Feb 152012
 February 15, 2012  Posted by  Court, Surveillance, Youth & Schools

Greg Bluestein of Associated Press reports:

A Georgia middle school student claimed in a lawsuit Wednesday he was humiliated and traumatized when he was brought to a vice principal’s office and forced to strip in front of classmates who said he had marijuana.

The student, then in the seventh-grade, said he still suffers from emotional distress because his classmates taunted him by calling him Superman, the underwear he was wearing when he was strip-searched. The student is suing the Clayton County school district for unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.

Read more on WTOP.

This is the second strip search case in the news this week. On Monday, the North Carolina Supreme Court heard oral arguments in another such case, although there are significant differences. In the North Carolina case, there was no specific suspicion of the student and all female students had to hook their thumb under their bras to pull the bra away from their bodies to see if pills fell out. In this case, a student was strip-searched in front of peers. In both cases, though, schools will argue that they are entitled to search students because they have a duty to keep schools safe and students have less expectation of privacy.

But is this really what we want to teach our children – that they have to strip on the say-so of any authority figure? I don’t think so. And I wish the courts were more inclined to recognize that students do have a right to privacy and that schools have gone too far.

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