On the word of one student, who said a girl had given her a prescription strength Ibuprofen, the vice principal of a school had a female student strip searched.
While the nurse watched, a female secretary had Redding strip to her underwear, pull her bra to the side and her panties out at the crotch and expose her breasts and pelvic area. After no pills appeared, Redding got dressed.
Redding says she didn’t return to class but sat in the vice principal’s office and called her mother to pick her up. She was afraid to tell her mom on the phone what had happened, she recalls, because “the secretary was listening” and “I was like really ashamed, like it was my fault.” A friend later spilled the beans about the search, and Redding says her mom “was more mad than I was. I felt really stupid.”
The incident was so humiliating that Redding says she couldn’t return to school for months. “Everyone knew what had happened, and they were talking about me,” she recalls. “I got really nervous, developed ulcers and started puking.”
What did the school district’s lawyer have to say?
Wright, the lawyer for the school district, says the school’s strict drug policy is still in effect. He is not aware of any specific rules on strip searches but stresses the duty of schools “to closely supervise students and provide a safe environment.” As for the strip search of Redding, he says it was based on “reasonable grounds.”
“Remember,” he says, “this was prescription strength Ibuprofen.”