Supreme Court Rules Strip Search of Female High School Student Illegal

Emily Douglas

File this under "Phew": the Supreme Court ruled today that the strip search of an Arizona high school student was unconstitutional.

File this under "Phew": the Supreme Court ruled today that the strip search of an Arizona high school student was unconstitutional.  The student was suspected of having prescription-strength ibuprofen on her person.

Writes the New York Times:

The officials in Safford, Ariz., would have been justified in 2003 had
they limited their search to the backpack and outer clothing of Savana
Redding, who was in the eighth grade at the time, the court ruled. But
in searching her undergarments, they want too far and violated her
Fourth Amendment privacy rights, the justices said.

Interestingly, the fact that school officials were looking just for ibuprofen was a factor in the justices’ decision. David Souter, author of the majority opinion, noted that had the school suspected Redding of carrying illegal or more dangerous drugs, the search may have been justified.

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