Supreme Court to Hear Teen Strip-Search Case

Full story: Hartford Courant

It's a story that amazes and enrages her still, more than six years later, although she has relived it many times since.
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Hope

Enfield, CT

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#1
Apr 12, 2009
 

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Living in this day and age, knowing the drug culture and the harm caused by it, I think that Savanah Redding and her mother over-reacted to the search. It might have been carried out a little differently, but no teenager is likely to admit to their principal that they have drugs on their person. How would you suggest an adult intervene to find the truth? Having worked in a public school for years and having lost a child from addiction, I would give my right arm if some one in authority had informed my family that our son was involved in drugs before he became addicted. I was never given the opportunity to intervene because drugs are so insidious you may not know until it is too late. The hold they have on your child is unfortunately stronger than you. It seems that enough time has gone by that Savannah and her family could release the humiliation and embarrassment caused by this search, go on with their lives and thank goodness someone in the school is looking out for the safety of our children. Those painful memories are a lot easier to discard than the loss of a child and the frustration you are left with as a result of this culture. Life is not always neat and tidy and I do worry about this family if this humiliation which occurred so long ago is still causing them so much trauma.

“Killah89107”

Since: Apr 08

Las Vegas, Nevada

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#2
Apr 12, 2009
 

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Hope wrote:
Living in this day and age, knowing the drug culture and the harm caused by it, I think that Savanah Redding and her mother over-reacted to the search. It might have been carried out a little differently, but no teenager is likely to admit to their principal that they have drugs on their person. How would you suggest an adult intervene to find the truth? Having worked in a public school for years and having lost a child from addiction, I would give my right arm if some one in authority had informed my family that our son was involved in drugs before he became addicted. I was never given the opportunity to intervene because drugs are so insidious you may not know until it is too late. The hold they have on your child is unfortunately stronger than you. It seems that enough time has gone by that Savannah and her family could release the humiliation and embarrassment caused by this search, go on with their lives and thank goodness someone in the school is looking out for the safety of our children. Those painful memories are a lot easier to discard than the loss of a child and the frustration you are left with as a result of this culture. Life is not always neat and tidy and I do worry about this family if this humiliation which occurred so long ago is still causing them so much trauma.
So you're telling me you'd be fine letting school staff strip search you at the age of 13 on a whim? Shut the hell up.
Observation

Newington, CT

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Apr 14, 2009
 

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Asgarnieu wrote:
<quoted text>
So you're telling me you'd be fine letting school staff strip search you at the age of 13 on a whim? Shut the hell up.
The protection against unreasonable search and seizure (i.e. strip search) is a protection from your government and their agents (school principles and teachers are government employees) not just protection from the police. It is not only adults who enjoy Constitutional protections, and children do not check their citizenship at the door of the school.

If something like this happened to a child of mine, the principle would need protection from me. Justice would be done, with or without the help of the court. This would not happen twice.
Mother Earth- aka HofC

Quincy, MA

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#4
Apr 14, 2009
 

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Unbelievable!!! It's unbelievable that anyone thinks conducting such a search on a 13 year old girl is appropriate for allegedly potentially possessing ibuprofen. All this because another child heard or thought she may have possessed the ibuprofen. WTF!!!
Mother Earth- aka HofC

Quincy, MA

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#5
Apr 14, 2009
 

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Hope said:
"Living in this day and age, knowing the drug culture and the harm caused by it, I think that Savanah Redding and her mother over-reacted to the search. It might have been carried out a little differently, but no teenager is likely to admit to their principal that they have drugs on their person. How would you suggest an adult intervene to find the truth? Having worked in a public school for years and having lost a child from addiction, I would give my right arm if some one in authority had informed my family that our son was involved in drugs before he became addicted. I was never given the opportunity to intervene because drugs are so insidious you may not know until it is too late. The hold they have on your child is unfortunately stronger than you. It seems that enough time has gone by that Savannah and her family could release the humiliation and embarrassment caused by this search, go on with their lives and thank goodness someone in the school is looking out for the safety of our children. Those painful memories are a lot easier to discard than the loss of a child and the frustration you are left with as a result of this culture. Life is not always neat and tidy and I do worry about this family if this humiliation which occurred so long ago is still causing them so much trauma."

