Have you been following the Supreme Court case about middle school strip searches? The case stems from a 2003 Arizona middle school incident where a 13-year-old girl was stripped to her skivvies by two female school administrators, who’d been tipped off by another student that the girl had prescription-strength ibuprofen. You know, Advil. But the school officials found absolutely nothing, even after making the child pull aside her bra and panties to check. Now we have the spectacle of Supreme Court justices grappling with “crotching” – yeah, the word was new to us too – and “ick factors,” as incurring audience laughter over their verbal missteps. After Chief Justice John G. Roberts noted that searching a bra for contraband “doesn’t seem as outlandish as the underpants,” Justice Stephen G. Breyer said, “In my experience when I was 8 or 10 or 12 years old, you know, we did take our clothes off once a day. We changed for gym, O.K.? And in my experience, too, people did sometimes stick things in my underwear.”
Well, the New York Times’ account of this case is certainly more entertaining than the usual courts coverage, but we can’t help but be alarmed that a child was strip-searched at school – on nothing more than a classmate’s say-so. Is it just us? Click “comments” and tell us your thoughts.