Strip for the Principal

This month the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit is scheduled to rehear a case involving an Arizona eighth-grader who was strip-searched by school administrators enforcing a "zero tolerance" drug policy. The ACLU, which today filed a brief on the student's behalf, describes the search:

Savana Redding, an eighth grade honor roll student at Safford Middle School in Tucson, Arizona, was pulled from class on October 8, 2003 by the school's vice principal, Kerry Wilson.  Earlier that day, Wilson had discovered [drugs] in the possession of Redding's classmate....Under questioning and faced with punishment, the classmate claimed that Redding, who had no history of disciplinary problems or substance abuse, had given her the [drugs].

After escorting Redding to his office, Wilson presented Redding with the [drugs] and informed her of her classmate's accusations. Redding said she had never seen the [drugs] before and agreed to a search of her possessions, wanting to prove she had nothing to hide. Joined by a female school administrative assistant, Wilson searched Redding's backpack and found nothing. Instructed by Wilson, the administrative assistant then took Redding to the school nurse's office in order to perform a strip search. 

In the school nurse's office, Redding was ordered to strip to her underwear. She was then commanded to pull her bra out and to the side, exposing her breasts, and to pull her underwear out at the crotch, exposing her pelvic area. The strip search failed to uncover any [drugs].

"I was embarrassed and scared, but felt I would be in more trouble if I did not do what they asked," said Redding in a sworn affidavit following the incident.  "The strip search was the most humiliating experience I have ever had."

The punch line: The drugs in question were ibuoprofen pills—prescription-strength, 400-milligram pills (equivalent to a couple over-the-counter Advil caplets), but nothing anyone would or could use to get high. Then again, it's much easier to overdose on ibuprofen than on marijuana, so maybe the administrators have their priorities right.

A three-judge 9th Circuit panel did not go quite that far, but last year it did say Redding's Fourth Amendment rights were not violated by the search. The judges ruled that the vice principal had "reasonable grounds" to believe the search would discover evidence that Redding had violated the school's ban on possession of prescription drugs. They also concluded that the search was not excessively intrusive. On March 24 the full court will hear arguments urging it to reconsider.

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  • ||

    holy fucking shit. It is amazing how clouded people's judgment becomes when the slightest hint of drugs is involved. Including judges. School officials FORCE an eighth grade female to expose her breasts and genitalia without consulting her parents and without probable cause, in order to find ibuprofen. But will these people be forced to register as sex offenders? no, because they were looking for drugs.
    wtf?

  • ||

    How about a zero tolerance school administration policy? Let's let the parents have a chance before those bastards at the school.

  • ||

    WTF?!!! I cannot find the words to describe my outrage.

  • ||

    Ibuprofen? Ibu-fucking-profen?!? This takes drug war ridiculousness to a whole new level, which I didn't believe was even possible any more.

    (I also have never understood why the 400mg tablets are prescription only - it's the same damn stuff as the 200mg tablets, and I used to take 200mg Motrin three at a time when cycling on a bum knee.)

  • ||

    Wiiiitch! I saw her turn into a cat. Wiiiitch!

  • McCain||

    It may take a hundred years, but if we kill enough foreigners then we will bring other lands the same freedom to terrorize little girls as we have in our noble country.

  • Jennifer||

    Being forced to flash administrators is "not excessively intrusive?" Bullshit.

  • Taktix®||

    I wonder if my local high school has any openings in the student health department.

    /creepy

  • ||

    In what possible world is this not "overly intrusive"?

    I weep for this country. I also question whether I should continue trying to conceive with my wife, if this is the kind of world we'd be bringing our child up in.

  • thoreau||

    We should put that Dateline NBC guy to good use and have him go after that school principal.

  • Jim N||

    In the school nurse's office, Redding was ordered to strip to her underwear. She was then commanded to pull her bra out and to the side, exposing her breasts, and to pull her underwear out at the crotch, exposing her pelvic area.

    ...

    They also concluded that the search was not excessively intrusive.

    I've read those two sentences, one after the other, several times trying to reconcile them, and I just can't seem to do it.

  • Brandybuck||

    When I was in sixth grade, I got caught with drugs in school. It was prescription drugs just like in this story. I got holy shit for it, and rightly so. But at no time did the school administration act like the police. Instead they called in the real police. No strip search, no tasering, no waterboarding, no rubber hose to the calves. Not even handcuffs.

    My how times have changed.

  • ND||

    What the hell would qualify "overly intrusive" in a world where a strip search of a teenage girl with no probable cause?

    The school faculty are not even law enforcement personnel. What possible authority do they have to conduct a strip search of *anyone*, even had they more than the flimsiest of "evidence?"

    Outrageous.

  • lunchstealer||

    When questioned on what would constitute "excessively intrusive" the government council said that, "Well, vivisection might be excessively intrusive, depending upon the circumstances."

    /snark

  • TB||

    If I were the parent, I wouldn't have sued. I would have retired the personnel involved, permanently.

    This has gone too far. Tea in the Bay, bodies in the bag.

  • ||

    I agree with TB.

    If my daughter came home with a story like that, you'd see footage of me on the evening news.

  • ||

    Yeah, yeah, yeah, you ivory tower people don't know what kids are like these days. You wouldn't believe how many kids are on "Ibu" (the street name for ibuprofen) -- and if they think they're going to get caught, they stuff it in their underwear.

    This girl probably was more thorough hiding it -- they should've done a body cavity search just to be safe.

  • ||

    I googled that school and found:

    http://www.mysouthernaz.com/march06Archive.htm

    FORMER SAFFORD MIDDLE SCHOOL PRINCIPAL ACCUSED OF FILMING TEENAGE GIRL IN WASHINGTON
    A former Safford Middle School Principal has been accused of taking at least 100-videos of a nude and partially clothed 15-year-old girl at his home in Port Townsend, Washington, Tuesday.

