The Supreme Court ruled Thursday school officials violated an Arizona teenage girl rights by strip-searching her for prescription-strength ibuprofen, saying U.S. educators should not force children to remove their clothing unless student safety is at risk.
In an 8-1 ruling, the justices said that Safford Middle School officials violated the Fourth Amendment ban on unreasonable searches with their treatment of Savana Redding. However, the court also ruled that the Arizona school officials cannot be held financially liable for their search.
Redding was 13 when the educators in rural eastern Arizona conducted the search. They were looking for pills — the equivalent of two Advils. The district bans prescription and over-the-counter drugs and the school was acting on a tip from another student.
The school's search of Redding's backpack and outer clothes was permissible, the court said. But the justices said that officials went too far when they asked to search her underwear.