2 vote that the school officials who carried out the illegal search should not be held liable because the caselaw was unclear at the time. Now that the central legal issues are settled, similar incidents could invoke liability in the future, but the ruling itself will fail to prohibit such searches in many instances. By placing heavy emphasis on the negligible threat posed by prescription Ibuprofen, the Court implies that a different outcome may have been reached depending on the type of contraband in question. It's possible, for example, that the search would have been upheld if it involved marijuana.

Thus, today's ruling fails to fully clarify the legality of drug searches in schools under many circumstances. It also fails to punish those responsible for degrading an innocent young woman based on flimsy and ultimately false evidence. Hopefully, however, it will at least serve as a reminder to educators that schools are not a 4th Amendment-free zone.
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Three lessons here:

A few years ago in Prescott, Arizona, a man fired at (and missed) police officers who were conducting one of their "dyanamic entries" at his home. He was arrested and charged with four counts of attempted homicide, charges which were ultimately dropped NO drugs were found in the house. The evidence in the case wasn't allowed in court because, according the judge, the police BROKE THE LAW when they entered his home without knocking. That same judge sentenced me to 6 months in jail based on evidence obtained the same way, by the same cops.

Lesson One: Finding illegal drugs is the end that justifies any means, even murder, even though the drugs are found only AFTER the violations have occurred.

Lesson Two: Generally, people searching for drugs are above the law. The courts ruled that the people who abused Savana Redding were wrong, but can't be held accountable for their actions. The judge in Prescott ruled that the cops who attacked the Howell family broke the law, but the cops were never prosecuted for, or even charged with, their crime.

Lesson Three: With surveillance cameras, security gaurds, lock-downs, random drug testing, warrantless searches and those in charge being allowed to commit what amounts to sexual abuse against their charges, the most important lesson our children are learning in school is how to be good prisoners.

NOT OK

That is awful, I totally disagree. They should be held responsible for there actions, a young female was personally violated and that should not be brushed off.

Compare Searches of Children At School V. Adults

In legal contrast, if an American walking down the street was suddenly stopped by police and strip searched to their underwear for drugs based only on the claim of a Citizen, you can bet the stripped person might sue. Such a search would likely fall under the 4th Amendment prohibition against unreasonable searches; and any evidence discovered would not be admissible. However, in the case of school children, considering this Supreme Court Decision, it would appear children can not stop evidence found on their person during an invasive search from being used against them.That does not appear Constitutional.

Government Schools

Let's not forget that the clowns running the government schools are, in fact, employees of the government. For that reason, they believe they are empowered to enforce any and all governmental regulations, and in so doing they are protected by shield laws as long as they act in "good faith." The resulting legal issues will never be resolved until government schools are eliminated and education is placed in responsible, private hands. To be sure: government schools teach statism--just what we don't need.

I have two relatives that feed at the government school trough. They never balk at quoting Thomas Jefferson on the necessity of universal education in a constitutional democracy. I always remind them that in Jefferson's time there were no government schools, and that he would have been appalled by the very concept, but the message never seems to sink in.

If she had just said I plead

If she had just said I plead the 4 th they can't search her

4th amendment

I hate to disappoint you but even if she invoked the 4th Amnedment they would still have searched her. All invoking the 4th does is let them know that you know the Constitution.

I firmly agree that there needs to be some room for School oficials to maintain safety and order. I vehemently disagree that it should be at the cost of our children's Constitutionally protected rights. Oh, but I forgot, kids don't have rights in this country. Rights are reserved for adults. Which is a big stinky pile of you know what! Our kids deserve the same rights and protections as adults are afforded. It is high time we stopped treating our youth as chattle.

It is so morally denegrating to the victim in this case to have been subjected to a sgtrip search. If they truly felt they had "reasonable cause" then they should have called her parents and asked their permission. NO ONE has the right to strip a child!!!!! That is baseless and should be considered a form of molestation.

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