    Rex E. Whipple, who is now principal of Chimacum High School in Port Townsend, Washington, was formerly charged with "voyeurism", Tuesday, in Jefferson County, Washington, Superior Court. Whipple appeared in front of Superior Court Judge Craddock Verser in the County Jail in Port Hadlock, Washington.

    That seems like an odd coincidence. I wonder if he "strip searched" an little girls when he was at stafford.

  • thoreau||

    Yet another angle to note on this story:

    Under questioning and faced with punishment, the classmate claimed that Redding, who had no history of disciplinary problems or substance abuse, had given her the [drugs].



    Notice how the "Give me a name or else!" strategy, even when followed up by extreme violations of privacy, failed to garner a useful lead.

    If 8th graders pressed for information can give false information that sends zealous authorities on wild goose chases, I wonder if anybody else might give useless information to the authorities when faced with "Give me a name or else!"

  • ||

    I agree with TB and joe. This is an instance where one has to take the law into their own hands. What good is a lawsuit going to do?

  • Bingo||

    Simply inexcusable. The fact that the war on drugs is being used to justify such behavior is so far beyond the norms of privacy and respect it absolutely sickens me.

    It's like fucking limbo, lets see how low we can set the bar for decency.

  • tarran||

    joe, TB, John David

    Rather than resorting to violence, you rent a billboard in a high traffic area. Plaster a picture of the principal, his title with the statement, "I forced a 13 year old student show me her breasts and I didn't get fired! Ask me how:" followed by the school board's public affairs phone number.

    When the media contacts you, make no comment other than to point out that if the school board thinks your billboard is libelous, they are welcome to sue you.

    I guarantee you he'd be fired within 48 hours.

  • ||

    Once again, it is imperative to teach every child in this country the following phrase: "Fuck you, get a warrant".

    Had I been this child's father, the principal would have been slapped silly, and I'd take my chances with a jury. I think I could make a strong case for justification.

    -jcr

  • ||

    I like how they're trying to find out who gave her the drugs. Um, it's ibuprofen. Her mom gave her the drugs.

  • ||

    tarran,

    As this case attests, the courts are usually on the side of school administrators; the school district can get an injunction to have the billboard taken down, and trust me, they have much deeper pockets than most private citizens do if there's going to be a lawsuit.

  • ||

    Not a lawyer here, but I don't think parental consent is at issue here. The school is acting in loco parentis, right?

  • ||

    tarran,

    I didn't claim my reaction would be rational, or well-thought-out.

  • ||

    Who were the judges on that panel, BTW? This is not the kind of thing I would expect to happen in the ninth circuit.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Found it. The judges on the panel were Hawkins, Thomas, and Clifton. I would have been tremendously disappointed if Kozinski had concurred in that decision.

    -jcr

  • John Cosmotarian jackson||

    I take 800mg, and they aren't prescribed to me.

  • ||

    So, if a person were to force a teenager at gunpoint to "pull her bra out and to the side, exposing her breasts, and to pull her underwear out at the crotch, exposing her pelvic area." would that be considered a crime of some sort? It's not excessively intrusive, or so I've been told.

    But it's OK when you're forced to do it by a nurse and some "administrative assistant" flunky?

  • ||

    tarran,

    Well, sure, that would be great. I'm still saying I would kick the ass of that principal for putting my kid through that. Afterward, from jail I would coordinate the billboard thingie.

  • ||

    In the interest of free speech, there is a Kerry Wilson living just outside of Safford, AZ, with the phone number of (928) 428-6444. Certainly one wouldn't want to harass him, but I only share this for informational purposes.

  • ||

    This is not the kind of thing I would expect to happen in the ninth circuit.

    This is precisely the sort of lame-brained thing I'd expect from the Ninth Circuit. They're clueless about virtually everything.

  • ||

    John-David,

    I know that if I were on a jury and the accused said "I beat the shit out that pair of raving bureaucrats because they strip-searched a child", I'd sure as hell vote to acquit him. Hell, I'd demand that my fellow jurors thank him for his service to the community.

    -jcr

  • ||

    If those idiots on the 9th Circuit panel are going to rule that utterly (and patently to any marginally sentient human)outrageous behavior like that is validated by a "reasonable suspicion" then I think we're too the point where parents need to instruct their children to demand that an attorney and/or a parent be present before ever answering a school administrators questions or consenting to a search. Last year there was the case here in Oregon, you might recall, where several boys were originally charged with felony sex abuse for a junior-high butt-slapping incident after agreeing to answer questions without a parent or attorney. Luckily that was eventually dropped (thanks in no small part to the publicity that Balko helped create) but the risk to your kids is evident.

    As to the 9th Circuit panal, without looking I just have to believe it was the three most senile (or perverted) members of the court and the en banc hearing will reverse those loons... if there is any sanity left in this world.

  • ||

    Ok, just read the decision, including Judge Thomas' dissent. Thomas got it right, and Clifton is a flaming asshole who should be removed from the bench and disbarred for his blatant contempt of the fourth amendment. Hawkins voted with Clifton, so fuck him, too.

    -jcr

  • ||

    Well, surprise, suprise. Clifton is a GWB appointee. I guess disregarding the fourth amendment was the litmus test to get the nomination.

    -jcr

  • M||

    The student's own words.

  • Elemenope||

    The school is acting in loco parentis, right?

    Yeah, but in loco rights are not as expansive as actual parental rights...and even a parent can get charged with sexual abuse of their child.

    ...

    I'm sure with a chemistry doctorate, a tray full of organic reagents, and a BIC lighter, I'm sure it's *possible* to make something fun out of Ibuprofen. Ah well, best cancel all the high school chemistry classes, before they learn how to make drugs.

