It isn’t.

There are certain questions that shouldn’t need to be asked. Which, if they come up, are a sign that there is something deeply wrong with the kind of conversation that you’re having. Here’s an example of one, which recently appeared in my Google News feed:

For background on this case, which I’ve discussed here before when it was before the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, see GT 2007-10-02: Public schooling. The story is back in the news because the case has reached the Supreme Court.

If you think that there is any reasonable debate to be had about whether it could possibly be legitimate or appropriate for government school officials to corral an unwilling 13-year-old girl into the school nurse’s office, then force her to undergo a humiliating strip-search, all in order to serve the Compelling State Interest of making sure that she wasn’t covertly carrying any ibuprofen on her person — and, this is, apparently, something that the most distinguished jurists of the government of the United States of America believe — then I will say that there is something deeply wrong with the kind of conversations that you are having about 13 year old girls, their rights, the role of schools in a humane society, and the prerogatives of the State. By the time you get around to trying to answer a question like that, it’s already too late; the fact that it was ever open for you says more than enough about you, and about the masters that you serve.

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6 replies to It isn’t. Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Nick Manley

    I watched a video of this girl and her mother speaking about the incident. They were much more rational then the cronies running this school district. Thank goodness her mother didn’t side with the school! I imagine there are parents who would.

  2. Nick Manley

    ACLU video, everyone.

    https://secure.aclu.org/site/SPageServer?pagename=NatSupportSavanaVideo&s_src=shortcut

    Note how intellectually mature this 13 year old is — was not aware that 13 year olds are by definition incapable of understanding the risks/potential benefits of drugs. The zero tolerance policy in schools completely undermines the development of youth intelligence — not to mention overriding the potential judgment of sane reason minded parents — although, I do not postulate an absolute right for parents to control their children. Alas, they do frequently violate ethical obligations to youth. The Randian view does strike me as the best. A person willingly engaged in the raising of a child has obligations to that child — the child has no obligation to their parents.

    The ACLU may be more conventional then me, but they do a hell of a job. Without them, America’s freedoms would be in much more danger. I give this left-liberal outfit two thumbs up.

  3. Phil

    Holy shit.

  4. Monkt

    This is horrible, no one should EVER have to ask this question.

  5. Gabriel

    Schools are apparently being run like prison camps now, so sadly I was not surprised to see this news item. Sometimes I think politicos and their followers dream about making the entire earth a “prison planet”, i.e. have regimentation and central authority cover every square millimeter of the globe.

— 2013 —

  1. Discussed at radgeek.com

    Rad Geek People's Daily 2013-03-15 – Cops Are Here To Protect You (Cont’d):

    […] All K-12 students, Pennsylvania: Bristol Township School District allows them. Neshaminy and Pennridge schools do not. And Palisades is discussing whether to permit them. But most local school districts have no specific policy on strip-searches of students. Without a policy, there are no guidelines, meaning students can be forced to take off all clothing if suspected of carrying prohibited contraband or material that could pose a threat [for example, dangerous substances like ibuprofen —R.G.]. Statewide, more than 100 school districts have adopted a policy example provided by the Pennsylvania School Board Association in 2009, which sets out the circumstances in which it believes a strip-search would be reasonable and necessary. Palisades introduced its proposed strip-search policy during the school board’s Feb. 6 meeting, leading several parents to speak out against such searches. It defines when administrators could legally strip-search students: a reasonable suspicion that something was being concealed that would be a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the school population and could be recovered only by the removal or searching of a student’s clothes… . There are no possible suspicions that could possibly make it reasonable for school administrators or… […]

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