Well, excuse me Hope, but we aren't discussing illegal drugs. This situation was regarding ibuprofen. You know what ibuprofen is right? It's Advil, Motrin, etc. It's sold over the counter to anyone with enough cash to buy it. It's frequently used to handle pain from things like headaches, muscle aches, or (oh, I don't know) menstrual cramps.

As I recall, girls go through some female changes around the age of 13, and sometimes those changes cause pain. In fact, I remember when I was that age carrying around a little pill box of Advil once a month. Oddly enough Hope, I never did graduate to harder drugs... just Advil once a month prn (prn = as needed).

Hope, did you read the entire article or did you stop after seeing drug search?
HOPE

Enfield, CT

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#6
Apr 14, 2009
 
Mother Earth- aka HofC wrote:
Hope said:
"Living in this day and age, knowing the drug culture and the harm caused by it, I think that Savanah Redding and her mother over-reacted to the search. It might have been carried out a little differently, but no teenager is likely to admit to their principal that they have drugs on their person. How would you suggest an adult intervene to find the truth? Having worked in a public school for years and having lost a child from addiction, I would give my right arm if some one in authority had informed my family that our son was involved in drugs before he became addicted. I was never given the opportunity to intervene because drugs are so insidious you may not know until it is too late. The hold they have on your child is unfortunately stronger than you. It seems that enough time has gone by that Savannah and her family could release the humiliation and embarrassment caused by this search, go on with their lives and thank goodness someone in the school is looking out for the safety of our children. Those painful memories are a lot easier to discard than the loss of a child and the frustration you are left with as a result of this culture. Life is not always neat and tidy and I do worry about this family if this humiliation which occurred so long ago is still causing them so much trauma."
Well, excuse me Hope, but we aren't discussing illegal drugs. This situation was regarding ibuprofen. You know what ibuprofen is right? It's Advil, Motrin, etc. It's sold over the counter to anyone with enough cash to buy it. It's frequently used to handle pain from things like headaches, muscle aches, or (oh, I don't know) menstrual cramps.
As I recall, girls go through some female changes around the age of 13, and sometimes those changes cause pain. In fact, I remember when I was that age carrying around a little pill box of Advil once a month. Oddly enough Hope, I never did graduate to harder drugs... just Advil once a month prn (prn = as needed).
Hope, did you read the entire article or did you stop after seeing drug search?
I did say that this search could have been done differently and you are right, perhaps it should never have been done at all if the contraband was nothing more than Advil. I do get overly weary of the lack of effort made to really identify the drug pushers and drug users in a public school as this is when this nonsense begins, and no child is going to rat on their peers, never mind go home and tell their parents, "Hey, I tried weed (or whatever) today". I mean no child! I have worked with and raised teenagers myself and I can tell you many of them are experimenting with mind altering substances and many parents, and the school officials do not want it known that their child or a student from their school is involved in drugs. It is just too untidy and the school for sure would rather avoid the lawsuit that is likely to follow, if your child is accused of using or selling drugs. I still maintain that the little girl has had ample time to get over her trauma and the way this has been embellished all the way to the Supreme Court will leave her with more scars than if she had taken care of her insecurities right away. I am sure a good talk by her counselor, friends and of course her parents would have put her ego and pride to rest. p.s. I firmly believe in drug testing in school even more than a booster shot for all the childhood diseases. If the schools do not wish to participate, it should be included in their physicals at least once a year. More kids are exposed to drug contagions than any disease when you realize that peer pressure is the biggest contagion out there. I know it sounds corny, but it is reality and we are losing too many vulnerable young people to drug addiction.
Observation

Newington, CT

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#7
Apr 14, 2009
 
HOPE wrote:
<quoted text> I still maintain that the little girl has had ample time to get over her trauma and the way this has been embellished all the way to the Supreme Court will leave her with more scars than if she had taken care of her insecurities right away.
I don't see the issue as one of a child’s insecurities. The issue is over the government setting aside the Constitutional protections that this girl is entitled to from her government. To make this an issue of an embarrassment that she should be over by now grants the government an excuse and gives it wiggle room to violate another citizen's rights to be protected from government exercise of power. The government should not skate because of the passage of time. A personal violation is a personal violation. Injuries that draw no blood can leave the deepest scars.

