Student strip searches are acceptable as long as they are done with the utmost respect. That’s the message that Quebec’s education minister, Yves Bolduc, had for public outrage after a 15-year-old girl was strip searched at Neufchâtel High School in Quebec City.
According to Bolduc, this type of thing is “permitted” by law.
“It is permitted to do strip searches, on one condition: it must be very respectful,” he said when addressing the issue at Canada’s National Assembly earlier this week.
“There are reasons for which we can be obliged to conduct searches,” he added.
“What’s important is that we respect the law and respect the framework that was put in place (for searching students) and respect the person.”
Bolduc defended the school for adhering to protocol for legal strip searches within the nation’s public school system. The high school suspected that the teenage girl had marijuana on her after the girl sent what she claimed to be a “joke” text message.
The Journal de Quebec initially broke the story, noting that on Feb. 12, the student had “jokingly” offered to sell her friend pot. After having her cellphone confiscated by a teacher, the message was passed along to the school’s principal.
The student was first interrogated and then taken to a room where she was asked to take off her clothes behind a blanket.
She later admitted that the school’s actions made her feel “intimidated,” “violated,” “destroyed,” and “ashamed.” The Commission scolaire de la Capitale said the search was “exceptional,” but that it was carried out according to “established norms,” the Montreal Gazette reports.
For some, the strip searches should be the last straw for Quebec’s education minister. Coalition Avenir Québec’s education point person, Jean-François Roberge, called for Bolduc’s resignation.
“It was completely, completely wrong to say that it’s OK to force a teenager to get nude just because the principal thinks that maybe she has some drugs on her… And I would have thought that the minister would stop this and say it’s wrong. But no, no, he said it’s good and there’s no problem with this.”
At the present, it does not look like anyone else will be demanding Bolduc’s resignation and that the affected parties are just going to have to get over it. But what do you think, readers?
Should schools have the right to conduct strip searches, or would it be best if they were never placed in this position? Sound off in the comments section.