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The rights of every individual must be protected at all costs; this includes minors who may be violated knowingly or unknowingly. However, laws that protect those rights may be contradicted by others where interpretation may be different depending on individuals. This paper takes a look at the case of 13 year old Savana Redding who was strip searched by the school administration when she was suspected to be hiding prescription drugs. Her parents through a lawyer file a case of violation of her rights where the Supreme Court ruled in her favor. As a result the paper seeks to answer the questions whether the school was justified in strip searching the student and whether the ruling of the Supreme Court will make it difficult for school administrators to enforce discipline in their schools.
This controversy must be understood from all perspectives; it was the duty of the administration to enforce the Administrative Law which would protect the children from dangerous activities. Nevertheless, the administrative had no right to violate the student's rights as guaranteed in the Fourth Amendment. The Fourth Amendment in part states that "The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized" (ourth Amendment, para.1)
In addition, the administration went ahead to search the student in an undignified manner. This can be seen in the manner the administration treated her. Liptak, (para.3) quotes her saying "they asked me to pull out my bra and move it from side to side. They made me open my legs and pull out my underwear." This was a very embarrassing situation for the students and would even make other students avoid her. The preceding event to the search was because of her friend who had been found with ibuprofen pills and blamed Ms Reading.
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This event had some basis to justify a search but not to the extent of striping the student. In addition the student was not asked anything before the search and the administration did it with the girl unknowing what was happening (Liptak, para.11). To add more to the injustice on the student the school never bothered to have a background check on the student's discipline. The student had no indiscipline records which would be used as a basis to conduct a search. In view that student had been pinpointed by another student it would give the school's administration a basis to search the student. However, the school was not really justified to strip the student; particularly without any further implicating evidence.
In the ruling by the Supreme Court the judges stated clearly that there was no need to search a student in such undignified manner. Liptak, (para.7) quotes "it is a violation of any known prinnciple of human dignity." This was a clear violation of the girl's constitutional rights and thus the court was correct in taking the decision. This decision does not mean that it will be harder for school administrators to enforce discipline in their schools; since they can still conduct searches with justified reasons.
The decision was meant to protect the rights of the children from unfair searches. The school administrators can continue the searches in way that is appropriate and dignified. Searches do not mean one is stripped naked where there is no enough evidence to implicate the students. On the other hand, the decision is aimed at enabling the school administration conduct searches constitutionally still minding of the students welfare. It guards against the abuse of children by school administrators in the name of the Administrative Law.
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In holding the vice principle responsible rather than the nurse and secretary who did the search; the court makes it clear that the decision maker bears the greatest responsibility and hence subjects should not be punished in applying what they have been told by the bosses. In this concept the bosses must make sure they have made the right decision. In addition, the school administrations have the duty to make the schools safe and therefore they must make the best decisions for the institution. Therefore, the ruling should not deter any school head from enforcing discipline as long as it is within the law.
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