The application of the idea that she should let this go because time has passed since the injury can be applied to a wide variety of crimes. That is a road best left untraveled.

Again, if this was my daughter, this would not happen twice, I'd see to that if it took the rest of my days.
Hope

Enfield, CT

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#8
Apr 14, 2009
 

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I say to the land mine called public schools and yes, even private schools, to do all it takes to see that harmful drugs are not inside the building where other people's children gather. You sound like an angry person just waiting for someone to trample on your "rights". If this child had nothing to hide she should not have been one bit worried and just a little bit embarrassed, not traumatized for life. Are your rights being violated when you and your belongings are searched and x-rayed before you board a plane? The world is a lot different than it was when the Constitution was written. Privacy should never trump safety.

“Killah89107”

Since: Apr 08

Las Vegas, Nevada

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#9
Apr 14, 2009
 

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Hope wrote:
I say to the land mine called public schools and yes, even private schools, to do all it takes to see that harmful drugs are not inside the building where other people's children gather. You sound like an angry person just waiting for someone to trample on your "rights". If this child had nothing to hide she should not have been one bit worried and just a little bit embarrassed, not traumatized for life. Are your rights being violated when you and your belongings are searched and x-rayed before you board a plane? The world is a lot different than it was when the Constitution was written. Privacy should never trump safety.
It was on a whim, with no evidence of her actually having anything on her. She was an honor-roll student. There was NO PROBABLE CAUSE you dumb bimbo.

It's different in an airport because there is probable cause there. There's a near-guarantee that someone will try to do something to damage the air infrastructure and terrorize the masses.

Now ask yourself if there's the same probable cause in a MIDDLE SCHOOL.

Know your stuff before you get into an argument.
Hope

Enfield, CT

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#10
Apr 15, 2009
 
Wow! I would be afraid to disagree with you. I certainly do not want to get in to your comfort zones and it sounds like you do not wish anything to get into them, either! Maybe you should think of enlarging your zones!
Observation

Newington, CT

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#11
Apr 15, 2009
 
Hope wrote:
Wow! I would be afraid to disagree with you. I certainly do not want to get in to your comfort zones and it sounds like you do not wish anything to get into them, either! Maybe you should think of enlarging your zones!
LOL. I just think that there are places the government should not be aloud to go. This is one of them. I support this girl and her family confronting the government for the redress of their grievances. Their claim is a valid one. She was strip search based on roamer. A roamer does not provide the government with probable cause. They need evidence of a crime for that.
Mother Earth- aka HofC

Quincy, MA

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#12
Apr 15, 2009
 
HOPE wrote:
<quoted text> I did say that this search could have been done differently and you are right, perhaps it should never have been done at all if the contraband was nothing more than Advil. I do get overly weary of the lack of effort made to really identify the drug pushers and drug users in a public school as this is when this nonsense begins, and no child is going to rat on their peers, never mind go home and tell their parents, "Hey, I tried weed (or whatever) today". I mean no child! I have worked with and raised teenagers myself and I can tell you many of them are experimenting with mind altering substances and many parents, and the school officials do not want it known that their child or a student from their school is involved in drugs. It is just too untidy and the school for sure would rather avoid the lawsuit that is likely to follow, if your child is accused of using or selling drugs. I still maintain that the little girl has had ample time to get over her trauma and the way this has been embellished all the way to the Supreme Court will leave her with more scars than if she had taken care of her insecurities right away. I am sure a good talk by her counselor, friends and of course her parents would have put her ego and pride to rest. p.s. I firmly believe in drug testing in school even more than a booster shot for all the childhood diseases. If the schools do not wish to participate, it should be included in their physicals at least once a year. More kids are exposed to drug contagions than any disease when you realize that peer pressure is the biggest contagion out there. I know it sounds corny, but it is reality and we are losing too many vulnerable young people to drug addiction.
I understand your concern regarding drugs and kids; however, the incident we are discussing did not involve illegal drugs. We talking about school officials, aka government agents, strip searching a 13 year old honor student with no probable cause apart from the rumors of her having possessed Advil in the past. Oooooo... Advil. Scary stuff.

