School Strip Search
In a recent news report from KCRG, they discussed the fact that three schoolgirls and their families are suing a high school over strip searches conducted by school employees. This sort of thing really sets my blood to boiling. As a result, Iíve sent a letter to my state elected officials insisting that we have laws on our books making it clear that, except in the case of imminent danger, schools are not to conduct strip-searches and that any such searching must be handed over to law enforcement.
Here is the text of the letter as sent to the elected officials.
Three girls are suing the Atlantic School District over a strip search performed by school employees. It is not the first time such things have been in the news. Except in the case of imminent physical danger, only trained and authorized law enforcement personnel should conduct such searches. We must codify this in our laws.
There are plenty of reasons for schools to have great leeway when handling the students. We expect and require this for the safety and education of our children. However, school personnel are not police officers or investigators. They cannot and should not perform those duties. In the case sited, the school employees strip-searched the students to determine guilt or innocence in the alleged theft of a large sum of money. The school should have detained the students and held them for police. At no point should it be legally or ethically correct for the school employees to strip search the students.
Not only does the action of this school look bad and possibly harm students, but the litigation will be paid for by taxpayer dollars. Our schools cannot afford the cost of these incidents, and making a clear distinction of duties in our laws will help prevent these problems in the future.
Some may argue that the school employers are professional, educated people. I work in education and have a college degree. I can assert that educated is not the same as intelligent. It is also not the same as ethical or reliable. As evidenced by the exceedingly bad judgment in this case, school employees can do very inappropriate things and not understand why there is a problem.
Please introduce legislation to make it clear that if there is concern over a crime at school, the school must remand the students to police for investigation and at no time should school personnel perform strip-searches. This will prevent harm to the students, to schools, and to the taxpayers.