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this makes my blood boil


I cannot recall hearing a story on NPR that has every angered me as much as the one I heard this morning.

Supreme Court To Hear School Strip-Search Case

Redding says she was then asked to strip down to her underwear and stood there while the nurse and secretary inspected her clothes and shoes.

"Then, you know, I thought they were going to let me put my clothes back on, but instead they asked me to pull out my bra and shake it, and the crotch on my underwear, too," Redding says.


I cannot find any circumstance where this is acceptable behavior. When you hear more of the details surrounding the allegation is just gets worse.

A 13yr girl should never be subjected to this kind of treatment. To me this is almost akin to being molested by a teacher.

There's a special place in hell for an administrator who thinks this is acceptable behavior.

Comments

( 28 comments — Leave a comment )
teresadivicenzo
Apr. 22nd, 2009 01:06 am (UTC)
Words fail me. They really do.

I sometimes think that the people who inflict this on anyone, let alone a child, should have it done to them. Or at least be made to think about how that would feel.
gatsbyfan
Apr. 22nd, 2009 01:15 am (UTC)
In this case, I don't think making them (school officials) strip in front of an audience is adequate punishment for that kind of treatment.

Maybe if they were made to do it while it was projected on the jumbotron in Times Square.

Maybe.

This afternoon's summary mentioned that Judge Ginsburg has a visual reaction to some argument about how it was like changing in a locker room. BULL SHIT.
teresadivicenzo
Apr. 22nd, 2009 01:18 am (UTC)
It's not. This is about abusing power.

Are we saying that it's acceptable for employers to demand that their employees strip - in the presence of the employer and the company nurse - if there is a suspicion they are carrying drugs? Because if we're doing this to children, then it's logically completely okay to have this as a standard workplace practice.

Do me a favour, and keep posting about this as you follow it.
watson1
Apr. 22nd, 2009 01:44 am (UTC)
I haven't read the articles from today, but the argument about the locker room is grounded in two prior Supreme Court decisions, allowing 1) drug testing athletes and 2)drug testing students involved in extra curricular activities. Specifically, one of the arguments that the Supreme Court accepted in those cases is that students are subject to a reduced expectation of privacy. Because they regularly get undressed in locker rooms.

I'm not surprised the attorney for the district made that argument -- and it probably worked with several judges (e.g. Scalia, Thomas, Alito, and Roberts). The key in this case is Kennedy -- but he bought the same argument with regard to the reduced expectation of privacy in the drug testing cases.

/more info than you probably wanted to know
gatsbyfan
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:03 am (UTC)
No, it's interesting... But I'm a total nerd. I love listening to Nina T give the Court Update.

What was being mentioned in the highlights from today:
Scalia apparently discovered that children sometime sniff permanent markers looking for a high as he questioned why the school confiscated them. "They sniff them?" Scalia said.

"That's what kids do, your honor, unfortunately," Wright said.

"Really?" Scalia said.

And Justice Stephen Breyer can expect years of teasing after a misstatement as he was trying to point out that it might not be unusual for children to hide things from teachers in their underwear.

"In my experience when I was 8 or 10 or 12 years old, you know, we did take our clothes off once a day, we changed for gym, OK? And in my experience, too, people did sometimes stick things in my underwear." Breyer hesitated as he realized what he said as the courtrooom erupted in laughter.

He quickly recovered and added: "Or not my underwear. Whatever. Whatever."
watson1
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
Nerdiness is good. :) I love listening to Nina Totenburg, as well. She does an excellent analysis of what is going on with the court. Scalia is an idiot, but I think we all knew that. And Souter was pretty funny. :)

I just checked the court's vote in the drug testing cases:

The Vernonia case, which dealt with drug testing athletes, was 6 - 3. The three dissenting were Stevens, Souter and O'Connor.

The Earls case, which dealt with drug testing students involved in extracurriculars, was 5 - 4, with O'Connor, Stevens, Souter and Ginsburg dissenting.

Based on that previous voting pattern, and highlights from today's oral arguments -- I think the court is likely to find the strip search constitutional. But, then again, the court surprised me today by restricting police powers during the search of a car. I guess we'll know in a couple of months.
gatsbyfan
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:18 am (UTC)
Based on that previous voting pattern, and highlights from today's oral arguments -- I think the court is likely to find the strip search constitutional. But, then again, the court surprised me today by restricting police powers during the search of a car.
I know. I got the alert this morning from the WSJ and had to read it twice because I thought I read the ruling wrong. That really surprised me.

