Supreme Court Holds Strip Search Violates Student’s Privacy Rights

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Question before the Court in Safford United School District #1 v. Redding at https://www.wrightslaw.com/blogs/09/safford.redding.htm)

  • Whether the Fourth Amendment prohibits public school officials from conducting a search of a student suspected of possessing and distributing a prescription drug on campus in violation of school policy.
  • Whether the Ninth Circuit departed from established principles of qualified immunity in holding that a public school administrator may be liable in a damages lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1983 for conducting a search of a student suspected of possessing and distributing a prescription drug on campus.

From the SCOTUSblog:

Safford United School District #1 v. Redding (08-479): The decision below is affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded in an opinion by Justice Souter, with the Court dividing 8-1 on the Fourth Amendment question and 7-2 on the qualified immunity question. Justice Stevens filed a partial dissent joined by Justice Ginsburg. Justice Ginsburg filed an opinion concurring and dissenting in part. Justice Thomas filed an opinion concurring in part and dissenting in part.

The Court held that the strip search did violate the Constitution but it wasn’t clear that the violation was established at the time of this incident. The opinion is available at https://www.wrightslaw.com/law/caselaw/ussupct.safford.redding.pdf

  1. I wonder what it will take before the Supreme Court rules it unconstitutional to strip kids in special education from their right to obtain a FAPE?

    School District Attornes do not seem to be required to operate under a Code of Ethics when representing the school district.
    In a meeting last week, the Special Educaiton Director Denied making a statement that she had made in a previous recorded IEP meeting. The content of her statement caused delays in getting servcies started.

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