(Pardon my sarcasm, I'm a little crampy presently. I'm waiting for the Liqui-gel Advil I just took to kick-in.)

The point is this little girl's privacy was violated. You may ok with the government doing this to your child or yourself, but I'm not. You may be ok with living in a police state, but I'm not. Sitting back and allowing this behavior to go unchallenged is apathetic and, forgive me but, unAmerican. As an American I value the rights my forefathers fought for, and I intend to instill those same values to my children. When our government steps on our rights, it is our duty to stand-up and challenge them. If you want to sit by and "get over" an injustice done to you or yours, fine. But sit down and hush-up when others stand up for their rights.

Sorry, I'm not usually this blunt and/or rude, but your attitude is very frustrating. I really wish that Advil would kick-in. <sigh>
Observation

Newington, CT

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#13
Apr 15, 2009
 

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Hope wrote:
Wow! I would be afraid to disagree with you. I certainly do not want to get in to your comfort zones and it sounds like you do not wish anything to get into them, either! Maybe you should think of enlarging your zones!
The roads best left unraveled that I wrote of earlier are the other crimes such a callous dismissal could be used on. Crimes where the injuries leave no visible scars. Bloodless crimes. Crimes were the injury or lack thereof does not create the basis of establishing whether or not a crime has been committed. Crimes where the violation itself is the crime. Crimes where the violation itself leaves the scars that can't be seen, but linger on.

The school here committed such a violation, without probable cause, without a search warrant, without parental notification. To add icing to the cake, the school treated her parents with a callous dismissal when they confronted school officials.

Since: Dec 07

chicago

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#14
Apr 15, 2009
 

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Observation wrote:
<quoted text>
The roads best left unraveled that I wrote of earlier are the other crimes such a callous dismissal could be used on. Crimes where the injuries leave no visible scars. Bloodless crimes. Crimes were the injury or lack thereof does not create the basis of establishing whether or not a crime has been committed. Crimes where the violation itself is the crime. Crimes where the violation itself leaves the scars that can't be seen, but linger on.
The school here committed such a violation, without probable cause, without a search warrant, without parental notification. To add icing to the cake, the school treated her parents with a callous dismissal when they confronted school officials.
I totally agree. These people were WRONG ( and maybe a little sick). I think if my children attended this school I would move them to another.

Since: Dec 07

chicago

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#15
Apr 15, 2009
 
How did that happen????
Hope

Enfield, CT

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#16
Apr 15, 2009
 
Mother Earth- aka HofC wrote:
<quoted text>
I understand your concern regarding drugs and kids; however, the incident we are discussing did not involve illegal drugs. We talking about school officials, aka government agents, strip searching a 13 year old honor student with no probable cause apart from the rumors of her having possessed Advil in the past. Oooooo... Advil. Scary stuff.
(Pardon my sarcasm, I'm a little crampy presently. I'm waiting for the Liqui-gel Advil I just took to kick-in.)
The point is this little girl's privacy was violated. You may ok with the government doing this to your child or yourself, but I'm not. You may be ok with living in a police state, but I'm not. Sitting back and allowing this behavior to go unchallenged is apathetic and, forgive me but, unAmerican. As an American I value the rights my forefathers fought for, and I intend to instill those same values to my children. When our government steps on our rights, it is our duty to stand-up and challenge them. If you want to sit by and "get over" an injustice done to you or yours, fine. But sit down and hush-up when others stand up for their rights.
Sorry, I'm not usually this blunt and/or rude, but your attitude is very frustrating. I really wish that Advil would kick-in. <sigh>
I want the schools or wherever vulnerable kids gather to make drug free zones, just that! So far assuming that because a student is on the honor roll, never in trouble, etc., are just not reasons enough to dismiss an accusation of illegal behavior. Even though it was a patent medicine they were searching for this girl must have known the rules of her school and chose to disregard them. I guess I never thought of the school personnel as government agents but adults looking after the welfare of all of our children. At least that is what they used to do in my youth. As a matter of fact the school philosophy was they are to act as "in loco parentis". I worked in a high school main office for 27 years and only thought of myself as an adult with all of our kids' best interest in mind. But, of course I am old fashioned and really don't spend much time worrying about my rights being taken away by the government. I can't think of a one in my 74 years that has caused me difficulty. If local, everyday people, neighbors and friends worked together, we would never need the government to step in and do what we could do for ourselves. And, the one thing we need help with is the decline of our culture and the effect it is having on our kids. What I wish is that some one in the school where I worked would have aggressively addressed the harmful substance abuse problem that we all know is there. But because of the fear of a lawsuit from parents, the administration and even the resource officers handled it with kid gloves.(Especially, if that child was on the honor roll!!!- What does that have to do with it?) I guess it depends on where we are coming from but sometimes the need of privacy can be a terrible burden to carry around, especially when the drug problems we face today are more protected than the students. How would you handle the problem? Just continue as is, until it is your child who is a victim of drugs, addiction, or any of the other negative consequences. Embarrassment is temporary. The other baggage can be a lot more serious.
Observation

