Strip Search Decision Could Affect Ansonia Case

The Supreme Court decision on an Arizona case could affect Ansonia

'Take off all your clothes' is not an instruction that a teacher should give and the U.S. Supreme Court agrees.  

The high court ruled that an Arizona school officials violated a student’s Fourth Amendment right against an unreasonable search when eighth grader, Savana Redding, was ordered to disrobed, unfasten her bra and allow the school to see inside her underwear to prove she wasn't hiding ibuprofen or another over-the-counter drug.

The 8-to-1 decision might have implications for a lawsuit against Ansonia.

While the high court's decision concerns strip searches for drugs, a lawsuit by four students at Ansonia's Pine Tree Academy, an alternative high school, might be affected. 

Two teachers searched the students last December after the pupils were accused of stealing $70 from another teacher.

"This decision is not good news for the Ansonia School District," Jeff Meyer, a professor at the Quinnipiac University School of Law, told the Connecticut Post. "The court is telling school officials that they must have a particularized suspicion that students are concealing contraband in a specific place under their clothes. This is a big step for student privacy rights."

Robert Berke, an attorney representing four male students in a lawsuit against Ansonia's Pine Tree Academy and the city of Ansonia, told the newspaper that his clients continue to suffer psychological fallout from the strip search.

"They were embarrassed and humiliated," Berke said, adding that what school administrators did to his clients "violated an Ansonia school district policy banning all strip searches."

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