Common Sense Takes Another Hit

strip searchSo I’m sitting here, innocently enjoying my morning Chai Latte (mmmm…. Oregon Chai…..sorry, A.D.D.), and I hear a story on the news about a school in Atlantic, Iowa, up in arms about a strip search that had been performed on five girls, over $100 that a student reported missing.  (print story here)

My first reaction was, “what the heck?  STRIP SEARCH???”  My second reaction, on the heels of the first was, “what kid carries $100 around in her pocket?”

I had to investigate further.

In 1986, Iowa passed a law that it is illegal to perform a strip search on a student, “strip search” to include “pulling the waistband of undergarments from the body.”  It staggers me that such a law is even needed, but there you go.  It exists.

Fast-forward to 2009, and this school finds it necessary to detain five girls in a locker room, demanding that they remove all of their clothing, down to their underwear.  In one case, a girl was asked to remove her underwear – strip naked – and in another case, a girl re-dressed, only to be asked to undress again, this time, removing her bra.  At present, the missing money has not been located.

I would like to see the thought process that led this teacher, faculty and school board to the conclusion that this was, in any way, acceptable.  Aside from the fact that it was completely unnecessary and humiliating, it was against the law.  But the school board decided, and I quote from the article, “According to our board policy, it was an allowable search.”  Let me get this straight… school board policy trumps state law?  I think a few lawyers might dispute that.

And, in fact, they are.  Parents of three of the five students have retained representation.  A fourth is considering it.

Honestly, folks.  What has happened to common sense?

I hate to go all, “when I was a kid” here, but when I was a kid…. Had this happened at our school, and a student reported that he/she was missing the $100 that was in their pocket a few minutes ago?  My principal, I kid you not, would have swatted that kid upside the head and said, “what the hell were you doing bringing $100 to school?”  Then a note would most likely have gone home to the parents, “keep an eye on your kids, we’ve had a large sum of money go missing at the school.”  And, if necessary, the police would have been called.  But at the heart of it, a hard lesson would have been learned:  $100 is a lot of money.  Keep it close, don’t brag on it.  If you lose it, it’s your own problem.  If it was stolen, justice will be done.

Nobody would ever have had to get naked over it.

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13 Responses to Common Sense Takes Another Hit

  1. SKL says:

    My mom always reminded me throughout school, that the majority of teachers are not the sharpest tools in the shed. This is just more proof of that.

    I agree with you – my reaction would be, what do you mean you had $100 cash in your pocket? What for? Where did you get it? Why were you hanging onto it instead of handing it over to whoever it was intended for? Ever heard of a bank? Have you been making illegal sales or working under the table? Or are you making up the lost $100 story? How much do your parents know about all this?

    One of the biggest reasons I was in a hurry to get out of high school was the way they treat youths like caged animals. I wouldn’t put it past my high school administration to try this, or something nearly as ignorant. I mean, they took the doors off the bathroom stalls and required us to disrobe communally for gym showers (and then inspect to see if we showered well enough), so how much worse can a strip-search be?

    People wonder why so many young people drop out of school. Well, why voluntarily remain in that environment for years? On the other hand, why do so many young people degrade themselves to the level where this type of treatment is considered necessary? I don’t know, I’m just glad I was able to graduate soon after I was old enough to legally drop out, or who knows whether I would have stuck it out?

  2. What that school did is just despicable. First of all, I’m interested to know how it was proven that anyone even brought a 100$ bill to school. Couldn’t the kid just be lying about this? Second, children and teenagers are even more reluctant, normally, to remove their clothing, most especially in the presence of people they don’t know or trust. I can’t even imagine what these girls went through or how they could stand it. I have a feeling some of those lawyers are going to be putting in charges of sexual assault any day now…

  3. Karma Doc says:

    Yes, this is sexual assault.

    If either of my two girls would have gone through this embarrassment I would have called the police and traveled to the school to confront the individuals concerned.

    No, school board policies DO NOT trump state law

  4. mssc54 says:

    The ALLEGED missing money.

    How long do you think it will be before the “made fopr TV movie” comes out?

  5. Gary says:

    I couldn’t believe this when I saw it on the news a few days ago. The money will probably never turn up because there was no money to begin with.

    It’s a crazy world we live in!

  6. kweenmama says:

    The very first thing I thought when I started reading this was, “How do they know there really was $100.00?” There are girls just mean enough to wrongfully accuse others just to cause them embarrassment.

  7. nikki says:

    WOW…I would have been mortified had I been told to take my clothes off at school. Well first of all I wouldn’t have, they couldn’t physically make me and I would have called my mother.
    The $100 who knows, I find it hard to believe any kid would have that much money on them. But then again kids and school is not the same these days. I’d lean towards the money thing being a lie but I wasn’t there so IDK! But obviously the strip search happened and in every way that is just plain and simple, WRONG!

  8. MoodSwingMabel says:

    I hadn’t heard of this and it scares me that this kind of thing can even happen. Here we send ours kids off to school thinking they are protected. I know I say this a lot, but it’d be such a sad day for the person who decided to “strip search” my child – a sad, sad day because I’d go ape shit.

    What kind of pervert strip searches a child? That’s BULLSHIT! Parents should have been called before anything was done.

  9. Sue says:

    I can’t believe they did this! I wonder how scared they got those girls in order to get them to actually do the search. It’s just sad and wrong and I hope they get their asses nailed to the wall.

  10. javajunkee says:

    and then when the kid got home the parents would have smacked them upside the head and asked them what the hell they were thinking.

    I am thinking some school people are going to be in trouble. Which they probably should be but these cushioned kids who have no respect for other people or thier stuff pisses me off too. I don’t know what makes me more mad in this story.

  11. javajunkee says:

    ….and then I read the comments and the thought of there not even being money crossed my mind because I was too pissed off to even get that far. We can all just about bet that is the case.

  12. Tony says:

    Unbelievable… Where will it end???

  13. joz1234 says:

    That’s ridiculous.

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