The Supreme Court has granted certiorari in an appeal by the Safford Arizona Unified School District, on the question of whether school officials were justified, under the Fourth Amendment, in strip-searching thirteen year old Savana Redding. The goal of the search was to determine whether Ms. Redding had smuggled contraband ibuprofen into the school, in violation of a "zero tolerance" drug policy. An en banc panel of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals earlier held that a civil suit filed by Ms. Redding could proceed.
Many moons ago, in reviewing this case, I stated the following:
This being the Ninth Circuit, and this being America, it would not surprise me at all if the Supreme Court were to grant certiorari and reverse this holding. While the Circuits might divide on a case as revoltingly silly as this one, if there is a general rule in American jurisprudence on the rights of children suspected of drug possession in school, it is that they have none.
The question boils down to, may adults strip and humiliate a thirteen year old girl for possessing a legal product, so long as the adults are protected by their status as school employees? Is membership in the American Federation of Teachers the equivalent of a badge?
I stand by what I wrote earlier: If this had happened anywhere but school, they'd all be in jail.
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