On the Strip Searching of Students and the ACLU
I must not be very imaginative.
I say that because I can’t think of a single thing that is so important that it’s worth strip searching a child in a public school, but so unimportant that it’s not worth calling that child’s parents first, and not worth calling the police first.
And the thing is that an appeals court pretty much agreed that if the Fourth Amendment right to be secure in our persons didn’t apply to the actual body of a child in a school, who the heck did it apply to? The majority opinion said, in part “It does not require a constitutional scholar to conclude that a nude search of a 13-year-old child is an invasion of constitutional rights of some magnitude.”
Nevertheless, the Supreme Court has agreed to take up the case. CNN points out, emphasis mine, that “They will decide whether a campus setting gives school administrators greater discretion to control students suspected of illegal activity than police are allowed in cases involving adults in public spaces.”
Do we want school administrators to have more authority over kids than cops have over citizens? If you think that your kids should be able to go to school without the risk of strip searching on the say-so of a thick-headed administrator, based on the confession of another student who was already in trouble and probably trying to save her own skin, then you should be a supporter of the ACLU.
Cross-posted at Shortwoman.