Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Reasonable Minds, Indeed....

First the facts:
Savana Redding still remembers the clothes she had on — black stretch pants with butterfly patches and a pink T-shirt — the day school officials here forced her to strip six years ago. She was 13 and in eighth grade....

The search by two female school employees was methodical and humiliating, Ms. Redding said. After she had stripped to her underwear, “they asked me to pull out my bra and move it from side to side,” she said. “They made me open my legs and pull out my underwear.”
The search produced... nothing. But what would justify such a search? Obviously this was an investigation of a horrific crime, right?
An assistant principal, enforcing the school’s antidrug policies, suspected her of having brought prescription-strength ibuprofen pills to school. One of the pills is as strong as two Advils.
Oh my goodness - you say these pills are big, yellow and different? Well then, let's hear from the "experts":
Richard Arum, who teaches sociology and education at New York University, said he would have handled the incident differently. But Professor Arum said the Supreme Court should proceed cautiously.

“Do we really want to encourage cases,” Professor Arum asked, “where students and parents are seeking monetary damages against educators in such school-specific matters where reasonable people can disagree about what is appropriate under the circumstances?”
Well, no... But the problem is we live in a country so wrapped up in its "war on drugs" and "zero tolerance" rules that people can actually delude themselves into believing that there's any cogent argument that the strip search was reasonable. The school district coughed up this horse manure:
Lawyers for the school district said in a brief that it was “on the front lines of a decades-long struggle against drug abuse among students.” Abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications is on the rise among 12- and 13-year-olds, the brief said, citing data from the Office of National Drug Control Policy.
Among them, how many cases involve abuse of ibuprofen? That would be zero, you say?

They seem to know that's pretty thin, so they're also offering this claim...
In a sworn statement submitted in the case, Safford Unified School District v. Redding, No. 08-479, Mr. Wilson said he had good reason to suspect Ms. Redding. She and other students had been unusually rowdy at a school dance a couple of months before, and members of the school staff thought they had smelled alcohol. A student also accused Ms. Redding of having served alcohol at a party before the dance, Mr. Wilson said.
The relevance of that would be... what? School officials thought, in retrospect, that the kids might have been all hopped up on ibuprofen? That the girl may have been hiding cans of beer inside her ibuprofen tablets?
The school district does not contest that Ms. Redding had no disciplinary record, but says that is irrelevant.
Rumors that don't justify any disciplinary action? Now those are relevant. Leave the danged facts out of this, thank you.
“Her assertion should not be misread to infer that she never broke school rules,” the district said of Ms. Redding in a brief, “only that she was never caught.”
Exactly. Now let's have the school employees involved subjected to strip searches, applying that same reasoning.

1 comment:

  1. I carry a bottle of Ibuprofen about as big as a tank with me at all times. The kids know the sound of the bottle and will be like, "Uh oh, did we give you a headache,Ms. Smith?" :) Believe me, if the people who did the searches were in my classroom--with the pipe that runs from the boys bathroom underneath it and its subsequent urine smell + the heater that doesn't work (and, when it does work, makes so much racket that the kids can't hear me)--they'd hand out Ibuprofen like candy.

    The Man can have my 'profen when he pries it from my cold, dead, er...purse.


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