Several students were strip searched during their final exams in Saint-Jerome, Quebec. Several Cap-Jeunesse high school teachers are now under investigation by the school board. The teachers were reportedly searching for a cell phone.
The 10th grade students were asked to place their cell phones on the teacher’s desk before the exam began. When the teacher realized one of the phones was missing, the exam was stopped.
As reported by Sun News Network, 28 students were taken into a room and asked to remove their clothing. One of the female students stated that she was told to remove her bra and hold her hands in the air.
Nadyne Brochu, spokeswoman for the school board, expressed her regret that the students were strip searched. She states that the principal and school board were not informed prior to the search. Additionally, strip searches are not condoned by the school board or the individual schools.
As reported by London Free Press, Brochu admits that the decision to conduct the humiliating search “lacked judgment” and “was a disproportionate action under the circumstances.”
Students will be offered another opportunity to take the math exam. The school board decided that the circumstances surrounding the exam were not fair or “conducive to a good test.”
The US Supreme Court addressed school strip searches in 2009. A 13-year-old student was strip searched by school staff in Arizona. Savana Redding was ordered to remove her clothing as she was accused of possessing ibuprofen.
As reported by the Washington Post, it was decided that the strip search was excessive and intrusive. The Supreme Court ruled that the strip search violated Redding’s constitutional rights. Justice David H. Souter explained that the search was improper as there was no “indication of danger to the students from the power of the drugs or their quantity.”
Student strip searches are rarely condoned. However, isolated incidents have led to questions as to how much discretion individual schools should have. At the very least, the teachers should have discussed their decision with administrators before conducting the invasive search.
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