Newington, CT

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#17
Apr 15, 2009
 
Hope wrote:
<quoted text>I want the schools or wherever vulnerable kids gather to make drug free zones, just that! So far assuming that because a student is on the honor roll, never in trouble, etc., are just not reasons enough to dismiss an accusation of illegal behavior. Even though it was a patent medicine they were searching for this girl must have known the rules of her school and chose to disregard them. I guess I never thought of the school personnel as government agents but adults looking after the welfare of all of our children. At least that is what they used to do in my youth. As a matter of fact the school philosophy was they are to act as "in loco parentis". I worked in a high school main office for 27 years and only thought of myself as an adult with all of our kids' best interest in mind. But, of course I am old fashioned and really don't spend much time worrying about my rights being taken away by the government. I can't think of a one in my 74 years that has caused me difficulty. If local, everyday people, neighbors and friends worked together, we would never need the government to step in and do what we could do for ourselves. And, the one thing we need help with is the decline of our culture and the effect it is having on our kids. What I wish is that some one in the school where I worked would have aggressively addressed the harmful substance abuse problem that we all know is there. But because of the fear of a lawsuit from parents, the administration and even the resource officers handled it with kid gloves.(Especially, if that child was on the honor roll!!!- What does that have to do with it?) I guess it depends on where we are coming from but sometimes the need of privacy can be a terrible burden to carry around, especially when the drug problems we face today are more protected than the students. How would you handle the problem? Just continue as is, until it is your child who is a victim of drugs, addiction, or any of the other negative consequences. Embarrassment is temporary. The other baggage can be a lot more serious.
You speak that this girl was a crack dealer. These were cramp drugs, not lets get high for fun drugs. This was also triggered by a rumor. In loco parentis allows a strip search based on a rumor? If this is the case, my children will never see the inside of a public school alone. If there was ever a case for cell phones in school this case would be that case. If the school won't call the parents before exercising such a power at least the subject of the use of force, the child can call their parents to protect them from this exercise of in loco parentis power. The parents are the only ones with parental authority, the government only exercises power.

You are right though when you speak of parents. If parents were acting as parents, the government would not see a need to fill that vacuum as in loco parentis.
Observation

Newington, CT

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#18
Apr 15, 2009
 
Observation wrote:
<quoted text>
You speak that this girl was a crack dealer.
Meant to say - You speak like this girl was a crack dealer.

“If The Shoe Fits”

Since: Feb 08

Medina, Ohio

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#19
Apr 15, 2009
 

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They should have called in a female sheriff deputy and had her searched in private. School personnel had no business conducting a search.

“Killah89107”

Since: Apr 08

Las Vegas, Nevada

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Apr 15, 2009
 

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Shoe wrote:
They should have called in a female sheriff deputy and had her searched in private. School personnel had no business conducting a search.
No. They shouldn't have searched on a whim without parental permission. Remember, she was searched without parental consent, without a warrant, and without a law enforcement officer present.

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