THE IBUPROFEN EPIDEMIC….Today’s legal news in the LA Times started soporifically enough:
Schools may not strip-search students for drugs based on an unverified tip, a federal appeals court ruled Friday.
Sure. Sounds reasonable. I wonder what this was all about? Answer: Advil.
The U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals said an assistant principal at an Arizona middle school violated the constitutional rights of a 13-year-old by ordering her to be strip-searched. He thought the honor student had prescription-strength ibuprofen….
The girl stood in her bra and underwear while the two officials searched her clothes. Then she was ordered to partially remove her bra, exposing her breasts, and finally told to shake out the crotch of her underwear.
“Hiding her head so that the adults could not see that she was about to cry, Savana complied and pulled out her underwear, revealing her pelvic area,” [Judge Kim McLane] Wardlaw wrote. “No ibuprofen was found.”
The ruling was 6-5. Two of the dissenters ruled on technical grounds, but three of them concluded, basically, that school administrators can do anything, anytime, including strip searches of 13-year-old girls, no matter how unconvincing the evidence of misbehavior or how remote the possibility of danger is. “Admittedly,” they wrote, “ibuprofen is one of the mildest drugs children could choose to abuse. But that does not mean it is never harmful….Importantly, Wilson was not searching for evidence of past ibuprofen use, such as an empty Advil bottle. He was acting on specific information that children in school had pills and were planning on taking them later that day.”
Italics mine, all mine. And I’m sure I speak for all of us when I thank God that someone had the courage to take appropriate action against the possibility of teenage girls tossing down an Advil before 5th period. Do we all feel safer now?