  • ||

    Notice how the "Give me a name or else!" strategy, even when followed up by extreme violations of privacy, failed to garner a useful lead.

    thoreau raises a good point. This kind of thing has been going on since at least the days of witch hunts (probably much longer than that) and I would bet the psychology behind it, on both sides, is pretty much the same. On the one side you have authorities driven to a near hysteria by fear of a pervasive lurking evil hiding among the ordinary citizens around them and a fervent belief that if they don't root it out, by any means, the very fabric of society will be destroyed. On the other side you have the "suspect" realizing what grave danger he is in and willing to appease his captors and save himself by giving them whatever they want which, of course, is often another name.

    So besides the absurdity of the court ruling the search wasn't "excessively intrusive" (and if it wasn't, what exactly would be?) it was equally as wrong in saying the administration had "reasonable suspicion" since they had only the word of one person given under considerable duress and with, as noted, very little reason to assume its credibility.

  • ||

    From M's link above:

    Some people have asked me, "Why did you let them do that to you?" [...] I didn't know I could refuse; I thought they were allowed to do it. I was only 13, and I had never been in trouble for anything before. I thought that if I refused, they would think I did have drugs and I would be in worse trouble.



    This goes to my point above about the need for parents to teach their kids that they can and, apparently in the current environment, should refuse to cooperate until a parent or attorney is present.

  • ||

    Speaking of witch hunting, perhaps it would be a good thing to put the fear of being branded a child molester in the minds of overzealous school employees.

    -jcr

  • ||

    More of the same.
    http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?storyID=668448&category=REGIONOTHER&BCCode=HOME&newsdate=3/3/2008

  • ||

    And more.
    http://timesunion.com/AspStories/story.asp?category=REGIONOTHER&storyID=668451&BCCode=HOME&newsdate=3/2/2008

  • ||

    I have advised my child that the IN RE GAULT, 387 U.S. 1 (1967) decision permits her to tell the staff to go fuck themselves. "Get my lawyer or my dad."

  • Jennifer||

    Since we have a sex offender registry anyway, but the officials involved on it. Forcing a 13-year-old to expose herself to you damn sure sounds like a sexual offense to me.

  • Jennifer||

    PUT the officials on it. Damn it.

  • Elemenope||

    How about: PUT the officials' BUTS on it.

  • ||

    the proper people to not harass are the judges for they are the ones who realy make this happen over and over again and think it is agreat idea....I bet evven the principle will tell you in hindsight in wasn't the best....what are the judges contact info....just for informational non-harassment purposes?

    Does even Joe agree that maybe letting these judges and their friends implement new mandantory $1000 ignition lock breathalyzer programs might be a bad idea? Or are the people in charge of that program magically angelic and only the judges are bad?

  • ||

    Why did school officials feel like a strip search was necessary?

    Because if they don't strip her teh terrorists, commies, druggies will win.

    And because they can and they will lawyer up and get away with it.

    Many sheeple have been taught to pee into a cup for our jobs, so why not strip down?

    After all, it's so people won't get high.

  • ||

    /sarcasm

    Pedophilic behavior in the name of fighting drugs is now permissible in the 9th circuit. Woohoo!

    /sarcasm

  • ||

    Once again I'm happy I've been liberated from the Publik Skools.

  • ||

    I see that in addition to the Federal Registry of people who can never be hired as Police Officers due to violating individual rights we also need a Federal Registry of people who can never be hired as Educators. In this case it would be due to the fact that they are simply too moronic to be trusted around children.

    Oh wait, we could give special clearance to have them hired to clean toilets in schools, perhaps.

    God Almighty, I swear, the more I see this imbecilic behavior from teachers, the more I wonder what it takes to be accepted into Education School these days.

  • ||

    If my kid 'pointed the finger' at this girl I'd have a little talk him that he wouldn't forget.

  • Taktix®||

    M | March 3, 2008, 8:21pm | #
    The student's own words.


    From the Link:

    The Vice Principal is a School Nazi with absolutely no compassion for his students.

    This thread got Godwin'ed on the first comment.

  • x,y||

    And I thought Balko was the only one who could ruin my day. Thanks for bringing this miscarriage of justice to the attention of a wider audience Jacob.

  • Ex Freak||

    My how times have changed.

    Indeed...I remember walking to class taking bong hits...and it wasn't a small bong by any description...We used to openly smoke pot on school grounds...without fear of harassment. Once while it was raining, we brought things inside. 40 or more students smoking pot in the commons area. Result. We were told to put that shit away and get to class.

    FWIW...
    I've spent a good deal of time working in public education. This kind of abuse is not common. It is an outrage. And all involved should lose their job. The school nurse, in particular, should not be allowed to keep her job. She is there to advocate for the students. She was the last best chance for reason to reign in the situation...and she failed.

  • .||

    Wow

    I don't think I've read something this insulting to my brain since I read the latest Mississippi update a few hours ago. Unfortunately, I've been desensitized to that. On the positive side, I am still outraged by this (for how much longer I don't know).

    BURN THE MOTHER FUCKER

  • ktc2||

    Is it time to start shooting the bastards yet?

  • ||

    If nothing else, I'm sure that Chief Judge Alex Kozinski will have something sensible to say about this in his decision or dissent.

  • Nobody Important||

    Isaac Bartram | March 3, 2008, 9:48pm
    I see that in addition to the Federal Registry of people who can never be hired as Police Officers due to violating individual rights



    I thought violating individual rights was a requirement for the job.

  • ||

    Wow, Just WOW!!!!!

    Why do they really care enough about 1 or 2 ibuprofen pills? I didn't know it was even possible to ever get any kind of high from that. The best I thought you could hope for if you took really high doses was liver damage. I thought the best you could get being on iby was heart problems after super long term overuse. I guess I was wrong. Kids today are far more intelligent than adults... I would never have figured out that the best drug for getting Fucked up were waiting at the local rite aid for like 2$ for a huge bottle over the counter.... Kids today....

