Critical Student Strip Search Case to be Presented at U.S. Supreme Court
Arizona Case Underscores Work by ACLU in Two Ohio Schools
CLEVELAND- The American Civil Liberties Union will go before the U.S. Supreme Court Tuesday to represent an Arizona teen who was strip searched because school officials believed she violated the school’s drug policy by bringing ibuprofen into the building. No drugs were found on then-eighth grader Savanna Redding, but she was so humiliated that she never returned to the school.
ACLU of Ohio Executive Director Christine Link said, “This case is a perfect illustration of zero tolerance policies run amok. If administrators had shown restraint and common sense, they should have realized that strip searching a child to find a legal, over-the-counter medication was unreasonable and unfair.
The case comes after two recent successful challenges by the ACLU of Ohio against unlawful strip searches at schools. In 2008, the ACLU filed suit against Bucyrus City Schools after officials strip searched five students they suspected of having cigarettes. The ACLU settled the case in April 2009 after administrators pledged to change school policy to forbid strip searches and compensate the children for the illegal search. In 2006, the ACLU sued the Pike County Area Joint Vocational School District after a class of high school girls were strip searched looking for missing money, gift cards and credit cards. This case was also eventually settled.
“Ohio has been on the forefront of protecting children’s rights for years. State and federal courts have consistently upheld that schools must not overreact and subject young people to these humiliating and degrading searches unless there is proper cause” added Link.
“It is crucial that the U.S. Supreme Court uphold every child’s right to be safe from unreasonable and baseless searches. While everyone wants to ensure our schools are safe, we must also protect students from overzealous officials whose actions could harm students emotionally and strip them of long-standing constitutional protections” concluded Link.
Read about Safford Unified School District v. Redding, the case before the U.S. Supreme Court
Read about the ACLU of Ohio’s successful challenges to student strip searches:
ACLU Victorious in Student Strip Search Case; School to Implement Policy Change That Adheres to Law
ACLU Files Suit in Student Strip Search Case: Calls Actions of School Administration Illegal, Unnecessary
Every month, you'll receive regular roundups of the most important civil rights and civil liberties developments. Remember: a well-informed citizenry is the best defense against tyranny.
The Latest in Free Speech
Sasha Colby Is Winning in More Ways Than One
Southern Utah Drag Stars File Lawsuit Challenging the City of St. George’s Censorship of Drag Performances
ACLU Commends Supreme Court Decisions Allowing Free Speech Online to Flourish
ACLU Slams Montana's Unconstitutional TikTok Ban as Governor Signs Law
The American Civil Liberties Union is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States of America.
Learn More About Free Speech
Protecting free speech means protecting a free press, the democratic process, diversity of thought, and so much more. The ACLU has worked since 1920 to ensure that freedom of speech is protected for everyone.