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.