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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Strip Search for Ibuprofen found reasonable by US Supreme Court

Amendment 4, Constitution of the United States of America

Search and Seizure. Ratified 12/15/1791.

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

What part of this doesn't apply when a child is in school? According to the US Supreme Court which derives it's power from the same Constitution it ignores, its okay to search a child. According to the Justices of our Supreme Law of the Land:

"...there was no clearly established law finding unconstitutional the strip searching of students under materially similar circumstances from the Supreme Court..."

Really? What is the 4th amendment? A cute paragraph on a rotting piece of paper?

Wrong, supreme court, wrong!

The school does not have the power to search. It only has the power to send a child away from the school. The biggest thing that should have happened was the parents should have been called and Redding should have been sent home for the day.

For the love of all that is holy, we don't permit our schools to spank, why in the world would we grant them the power to individually search? Yes, I know - many schools have metal detectors and some even have bag searches. Ideologically I have issue with that as it does not prevent someone from getting a gun or a knife in the school. It might prevent someone from bringing one just to show their friends how cool they are, but someone with a purpose is not going to be deterred by all the coolest detectors, bells, and/or whistles in the world.

The Supreme Court has also asked the United States Court of Appeals to reconsider other cases similar to this and consider granting "qualified immunity" to the searches in other such cases. "Hey, guys - now that we think strip searches are okay because we do not care about the Constitution anymore, neither should you." If you read the link where I pulled the quote from you'll see that the sixth circuit court cited some case law and squarely told the Supreme Court that they stood by their decision against the people who strip searched a group of 20 students.

What Americans do not realize is that noone has the right to search you without probable cause. A person says they saw you waving a gun around - the police have the right to ask you if you were indeed waving a gun around. At this point they do not have probable cause to search you. If you are acting hostile and confrontational they will probably arrest you and at that point conduct a pat-down search, not because you were accused of having a weapon, but because you gave them probable cause to suspect you may be dangerous. If a police officer sees you waving the gun around he will definitely subdue and search you. Once you get to the jail you will be changing garments and your effects will be cataloged. If you remained level headed during the questioning the police officer would have to get a court order to search you.

Okay, the police officer, as a government representative must follow the Constitution, but does a school official fall under that? No. They are not government officials and the only right they have is to deny access to the school until things can be investigated. Their duty is to protect the other students, and in order to do that they should send a suspected student home - not order up a search.

Of course, that would lead to another news story about a student being sent home for having a subscription drug on them. Still ridiculous in my opinion. Schools are not law enforcement officials and they need to get the idea that they are out of their heads.