    Honestly though is ibuprofen at school really that big of a deal? At my high school you can get in serious trouble just for giving non prescription ibuprofen or Tylenol to a friend. What is the world coming too? shouldn't schools be worried about more serious issues, like actually educating our students instead of turning them into "sheeple" and mindless zombies?

  • Reverend J. Shaffer||

    If that was my daughter the persons involved would be found in shallow graves and I would be on America's Most Wanted. . .

    This is freakin ridiculous. . . these people still being allowed to walk the streets is a crime. . . not only because of what they did but because they no doubt feel justified in violating this young girl. . . the sheer malice involved should land the persons involved in prison for hate crimes (they hate everyone that ain't them).

  • ||

    Stunned, just stunned, and appalled here!

  • ||

    If it was me, I would first demand the presence of a guardian and/or legal representative as witness during the strip search, so that they couldn't plant anything on me.

    Second, I would demand that my accuser sign a judicially notarized statement affirming her accusation, so that in the event we find out that she received the drugs from an entirely different source, she would be going to prison for several months on the basis of her false accusation.

    They have zero tolerance for drugs. I have zero tolerance for criminal stupidity.

  • Popular Wealth||

    The principal and administrator need to be fired and charged IMMEDIATELY. They have NO legal training and NO legal authority over students besides calling the police like every other regular citizen does.

    Is a school nurse trained and authorized to strip search a female student, a minor? NO.

    Fire them both, it's most definitely NOT presumed guilty until found innocent, ESPECIALLY by someone without (criminal) legal authority to begin with and without having a PARENT present.

  • ||

    So how many of you are going to reconsider anarchism due to this?

    B

  • ||

    Not so long ago my grandfather was involved in a duel because of rude words uttered to a lady. Laying a hand on a woman against her will would have then justified extreme prejudice against the man involved and quite a few of his relatives.
    Maybe those time where uncivilized, but BY GOD, the shit we put up with now!

  • ||

    Just more salt on the wound all Americans carry.

    I believe if that young lady was my daughter, I would patiently sit inside a Van, and follow that bastard home after school on a Friday, and go in when he gets home, abduct him and his family, and force his whole family to do a Strip Tease on video, while a hooker did a lap dance on his Nude lap, also on video.

    Then when all the fun was over, do a cavity search of the principle with a 100,000 volt cattle prod.

    Someone needs to do a hit on these people who cross the line.

  • Pablo Escobar||

    I think the billboard idea is worth doing. Or at least send a letter bringing this to Ron Paul's attention and get him to talk about it during one of his anti-Drug war speeches.

  • ||

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  • alisa||

    This is an outrage. Tell people about this -- people who would ordinarily be sympathetic to the "zero tolerance" outlook. Ridicule and shame works.

  • Fluffy||

    Once again, I think I should point out that this is at least partially a symptom of the fact that public school educators see themselves as government representatives, with some level of power to compel obedience, and not as customer service personnel, which is all they really are and should ever be.

    I don't think the maitre'd at a restaurant or [to make it a little more child-centric] the guy who takes the tickets to let you on the roller coaster at a theme park is going to take it upon himself to order anybody's kid to strip. If they were to do so, they would not delude themselves that the law was on their side "because they had a good reason".

    In addition to all the other good reasons to smash the government schools, disabusing public school employees of their vanity about the power of their positions is pretty high up there.

  • ||

    Yes, if this were to happen to any hypothetical daughter of mine, I think I would end up with some kind of felony when all was said and done. What a bunch of sick fuckers.

  • ||

    Jose,

    They say that men were more mannered a hundred years ago, when gentlemen all carried pistols and canes. If those times were uncivilized, just what the fuck are our times, when we allow little girls to be stripped by perverts looking for harmless pills?

  • ktc2||

    When a government routinely fails to protect it's citizens, and in fact is resonsible for thier abuses what next? When?

  • ||

    one late but overlooked point: it was for a prescription drug - prescription-strength, 400-milligram pills. So in this school diabetic children, ohildren being treated for some other condition, arn't allowed to take prescription medication? does a kid with asthma have to have his inhaler confiscated and die to get some common sense?

  • ||

    daniel k,

    The way it's done is that all medicines are held and administered by the school nurse. So after lunch, here's three dozen diabetic kids lining up to get shots, trying to work out dosage. And when you have an asthma attack, you can just go the school nurse (walk, don't run, and get a hall pass) and hope that she's not strip searching a fellow student, or taking a dump, or smoking out by the dumpsters, etc.

    As well as the danger of this policy, it also allows no one any medical privacy at all.

  • Episiarch||

    Uh, this happened over 4 years ago and took a while to get reheard. It doesn't seem like the fuckers who did this were punished in any way, and the girl hasn't seen any money or anything.

    You may now recalibrate your outrage meters.

  • Episiarch||

    I'd also like to add that I am so fucking glad I never had to deal with anything like this. Not only did I go to school slightly before the real stupidity started or as it was in a fledgling state, but I also went to a school run by the University of Connecticut which basically treated the high schoolers like college students. Open campus and everything.

    People (teachers!) getting stoned in their cars was common; smoking was allowed (later moved outside); and the teachers were all smartass jokers who had zero interest in micromanaging us--they were too busy playing politics and footsies with each other.

  • ||

    You may now recalibrate your outrage meters.

    NEVER!

  • Russ 2000||

    The Constitution doesn't apply to schools. They're sacred or something.

  • ||

    Episiarch @ 9:01am:

    I was thinking the same thing while scrolling through the posts. A visit to the school's website shows that, at least, none of these fools work there anymore. 'Course, they may have all gotten promoted out of their former positions as reward for their diligent fight against the WoD.

