ACLU Presents Case of Savana Redding to US Supreme Court

April 21, 2009 at 9:25 pm 1 comment

When she was 13, Savana Redding endured a humiliating strip-search (in which she had to bare her breasts and genitalia) after a classmate falsely accused her of possessing ibuprofen pills. The school officials who instigated this traumatic event violated Redding’s civil rights and betrayed the trust and respect of the parents and students of Safford United School District.

Most news articles regarding this event and its aftermath criticize the school officials for acting so rashly on uncorroborated evidence. While I agree that using mere accusations to justify a strip-search is completely uncalled for, I think the act of forcing children to reveal their private parts for any reason needs to be seriously examined. If Redding had been accused of bringing cocaine to school, I still think other avenues of interrogation and corroboration should have been explored. After all, if the officials had found ibuprofen pills on Redding’s person, the civil rights of a child would have still been violated.  Which is worse: Possessing prescription-strength painkillers on school grounds…or forcing a minor to show her body parts to adults?

The other issue this case brings up is that of the “war on drugs.” I remember when, as a middle and high school student, I received explicit instructions (punishable by the wrath of God) not to keep any kind of drug in my backpack, locker, or car. Even asthmatics had to check their inhalers in at the nurse’s office. I was so used to this rule that I endured all of college without using Advil, Tylenol, etc. (it was second-nature not to pick it up at the drugstore without first consulting an adult). Shouldn’t the school have spent more time handing out condoms than taking away aspirin?

And now I’ve been hearing all these ads about how terrible marijuana is and how it will ruin your life. “Above the Influence” commercials air on any TV station that caters to the “under 30” demographic. I recognize that weed, in addition to being illegal (which it shoudn’t be, but that’s for another time), impairs ones ability to drive and operate heavy machinery. That said, shouldn’t we be spending our publicly-funded advertising dollars on preventing the use of drugs like heroin and speed? Again, which is worse: Allowing a bunch of potheads to binge on Doritos and Ding Dongs after school…or overlooking a group of students snorting coke in the locker room?

This morning, the US Supreme Court heard arguments from Savana Redding’s attorney with the ACLU. From one woman to another, I commend the young lady (six years have passed since that fateful day) for having the courage to pursue justice.

Entry filed under: Law, Politics, Sexuality. Tags: , , , , .

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. mrred  |  April 22, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Love this blog I’ll be back when I have more time.



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