You might want to sit down for this. Because you're about to hear me give praise to two organizations that I've differed with on more than one occasion: the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). These two organizations – rarely applauded for employing common sense – have helped to drop the hammer on some San Francisco school officials who took a zero tolerance drug policy way too far.
You've got to love the irony.
Both of these organizations have weighed in on the most egregious case of school regulations gone amok. Recently I wrote to you about schools conducting witch hunts to find peanut butter sandwiches as though they were weapons of mass destruction.
One Arizona school's hunt for a dangerous cache of ibuprofen led to then 13-year-old Savana Redding being strip searched by an assistant principal. Yes, you read that right.
The case is now on the docket of the U.S. Supreme Court now that a majority ruling of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that the school officials violated Redding's Fourth Amendment rights with an unreasonable search.
I can't state it any more clearly than Ninth Circuit Judge Kim McLane Wardlaw, who said, " It does not require a constitutional scholar to conclude that a nude search of a 13- year-old child is an invasion of constitutional rights."
Amen to that.
I've written to you before about this kind of insanity. It's a perfect example of how the lack of common sense can actually turn a good rule on its head. On the face of it, no one in their right mind could possibly be against a school's zero tolerance policy regarding drugs.
Not long ago, I told you about a student in the South Middleton School District in Pennsylvania who received a 10-day school suspension for — get this — taking vitamins at school. Why? Because taking vitamins violated the school's drug policy.
You've really got to wonder what kind of idiots are in charge of the school systems in this country when there are so many stories similar to Reddings' about school officials suspending kids for "drugs" like aspirin and vitamins.
Obviously, the zero tolerance policy is aimed at illegal narcotics. So, you have to wonder why the school officials would have gone to such extremes over some ibuprofen? Why did Kerry Wilson, assistant principal of Arizona's Safford Unified School District order two female school employees get Redding to strip to her underwear?
They did this to a 13-year-old girl to see if she had ibuprofen. It's more than unconstitutional. It's criminal. Wilson and the other school employees should be getting jail time for this disgusting lack of judgment.
No ibuprofen pills were found on Redding's person.
Only in this day and age could you possibly find someone misguided enough to believe that the Supreme Court should tread lightly when making this decision. Unsurprisingly, that person is a part of the twisted theoretical world of academia – New York University sociology professor Richard Arum.
Arum cautions, "Do we really want to encourage cases where students and parents are seeking monetary damages against educators in such school-specific matters when reasonable people can disagree about what is appropriate under the circumstances?"
The school district's attorneyies fall back on a statistical argument to defend their indefensible behavior of the school officials. They cite National Drug Control Policy figures that the abuse of prescription and over-the-counter medications is on the rise among 12- and 13-year-olds.
While this may be so, I hardly think that assistant principal Wilson and his crew consulted those stats before they strip-searched the little girl in a quest for ibuprofen.
I'll tell you this: if Redding were my daughter, "reasonable" and "appropriate" would hardly describe how I'd have handled assistant principal Wilson and his staff the moment I heard about this incident.
Hopefully a Supreme Court hearing will shine a bright light on the tin-pot dictatorship of moronic school officials all over the country, and bring these outrages to an end.