  • ||

    Oops. Should have referenced, "Episiarch @ 8:55am"

  • Ed||

    It seems that school officials are now "police" officers. This really sucks!

  • ||

    I'll put in the first $40 bucks for the billboard, who's with me? We also need someone to help design it and another person to scout the proper location.

  • LarryA||

    Once again, it is imperative to teach every child in this country the following phrase: "Fuck you, get a warrant".

    And how to kick someone in the knee.

    Not a lawyer here, but I don't think parental consent is at issue here.

    Not once the kid consents to the search.

    Which leads to the interesting proposition that an eighth grader is competent to agree to be strip searched, but not mature enough to possess ibuprofen.

    This is not the kind of thing I would expect to happen in the ninth circuit.

    Really? They do tend to be pro-authority. I'd say something about their Second Amendment rulings, but that's just one of those slippery slope arguments.

  • Jennifer||

    I will GALDLY donate to a billboard campaign. Do any posters here live in the general area?

  • Creepy guy in trenchcoat||

    I don't know what you all are getting so outraged over. This story warmed my heart.

    Where do I apply to be a principal? Or better yet, a school nurse?

  • ||

    John-David - yesterday at 7:51. Careful with the phone number. Safford AZ is a long way from Safford Jr. Hi. in Tucson. I know, I used to live in SoAz. Agree with the outrage and sentiment, though. I will be teaching my daughter the appropriate response to a strip search request.

  • Ed||

    I'll put in another $40 for the billboard.

  • ||

    I would match that $40.

    Whatever happen to common sense and respect?

  • ||

    If there's to be a billboard, I'll happily pitch in $40 as well.

  • ||

    Unfortunately for the idea of having criminal charges filed, for some strange reason DAs don't seem particularly eager to file charges against abusive government authorities. I wonder why. No, I don't wonder why.

    Instead of filing a civil suit for civil rights, she should have filed a civil suit for sexual abuse.

    Personally, if I were the parent, I'd not simply pay for a lawyer, I'd burn the principlal alive at the stake.

  • ||

    edcoast,

    There's a Safford Middle School in Tuscon, and another in the town of Safford (about 85 miles away). However, the school in question appears to be the one in Safford, not the one in Tuscon (despite the ACLU's brief claiming it's in Tuscon).

    The website for the middle school in Safford names Kelly Wilson as the vice principal. So John-David's phone number may well be valid (though I should state that I do not know how many Kelly Wilsons are among the 8932 residents of Safford).

    I hope the billboard committee also notes that this stuff was apparently instigated by the vice principal (Kerry Wilson), not the principal (Clay Emery). The vice is the one who should have his face on the billboard.

  • ||

    I'll pitch in $40 for a billboard as well.

  • ||

    File a criminal complaint for sexual misconduct against a minor against the nurse, the principal, and any other involved school administrators. Bet if they get brought up on pedophile charges and labeled as sex offenders for the rest of their lives they won't pull stunts like this anymore. Nor would any other school with half a brain.

  • Alice Bowie||

    Ayn R. Key i Agree,

    She should have filed sexual abuse charges.

    I can't imagine that an Aspirin Search merits any school officials (male or female) to search my daughters cratch.

    It's getting completely out of hand.

    I'm afraid that one day the Alito/Thomas/Scalia court will justify using rubber gloves and searching the vagina and the anus of children and teenages to make sure that school drug policies are adhered to...That's why I'm voting AGAINST McCain.

  • ||

    Also willing to chip in some money towards a billboard....

  • Neu Mejican||

    This is the local paper for Safford.

    http://www.eacourier.com/

    Maybe a full page ad?
    Letter to the editor?

  • Neu Mejican||

    Jake Boone appears to be correct.

    All three staff involved are still in their positions in Safford (unless the website needs updating).

    If you want to put pressure on those staff, the parent groups in town will be the best avenue...

    Also, school boards don't like to be embarrassed with this kind of stuff.

  • Jennifer||

    Billboards that stay up for a month are much better than an ad appearing once in a daily paper which may or may not be read by people in town.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    That principal would be dead.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    I'm on board for the billboard. I skimmed the comments but I've got meetings in the big city right now so I can't figure out if it's real or not. If the billboard is real I'm contributing. I'll go a minimum of $500.00. Someone please let me know. Thanks.

  • Father McDiddle||

    I was just checking for drugs. Yeah, yeah, that's it.

  • Miggs||

    The main goal of the Safford Middle School office staff is to help answer any questions that students, staff, parents and visitors may have. Our staff can give you information on scheduled activities, teachers' schedules, set up appointments and serve as your link to anything you might need from the school or its staff.

    If you would like to make an appointment with Mr. Wilson, please call the assistant principal's secretary, Olga Carbajal at 928-348-7040 ext. 3251.

  • ||

    Something about this incident that still baffles me is how so many people went along with it without first saying "wait! this isn't right!"

  • ||

    Who is leading the billboard committee?

  • ||

    Four years later or not, they should be arrested on sexual abuse of a minor in their care, and jailed. And put on a sex offender registry for life.

    Even as a single mom, had that happened to one of my daughters, you couldn't have stopped me from catching the bastard coming out of work, dousing him with gasoline and throwing a lighter.

  • ||

    Something about this incident that still baffles me is how so many people went along with it without first saying "wait! this isn't right!"

    It's almost as if the people educating our kids are in a competition to out stupid each other at the mere mention of illegal any drugs.

  • ||

    If there is indeed a billboard fund, I will happily contribute.

  • The Democratic Republican||

    Just in case there's still confusion, the 9th Circuit panel decision says the school is the one in Safford, not Tucson.

    And I agree with Jose -- it is time to re-instate the blood vendetta in our society. How civilized can bureaucratic "democracy" be when 4 years goes by, a girl is humiliated and scarred, and these fuckers still have jobs anywhere in education?

