Supremes to Hear Case of 13 Year-Old Girl Strip-Searched on Suspicion of Carrying Ibuprofen

This is truly ludicrous:


SAFFORD, Ariz. -- April Redding was waiting in the parking lot of the middle school when she heard news she could hardly understand: Her 13-year-old daughter, Savana, had been strip-searched by school officials in a futile hunt for drugs.

It's a story that amazes and enrages her still, more than six years later, though she has relived it many times since.

Savana Redding was forced to strip to her underwear in the school nurse's office. She was made to expose her breasts and pubic area to prove she was not hiding pills. And the drugs being sought were prescription-strength ibuprofen, equivalent to two Advils.

"I guess it's the fact that they think they were not wrong, they're not remorseful, never said they were sorry," April Redding said this week, as she and Savana talked about the legal fight over that search, which has now reached the Supreme Court.

And even more: When, days later, the principal met with April Redding to discuss what had happened, she said he was dismissive of an event so humiliating that her daughter never returned to classes at Safford Middle School.

"He said, 'There was an incident with some pills, and we had to find out if Savana had them, but you should be happy because we didn't find any on her,' " Redding recalled. "I got really upset and was telling him, 'Why did you do this to her? How could you do this to her?' "

From the yellow-brick school in this dusty town of cotton fields and copper mines to the Supreme Court, the lawsuit that April and Savana Redding brought carries the potential for redefining the privacy rights of students and the responsibility of teachers and school officials charged with keeping drugs off their campuses.


Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close
alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.