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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Some expansion of student privacy

Good news for privacy advocates - mostly. Government schools cannot strip search their students unless they really think its necessary. From the SCOTUS opinion

what was missing from the suspected facts that pointed to Savana was any indication of danger to the students from the power of the drugs or their quantity, and any reason to suppose that Savana was carrying pills in her underwear. We think that the combination of these deficiencies was fatal to finding the search reasonable.

So, if the untrained school’s administrator’s assistant suspected that there was (1) something dangerous and (2) had reason to believe it was in her underwear, then they could strip search a minor?

If she is carrying something imminently dangerous, it most likely wouldn’t be stored in her underwear. If its not an imminent danger and you know its in her underwear – detain her and call the authorities who actually are trained to deal with this!

Also, they did give us this nugget. The government can’t abuse your rights if they just turn their head away

but a strip search and its Fourth Amendment consequences are not defined by who was looking and how much was seen.

I wonder how that logic applies to “But I just read it for the articles!”

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