February 19, 2011
As Americans we have certain expectations to what our rights are, in fact we have a bill of rights to ensure the rights we deserve. In most cases we consider these rights undeniable but sometimes they are deniable when you are a student on campus. Sometimes the legal line is not quite clear on rights that are afforded to students; rather the moral line is clear or not. In day to day adult life we expect law enforcement and lawyers to enforce our rights properly but on school grounds staff members are expected to take the role of enforcer and judge. The 4th Amendment protects Americans from unreasonable search and seizure, but students are not afforded the same right on most occasions. It has been established that searching backpacks and items of the like is permissible on school campus but Safford Unified School District #1 v. Redding delves into the more complicated area of body searches.
At the age of 13 Savana Redding was called into the office of her school because she had been implicated in distribution of over the counter pain killers and prescription pain pills that were the strength of two Advil. The assistant principal and secretary went through Savana’s book bag and pockets were searched. After no pills were found on Savana’s outer layer of clothing the assistant principal “then had [the secretary]take Savana to the school nurse’s office to search her clothes for pills. After [the secretary] and the nurse, had Savana remove her outer clothing, they told her to pull her bra out and shake it, and to pull out the elastic on her underpants, thus exposing her breasts and pelvic area to some degree. No pills were found.” (Cornell University Law School, 2010) It is important to also point out that Savana’s parents were not notified until after the search and the assistant principal had not gotten details of when Savana had been distributing pill or where she kept these pills....