Based on that I have a little more hope that I normally would.

We really need another liberal/moderate woman on the Court.
watson1
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:34 am (UTC)
Based on that I have a little more hope that I normally would.

I hope so, but the majority included Scalia and Thomas. I'm not sure what they were thinking, but the fact that they voted with Stevens, Souter and Ginsberg is really freaking me out.

We really need another liberal/moderate woman on the Court.

We do. I think that Obama will nominate a liberal/moderate woman, but I'm afraid it's going to be as a replacement for Ginsberg. I'm incredibly pleased to see that she has come back, but I'm afraid she's going to retire because of her health problems.
anatolealice
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:08 am (UTC)
I guess I can kind of see how there would be a 'reduced expectation of privacy' in those situations (though I still don't like it) but it shouldn't apply to all students. And it cuts a little close to the whole 'well she was wearing skimpy clothing so she was asking for it!' rape defence.
watson1
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:20 am (UTC)
I agree, on all counts, Ana. I think it's easier to make the argument about a reduced expectation of privacy in the case of athletes because they do change in locker rooms. I don't recall members of the chess club doing the same thing, though.

I don't agree with the decision in either of the previous cases, but I'm afraid the court will follow precedent.
watson1
Apr. 22nd, 2009 01:36 am (UTC)
We talked about that in my introductory CJ class yesterday, Gatz. My students, who generally tend to be very conservative (in the vein of: the death penalty is a fantastic thing, but we should just kill them right away mode), were just appalled. I actually found a little glimmer of hope in their reaction.
gatsbyfan
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
I was in favor of the death penalty when I was growing up. Probably influenced by the fact that I was a child of a Chicago Police Officer.

But as more and more cases were coming back with people being wrongfully convicted (for various reasons)... I changed my mind.
anatolealice
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
My country doesn't have the death penalty and I have to admit, there have been cases where I wish it could have been used. But I agree with you about cases of wrongful conviction. That's probably my biggest issue with it.

Probably influenced by the fact that I was a child of a Chicago Police Officer.

It makes an interesting contrast combined with the influence of a catholic upbringing.I didn't realise your Dad (I'm assuming?) was a police officer.
gatsbyfan
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:23 am (UTC)
Dad is a very lapsed Catholic and a retired CPD. Mom still goes to mass weekly and is a nurse.

I don't think the Catholicism had that much to do with it. I have too many issues with the Church.
anatolealice
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:26 am (UTC)
Yeah, me too. (Particularly at the moment after that situation with the pregnant 9 year old, that pushed me over the edge)

And then there are issues like this where as Toby's rabbi says, they do have a good record and yet I sometimes go the other way.
watson1
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:22 am (UTC)
You're not alone. The majority of the population is in support of the death penalty, but the results from the surveys are pretty soft. You can change people's responses by how you ask the question: e.g. if you give people the option of life in prison without parole, support for the death penalty drops significantly.

And, over the last couple of years, support for the death penalty has fallen (as has the number of people sentenced to death), in part because of concerns about actual innocence.
gatsbyfan
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:37 am (UTC)
I remember as a kid the argument being made that it was cheaper to "fry them" then stick them in a cell forever. But that's just not actually true. It seemed like justice was being served.

But too many cases have come to light. And then you also have the others that are requesting stays with details about their Council being incompetent. (Many coming from the State of Texas...)

I think that a lot of the reasons (e.x. The death penalty preventing crimes like murder) used in the past have been proven false.
anatolealice
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:49 am (UTC)
I think that a lot of the reasons (e.x. The death penalty preventing crimes like murder) used in the past have been proven false.

This was the example that we would often hear. No death penalty in Australia or the UK and I think our murder rates are significantly lower than in say, Texas (though that's probably gun control related)
anatolealice
Apr. 22nd, 2009 11:26 pm (UTC)
I was thinking about this last night Watzy and I think the reason I oppose the death penalty is because sometimes I don't oppose the death penalty, if that makes sense. When President Bartlet asks Charlie if he would have wanted the death penalty for the person who killed his mother, Charlie says he would have wanted to kill the person himself. That's why I oppose it, because there are crimes where I don't think life imprisonment is enough and I would like to see the person dead but I think the state killing a person because people feel that way is as dangerous and wrong as an individual taking action.

