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ERIC Number: EJ858805
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Oct
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 3
ISSN: ISSN-1529-8957
Specific Suspicion
Taylor, Kelley R.
Principal Leadership, v10 n2 p8-10 Oct 2009
This article discusses a recent case decided by the U.S. Supreme Court which highlights the importance of having specific suspicions of misbehavior before conducting a strip search. The case involves an eighth-grade female student who was being strip-searched by a middle school assistant principal, a school nurse, and an administrative assistant for suspicions of having ibuprofen pills and a single over-the-counter naproxen pill. The student denied knowing anything about the specific pills and denied giving similar pills to any other students. The student's mother sued the school district, the assistant principal, the school nurse, and the administrative assistant, alleging that they violated her daughter's constitutional right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the school district and officials. A panel from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals affirmed that ruling, finding that the strip search did not violate the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The U.S. Supreme Court affirmed (in part) the decision of the 9th Circuit panel on the question of whether the search of the student's bra and panties by school officials was reasonable. Essentially, the U.S. Supreme Court found that the search violated the Constitution "because there were no reasons to suspect that the drugs presented a danger or were concealed in the student's underwear" ("Safford Unified School District No. 1 v. Redding, 2009").
National Association of Secondary School Principals. 1904 Association Drive, Reston, VA 20191-1537. Tel: 800-253-7746; Tel: 703-860-0200; Fax: 703-620-6534; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A