Friday, September 28, 2007

A valuable "socialization" experience

It's usually left to law enforcement to brutalize and humiliate innocent people to appease the public's hysteria over the War on Drugs, but our educational system is doing its part too:

Safford Middle School officials did not violate the civil rights of a 13-year-old Safford girl when they forced her to disrobe and expose her breasts and pubic area four years ago while looking for a drug, according to the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruling.

The justices voted 2-1 in favor of the Safford School District on Sept. 21. The decision upheld a federal district court's summary judgement that Safford Middle School Vice Principal Kerry Wilson, school nurse Peggy Schwallier and administrative assistant Helen Romero did not violate the girl's Fourth Amendment rights on Oct. 8, 2003, when they subjected her to a strip search in an effort to find…

To find what? Heroin? A gun?

…Ibuprofen, an anti-inflammatory drug sold over the counter and in prescription strengths.

Thank God! Without the timely intervention of the school authorities, it might have gone off and killed somebody.

Seriously, though, you what the worst part of this is? I'm sure the majority in this case did make the legally correct ruling. Hysteria over drugs in this country has reached the point where both the law and public opinion will tolerate virtually anything government officials do. People will ridicule some of the goofier examples of "zero-tolerance" enforcement, but few have any meaningful opposition to the basic principles of the thing. Sexual humiliation and degradation of little girls is a small price to pay to keep the dread menace Ibuprofen off the streets. If anything, the girl got off lightly; she's lucky they didn't send a SWAT team to kick down the doors of the school and "accidentally" blow her brains out.

Hat tip: Radley Balko.

Stumble Upon Toolbar