  • Episiarch||

    I would also guess that the morons who run the school (and the school nurse!) don't even realize that ibuprofen is Advil.

    That is the only way I can see somebody causing this much fuss over...Advil. It's not even like it was a stronger NSAID or even Tylenol 3.

    Or I am wrong and underestimate the savage petty tyrrany present in these people.

  • ||

    # Reinmoose | March 4, 2008, 12:28pm | #

    # Something about this incident that
    # still baffles me is how so many
    # people went along with it without first
    # saying "wait! this isn't right!"

    A thousand pardons, Reinmoose, but are you expressing an original observation, or merely copying from testimony at the Nuremberg trials, or "The Diary of Anne Frank"?

    Honestly, with so many historical examples of how tyranny and fascism happen, how is it that things like this can "sneak up on us" or "slip past"?

    "Never again" means knowing the signs and not being afraid to stamp out fascism despite the assurances by those in authority that there is "no cause for concern." That includes old guys in black robes who say that clearly outrageous things are "not excessively intrusive."

    If you have yet to vote in a primary, or once November rolls around, what are YOU going to do about this? How can you cast a vote that not only sends a message but could also make a difference? Remember this story when you are next in the voting booth, and do whatever you can. We can petition our rulers for redress of grievances. But the best "petition" I have seen so far is simply to change the rulers.

  • First Little Pig||

    As a relation of the Hatfield clan you can probably imagine what would have taken place had one of my own been subject to that abuse.

    I'm in for at least $40 (and possible significantly more) for the billboard.

  • Jennifer||

    I would also guess that the morons who run the school (and the school nurse!) don't even realize that ibuprofen is Advil. That is the only way I can see somebody causing this much fuss over...Advil. It's not even like it was a stronger NSAID or even Tylenol 3. Or I am wrong and underestimate the savage petty tyrrany present in these people.

    Alas, you're probably wrong. I don't know about Arizona, but here in the Nutmeg State the law mandates that where schoolkids are concerned, all drugs are equal. Advil? Aspirin? Heroin? Same thing. Although the bighearted legislature is considering a bill that would *allow* asthmatic students to keep their inhalers with them. Isn't that sweet?

    The rationale, I think, is something about how a really desperate teenage drug addict might manufacture heroin in pill form that simply *looks* like aspirin. Considering how much dumbassery infects the schools these days, I'm just waiting for some high school somewhere to announce that teenage girls are not allowed to have pressed-powder or loose-powder compacts in their makeup bags, because how do you know it isn't really cocaine, huh? How do you know?

  • ||

    I'm making inquiries regarding pricing on available billboards in or around Safford. Watch this space.

  • Episiarch||

    Jennifer, understood, but I still would have to go with savage petty tyranny.

    We're talking about strip-searching a girl who got fingered (ha ha) by another girl who had a larger Advil pill on her.

    Think of all the hurdles you have to cross to get there:

    1. The girl's name was obtained from the actual possesor in an unreliable manner.
    2. It's FUCKING ADVIL.
    3. IT'S FUCKING ADVIL.
    4. The fingered (ha ha) girl is a good student and a responsible person.
    5. Several people were OK with this.
    6. YOU DON'T STRIP SEARCH 13-YEAR OLD GIRLS.

  • Jennifer||

    Think of all the hurdles you have to cross to get there

    No, there's only one hurdle: "It's a drug! A druuuuuuug! Drugsarebaddrugsarebad OHMYGOD THINK OF THE CHILDREN!"

    YOU DON'T STRIP SEARCH 13-YEAR OLD GIRLS.

    But it's a DRUUUUUUUUUG!

  • ||

    James Anderson Merritt -
    First of all, it never gets old wondering how people can go along with such things. Here you had 3 different adults, any of whom could have said at any moment "no, this is wrong." I'm not talking about broad sweeping natioinal brainwashing (although you could argue this is). But I'm talking about 3 adults, all of whom probably have children, who don't have the moral awareness to define their own set of principles.

    And J.A.M, you're on a libertarian blog. You don't have to make emotional points about problems with authoritarianism. We get it.
    What I do in the voting booth (at this point) would have very little impact on the scenerio that played out.

    Needless to say, as far as getting things to change from the government perspective, starting with the government is just not going to work. Public information campaigns, however, could.

  • Jennifer||

    Thing is, the type of teacher or administrator who would've said "No, we can't do this" would've long since been fired anyway. I'm thinking back to my three-year teaching stint, and all the stupid shit I saw. I once had a good student take an aspirin; I saw it out of the corner of my eye. So I pretended I saw nothing, but later pulled the girl aside and privately told her, "NEVER do that again, because I'm supposed to report you for drug use. Next time, ask for a bathroom pass and go in a stall where nobody can see you."

    In retrospect, I probably put myself at risk of arrest for enabling a helpless (18-year-old) child to become a desperate drug addict.

    Christ, when I was in high school we'd borrow aspirins from our teachers, or loan aspirin to them. It wasn't a big deal then, and shouldn't be a big deal now.

  • Episiarch||

    I drank fuckloads of Mountain Dew in high school. Do you realize how much caffeine (a DRUG) that is? And a psychoactive one at that. Can kids drink diet coke in class? Will you get strip searched for having some Jolt Cola?

  • Jennifer||

    Can kids drink diet coke in class?

    Kids can't drink ANYTHING in class. No food or drink allowed.

  • ||

    "The school faculty are not even law enforcement personnel. What possible authority do they have to conduct a strip search of *anyone*, even had they more than the flimsiest of "evidence?""

    to clarify case law.

    teachers/admin have always (or at least for many years) been able to search students basedon REASONABLE SUSPICION, a lesser standard than probable cause

    RS is the standard we see in Terry v. ohio

    i don't agree with this decision, obviously, but teachers prior to this decision didn't need PC to search.

    the issue is the intrusiveness obviously.

    i guess in this courts view, you would need full penetration for a search to be intrusive?

