School Strip-Search Case Heads to Supreme Court

Law is murky on the limits of privacy in school
By Gabriel Winant,  Newser User
Posted Mar 24, 2009 10:58 AM CDT
The legal limits of student privacy are not clearly defined.   (©dsearls)
camera-icon View 1 more image

(Newser) – In 2003, staff at an Arizona middle school strip-searched Savana Redding, then 13, after getting a tip that she had prescription-strength ibuprofen. They didn't find any, and Redding sued. Next month, the Supreme Court will hear arguments on whether the school's policy violated Redding's constitutional rights, reports the New York Times. “It is a violation of any known principle of human dignity,” wrote a lower court judge, ruling against the school.

"When you send your child off to school every day, you expect them to be in math class or in the choir," said Redding’s lawyer. "You never imagine their being forced to strip naked and expose their genitalia and breasts." Redding notes that the school never checked her records to see that she was “a good kid.” The school district responds that her clean record implies “only that she was never caught.”