And I guess living safely in a country where the death penalty no longer exists I can say things like "I don't always oppose the death penalty" because I can do so without there being consequences. I think if I lived somewhere where it could be used then I would have to put my money where my mouth is and be more vocal against it.
anatolealice
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:10 am (UTC)
my students, who generally tend to be very conservative (in the vein of: the death penalty is a fantastic thing, but we should just kill them right away mode)

Hee! No wonder you turn to keytus for relaxation Watzy. Knowing your political views and your opinion on guns etc, I imagine some of your class discussions are quite painful for you :-)
watson1
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:29 am (UTC)
Oh, I definitely get frustrated at times. However, over the years, I've learned to set the students up. I let them make their argument, and them slam them with something personal.

For example - they tend to support, and vigorously defend, the death penalty even though many of them acknowledge that a mistake will be made, and someone who is factually innocent will get executed. According to them, mistakes are acceptable.

I then ask them for volunteers. When one of them actually volunteers -- I let them know that I'm going to make a mistake with their grade. Because, hey, I'm human -- and I'm going to make mistakes. But since it doesn't happen very often, it's not a big deal.

That gets their attention -- fast.
anatolealice
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:50 am (UTC)
That is a great example!
anatolealice
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:07 am (UTC)
That's appalling. The school's behaviour is surely illegal, wouldn't the police have to get a warrant (and therefore be able to convince a judge that there was a good reason) before they could conduct such a search, so how could the school? There's a huge difference between being allowed to search bags and forcing a child to strip.

Probably most damaging, one youngster who had been found with 400 milligrams of prescription-strength ibuprofen said on the day of the search that she got it from Redding.

Yes, because we would rely on the un-sworn testimony of a child who has already been caught when deciding who we should target *bangs head against wall*. That said, I'm glad my mother insisted that I never given other the counter painkillers to anyone else; she didn't mind me taking them to school for myself but I wasn't to hand them out for this very reason.

Thanks for sharing Gatzy.
gatsbyfan
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:14 am (UTC)
Yes, because we would rely on the un-sworn testimony of a child who has already been caught when deciding who we should target
Exactly! The girl who was searched had NO history of bad behavior and was an honor's student. The only allegation was that she was seen at a dance with kids who may have had booze on their breath.

WTH!

Not that I would condone the behavior if she had a history, but it just makes it so much worse.
anatolealice
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:18 am (UTC)
Not that I would condone the behavior if she had a history, but it just makes it so much worse.

I know, she sounds like such a nice kid too. I hope she's doing ok, this is the sort of thing that could completed f*ck up an adult's life, much less a 13 year old child.
flippet
Apr. 22nd, 2009 01:31 pm (UTC)
I haven't read the article yet, but whoa.

Happens everywhere, and all the time, though.

My niece was 'targeted' by her dorm deans/RAs (not sure which, maybe both)--she had been *off-campus* at a party, and some *other people* were photographed with alcohol, and the picture made it to FB. So, they jumped on my niece (the denomination is historically pretty strict about teetotaling), and told her outright that they were going to "make an example of her because she's popular".

No matter that she didn't have the alcohol, couldn't prove it if she did, she was OFF-CAMPUS, and I don't even know if the people photographed were of legal age, they might very well have been.

Just pisses me off. I mean, really--what if she's at MY house, and I'm photographed with a glass of wine...are they going to jump on her for that, too?

People honestly need to use their effing brains.
anatolealice
Apr. 22nd, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)
This sort of discussion makes me wish I had gone into law (I still go back and forth on that).

Edited at 2009-04-22 02:24 am (UTC)
aunt_deen
Apr. 22nd, 2009 03:17 pm (UTC)
God, that poor kid.

You do lose some of your due-process rights, just by walking onto a school campus, and that goes for staff and visitors as well as students. There's a sign in the driveway of my school that "any vehicle on school property is subject to search." So if I were thought to have something illegal, my car or belongings could be searched without a warrant.

But to strip-search the girl down to her skin? Given that all they had was hearsay, they should have waited for her mother to come to school or something, if they were really suspicious that she had something on her. Having just her mother and a nurse in the room would have made it far less traumatic, I'm guessing.
( 28 comments — Leave a comment )

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