    "honey, come to bed. i need to perform an intrusive search on you"

  • ||

    to clarify again...

    t v ohio established RS as the standard cops need to stop - as in 'terry stop'.

    it does not (for cops) justify a search, although in some instances,a justifies a "frisk"

    however, RS is the lower standards that schools can use to search.

    iow, they have a lower standard to search a kid than the cops do, and this has beenthe case for years.

    unless, they are acting as agents of the cops, then the PC standard applies

  • Episiarch||

    Jesus. My calculus teacher declared Tuesdays and Thursdays "doughnut days" and picked someone at random to go across the street to The Sugar Shack and get a dozen, which we all fought over once that person got back--while he was teaching us. I would slug down a liter of Mountain Dew at this time as well.

    And we were all thin and in great shape, too.

  • ||

    An alternative to the billboard...

    http://hometownchannel.tv/saffordpage.html

    And if it's organized, I'll put in $40 too.

  • ||

    Anyone live down in that neck of the woods? We're going to need a high-quality photo.

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    ..does a kid with asthma have to have his inhaler confiscated and die to get some common sense?

    No. Even when the kid dies, which actually has happened, nothing changes.

  • Querfonicus||

    Two words: "home schooling."

  • Neu Mejican||

    Thing is, the type of teacher or administrator who would've said "No, we can't do this" would've long since been fired anyway...

    No.
    Wrong.
    Inaccurate.

    This is behavior beyond the pale. Not typical. Outside the bounds of professionalism or standard practice.

    Condemn these particular individuals, but their actions do not represent the majority of educators.

    Those professionals in the field are certainly more outraged by this kind of incident than the average citizen...for the very reason that irrational twits will associate the inappropriate actions of some idiot with the whole profession.

  • ||

    I don't have the skills, but it would be right cool if someone could hack the school website and using the suggestions for the billboard, post something noxious on there. Put it on the school board website too.

  • ||

    NM, yes, and no. You notice that the principal is still at the school as is the offending veep and the offending nurse.

    If the principal was worth a shit he would have raised enough ruckus to be rid of the bad apples.

  • ||

    Horrible! Under the 4th Amendment, that poor girl cannot be physically searched without a warrant. And her parents weren't involved. They (school officials) made her expose her breasts and genitalia. What kind of end justifies THESE means? Absolutely unbelievable.

  • Neu Mejican||

    You Know This,


    Yes I do know that.

    What is beyond the pale is the culture at that school, or in that district. Generalization beyond the immediate context is unwarranted.

    But point noted.

  • Jennifer||

    What is beyond the pale is the culture at that school, or in that district. Generalization beyond the immediate context is unwarranted.

    No, it isn't. This travesty differs from others throughout America only by degree, not by kind. A few years ago there was the story about cops with guns drawn going into a South Carolina high school looking for drugs (and finding none); did any of the teachers or administrators raise a stink? No, and they'd've been fired if they had. Schools going into total lockdown because someone somewhere might have a drug on them; do any of the employees say "that's bullshit?" No, and they'd be fired if they did. That story about the asthmatic kids suspended because one let the other borrow his inhaler while she was having an attck? Nobody said a word.

  • ||

    My oldest is five, when do I give him the "Fuck you, get a warrant" speech? When he's six?

  • The Wine Commonsewer||

    When he's six?

    No. Now. You can leave out the Fuck You part for now.

    I just went over it with both of mine.

    They will scare you.
    Keep saying No.
    Keep saying call my parents and my lawyer.
    Keep saying No.
    Keep saying call my parents and my lawyer.
    Keep saying No.
    Be Strong.
    They Will Scare You.
    Keep saying 4th Amendment.
    This girl thought she had to. You don't.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Jennifer,

    I am sorry.
    Thanks for straightening me out on that.

    Clearly these anecdotes prove that these things are common. That's why they right news stories about them...because they are representative of the daily workings in every single school around the country.

    Your 3 years of experience in education in a single district certainly bolsters your authority on the issue. And your experience in journalism lets me know that you understand how stories in the newspaper are about the ordinary rather than the noteworthy.

    [/eye roll]

  • Neu Mejican||

    TWC,

    I believe you are a good dad.
    You keep the message clear and effective.

    Telling them they can walk away and go home if they need to is also OK.

  • Neu Mejican||

    they right = they write

    Damn.

  • TB||

    I blame the town's citizens as much as anyone at the school. This is the reason tar and feathers exist. 4 years?! It should have been handled in 4 days.

    NM,

    You missed a spot on The Man's boot. Keep licking.

  • ||

    You people are funny. Children have no rights in school. You can complain and be outraged all you want, but as parents you have caused schools to take drastic actions like this.
    Do your jobs and teach your children discipline.
    This country has gone from parents that ask "WHAT DID MY CHILD DO" to "WHAT DID YOU DO TO MY CHILD?"
    That's wrong. That mentality has plummetted the success of the American Education system, dumbed down our citizens, created a pathetically litigious society, and given children control.

    Kudos to the school district for taking a strong stance, and kudos to the court system for showing support.

    It takes balls to stand up to a group of people like many of you outraged on this board.
    Really, people need to get over themselves.
    I don't care if it was Ibuprofen or not, they did the right thing-- they protected the other students. Drugs are a serious problem in schools.

    If you should be angry at anyone, it is parents for not doing their jobs. This shouldn't be the job of the school. You forced the schools hand. Teach your kids discipline.

    It's unfortunate an innocent girl was accused in this process, but would you rather have the school ignore it and have 8th graders passing potentially deadly drugs around?
    And yes--Ibuprofen can be deadly if taken enough of.

