(NaturalNews) The U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments on April 21 in the case of an Arizona girl who, at the age of 13, was subjected to a strip search by school officials who suspected her of drug possession.
"They asked me to pull out my bra and move it from side to side," said Savanna Redding, now 19. "They made me open my legs and pull out my underwear."
"When you send your child off to school every day, you expect them to be in math class or in the choir," said American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Adam B. Wolf, representing Redding and her family. "You never imagine their being forced to strip naked and expose their genitalia and breasts to their school officials."
In 2003, a girl at a school in Safford, Ariz.., was caught with prescription-strength ibuprofen, chemically identical to two Advil each. When questioned by school officials, she claimed that she had gotten the pills from Redding. Assistant principal Kerry Wilson then ordered a school nurse and secretary to strip search Redding. The search turned up nothing.
Redding reports that she was never asked if she had any drugs on her. According to Wolf, this reflects standard protocol for schools in the area.
"They strip-search first and ask questions later," he said.
Redding continued her studies at home for several months after the search, and eventually transferred to a different school.
"I never wanted to see the secretary or the nurse ever again," she said.
In 2008, the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that the strip search violated Redding's 4th Amendment right to protection from unreasonable search.
"It does not require a constitutional scholar to conclude that a nude search of a 13-year-old child is an invasion of constitutional rights," wrote Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw for the majority. "More than that, it is a violation of any known principle of human dignity."
The school district appealed the decision to the Supreme Court, which is expected to issue a ruling this summer.
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