As if anyone with a brain needs any more evidence that the average spider monkey has massively more intelligence than the average school administrator, today’s news brings the story of a current Supreme Court case: School administrators in Arizona force a 13 year-old girl to undergo a strip search due to the accusation by a fellow student that she might have some Motrin.
Warning: This post contains adult language and childish insults because quite frankly, most school administrators nowadays do not deserve any better. Willingly putting any child under their care is arguably child abuse, no matter how wonderful (or not) the teachers who work for them are. Read the rest after the jump.
So here we are. There’s these two 13 year old girls, see? They used to be bestest friends 4evah but then weren’t bestest friends anymore. One of ‘em got caught with some prescription ibuprofen, i.e. the 4oomg kind that is the equivalent of two Advil in one pill. She was also caught with knives, cigarettes, and other pills. The admins demand to know where she got ‘em or face serious consequences, so she tells the admins that she got ‘em from her ex-friend. The ex-friend, who also happens to be an honors student who had a spotless record of never causing any trouble was immediately yanked out of class. She was questioned and she said she didn’t do it. Her backpack was searched, nothing. At some point here, the possiblity that an honors student with no prior record was lying about her possession of a few Motrin was deemed a serious enough threat to the student body that the girl absolutely had to get naked for the safety of the school.
All-righty then. Idiot administrators, I have a few questions for you:
- While I know that we started on this slippery slope back in ‘85 when the Supreme Court decided to begin stripping Constitutional protections from students (and the public did nothing), reducing the legal requirement for a search to be “reasonable suspicion” rather than “probable cause”, but when did one adolescent tattling on another adolescent because they’d otherwise be in trouble become “reasonable suspicion”? Have you even MET any adolescents whilst dealing with them on a daily basis? If not, weren’t you a kid yourself once? How do you possibly not know what’s going on here? Do we even have to mention that they used to be best friends and now weren’t? Riiight, it doesn’t take a child psychologist to see what happened there. And although irrelevant, is there anybody who casts less than a 50% chance that had all this not happened, they would’ve been best friends once more in the space of another couple of weeks?
- Is ibuprofen abuse some new fad I somehow haven’t heard of? I mean, I have a number of friends in this age bracket, and I can’t say I’ve heard of this one. I mean, I know about the stupid sniffing of the magic markers that you hand out freely in school. I’ve even heard of the dealing and other abuses of all those amphetamines you freely give them so they can get gas money while laughing at your ignorance to deal with their ADD. But really now, Motrin? I didn’t even know it would make you high. Oh wait, it won’t. Although, it is true that the 800mg ones will give you a pretty heavy stomachache if you don’t eat a decent meal along with ‘em, and that’s an issue since budget cuts have caused decent meals to be difficult to find on school grounds. That and your worries that butter knives are violations of your zero-tolerance weapons policy. But hey, lets assume you’re right, and this ibuprofen thing is a problem and must be stopped. Is the fact that one student might be lying about having a couple of them a significant enough threat to the student body to justify violating them in this fashion? If you had probable cause that she had a pipe bomb stuffed up her vagina, maybe I could give you the benefit of the doubt here. Ibuprofen? Are you fucking serious?
- This item was going to be a totally different matter, but, for real, ibuprofen? The active ingredient in Advil and Motrin? Hmm, what is one of the things that Motrin is particularly good for? Isn’t it one of the most effective drugs for the relief of a certain kind of pain? A pain that is quite often relatively severe? A pain that adolescent girls are typically experiencing for the first time in their lives? I’m not female and I’m not a OBGYN, but I have a sneaking suspicion that I can name at least one valid reason why a 13 year old girl might try to sneak some in school. And quite frankly, this reason is bigger than your boneheaded zero-tolerance policy that you tout as if you don’t realize that merely having a zero-tolerance policy provides prima facie proof that you’re an incompetent idiot.
- I find it quite interesting what ISN’T being reported here. The girl who was originally found with the pills wasn’t strip searched. She was caught with knives, pills, cigarettes, and a lighter, all in violation of school policy, but she only had to shake her clothes. The honors student with no prior record that she tried to pin it on, however, had to undergo what is quite likely one of the more humiliating things that can happen to an adolescent human. Because she might be hiding some Motrin. Do you people even have a functioning brain? Oh wait, anybody with one can see you don’t. Lucky for you, the general public is apathetic and you get to keep your job. Do I have to pull the sexism card and mention that there was a male student involved in this and you only made him shake his clothes out too?
- When the 9th Circuit Court rendered their decision that you had overstepped your boundaries, and had done so so obviously and callously that the administrator who ordered the search could be held personally liable, how much of your decision to continue to use tax dollars to build your lawyer’s automobile collection have to do with a desire to find justice versus hoping that the parents in question would run out of money before you had to cough up your own for your obvious and stupid mistake?
- And if the 9th Circuit didn’t convince you, did you notice that the people calling you idiots comprised the entire political spectrum? From the ultra right wingers to the ultra left wingers, everyone thinks it’s quite obvious that you fucked this one up badly. It’s not often you find a subject that not only gets the ACLU up in arms, but causes redneck Republicans to say things like “a few well-armed fathers could fix this problem easily”. Wow. It turns out that the liberals and the conservatives can indeed agree on something…. that you’re a bunch of idiots and a waste of breathable air.
- And finally, did you get a special tingling “down there” when you forced her to lift her bra and shake those brand new breasts which still had the perkiness that yours lost years ago? What about when you forced her, crying and pleading innocence, to hold open her panties? You weren’t looking for Motrin, you were looking for first-hair, weren’t you? Are you surprised and offended that I’d even say this? Tell me, after looking at the other items in this list, especially #4, what else do you expect someone to think? Because I can’t think of too many other reasons why the male student or the girl who was actually caught with the contraband items didn’t have to undergo such treatment other than they quite simply weren’t your type. And you know, your taking this all the way to the Supreme Court to ensure that you have the right to do this whenever you wish doesn’t help me abandon this theory. Practice your lesbian BDSM scenes at home and leave them out of our schools, okay?
Whew. For everyone else who’s still here reading after my little angry rant, here’s a few links for you. Read the 9th Circuit Court decision to see the minute-by-minute description of what happened, the facts of the case, and background information, and find out if you feel the same way as I do here.
Want more? Click on my Education category on the right sidebar for some of my other posts about this subject. Sometimes I’m more charitable. Okay, I’m not really, that’s a lie.
And to the school admins (and ex-admins) that I know who aren’t morons, my apologies, especially the couple I know. While I’m aware that my sweeping generalizations catch you up in an undeserved indictment, I’m just as confident that you realize that the types of things I’m ranting about aren’t things you’d do and thus none of this is targeted to you.