    Step back and think about what some of you are saying. Children follow by example. If they see that discipline is lenient, they will get away with whatever they can.
    I'll bet you anything there aren't discipline problems in this schoool, and I would send my children there in an instant, as should any of you.
    At least I'd know they were safe, and if they did something wrong, they would be dealt with swiftly.

    The only thing the district did wrong was not inform the parents that this was happening. That was a misstep on their part, which they SHOULD be punished for.

    Even though schools are the legal guardians while children are there, they are still obligated to report what happens during the school day to the children's parents.

    I won't be back here, so you can rip me all you want. You'll still be wrong, and I'll be right.

    Teach your kids to act right, so schools don't have to. Then maybe we'll start succeeding as a nation again.

    Peace.

  • ||

    Its the seemingly innocuous repetative process of an overreaching authority. Lawful bounds constitutionally designed do limit such egregious authority.

    This despotism and loss of freedom arrives when a people do not stand up imediatly at the first sign of tyranny.

  • ||

    I won't be back here, so you can rip me all you want. You'll still be wrong, and I'll be right.



    Well, we'll also have a billboard, and you'll just be a blog troll.

    Anyhow, to everyone else:

    I've set up a mailing list to try and get this billboard thing rolling. You can subscribe by sending an email to:

    billboardofshame-subscribe@yahoogroups.com

    I'm still working on getting actual pricing info for a billboard in Safford, and we're definitely going to need to dig up (or take) a usable photo of this Kelly Wilson guy.

    If you've offered to throw some money at this effort, or if you can help out in other ways, like scouting locations or digging up photos, please join the list or at least send me an email.

    The sooner we can get this thing moving, the better.

  • Miggs||

    In.

  • Miggs||

    And Jake, thanks for taking the time to organize this.

  • ||

    De nada. Tarran did the hard part already (coming up with the brilliant idea). I'm just following his lead.

  • Jennifer||

    Clearly these anecdotes prove that these things are common. That's why they right news stories about them...because they are representative of the daily workings in every single school around the country. Your 3 years of experience in education in a single district certainly bolsters your authority on the issue. And your experience in journalism lets me know that you understand how stories in the newspaper are about the ordinary rather than the noteworthy.

    My Mad Journalizzle Skillz also let me understand that if a teacher or administrator ever took a stand against such behaviors against the students, that would be considered newsworthy in itself. Yet I can't seem to recall a single incident of, for example, an administrator or teacher saying "This zero tolerance is bullshit and so I refuse to expel an honor student caught in possession of Midol" or "I understand the motivation behind the no-weapons policy, but a plastic butter knife hardly qualifies so I'm letting this kid off the hook." Any teacher or admin who did such a thing would actually be breaking the law, which is considered newsworthy.

    Of course, I can hardly claim to be aware of every single story that makes the news throughout these-here United States. Perchance might you have a link to such an incident?

  • Neu Mejican||

    My Mad Journalizzle Skillz also let me understand that if a teacher or administrator ever took a stand against such behaviors against the students, that would be considered newsworthy in itself.

    Unless, of course, it happens all the time.

    http://www.edlawcenter.org/ELCPublic/Publications/PDF/Survey_ZeroTolerance.pdf

    Second, among the four organizations that can be said to actively support zero
    tolerance - AFT, NEA, NAESP and NASSP - the general consensus is that there are
    significant problems in the way such policies are written and implemented. These
    organizations think zero tolerance policies are most appropriate for serious offenses, such
    as lethal weapons, illegal drugs, and violent assaults, and that school officials should be
    allowed to exercise judgment and discretion in individual cases.

  • Neu Mejican||

    Jennifer,

    You are correct about the fact that school officials have a legal obligation to implement laws...no matter how misguided. This incident, however, is not a case of that. It is a case of officials going beyond their legal authority (imho) and no one standing up and saying, wait, this is not what the law says should be done...and it is not right. As an educator, btw, I have been one who has stepped in when an adult was being inappropriate, or looked like they might cross the line. I have never had negative consequences for such behavior.

    As for documented incidents.
    I have seen in my career as an educator, administrators and teachers alike fired or reassigned for similar behavior (not quite so extreme, but...). It did not make the news because no one in the system held a press conference and parents did not complain. The offending staff member was dealt with as a routine part of business. Usually, in functional districts, educators who show this kind of poor judgment find their contract is not renewed, or they are reassigned to positions where they do not have authority over kids. In almost all cases, some in-service about how not to behave follows, to spread the word to the rest of the staff.

    I have also seen the flip side. In dysfunctional districts/schools, poor behavior is allowed to continue because of poor management, good old boy networks, or just plain apathy. These kinds of school environments seem, in my professional experience, to be rare places.

    You can, of course, assume I make this shit up, if you want. It matters not to me.

  • Neu Mejican||

    TB,

    You misunderstand.
    I AM The Man.

  • evslink||

    "Redding was ordered to strip to her underwear. She was then commanded to pull her bra out and to the side, exposing her breasts, and to pull her underwear out at the crotch, exposing her pelvic area."

    Cruel! Even though I know that the School Administrator only did that for disciplinary action, and the like, I think it is just not rightfully RIGHT! The poor child suffered so much for something that she never did, or at least something that was never proven.

    Poor child... "The strip search was the most humiliating experience I have ever had." Sure she will always have the feeling forever.

  • ||

    A word to parents who are sending these poor kids to these nazi schools, tell your kids to just say no. DO NOT submit or sign anything.
    Most of the time when you sign, you admit to doing something you didn't then it's finished.
    This principal should be strip searched in public then fired.
    I'm gettng tired of hearing about this crap.
    As Alex Jones has said, "Stop just laying down and taking this like helpless jellyfish".
    God help us.
    Buy some silver, buy a gun ( or two), and resist this crap.

  • sexy_Girl20||

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