Your Right to Forbid a Strip Search
After being searched by her teacher, a student at an Oregon government middle school, said, “I didn’t want to argue, I didn’t know my rights — nobody told me.”
If only she had known that she was protected by the the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which prohibits unreasonable searches. That means that in MOST situations, your teachers and the police are not permitted to strip search you. They must have overwhelming evidence that you committed a crime. They cannot strip search you just because you are part of a suspicious group.
If they’re looking for stolen property, such as CDs or money, they probably can’t strip search you. If they’re looking for drugs or guns, the government’s teachers can strip search you. But since they still have to prove that it was necessary, you probably should just tell them to take a hike and then get the hell out of there. Prove your innocence later. (Please note – we’re not lawyers, we’re just rockstars.)
Regardless of your constitutional rights, your teachers or the police can always strip search you if you let them. So don’t. John Burgess, an attorney for the Multnomah Educational Service District, said that school administrators do not need to prove the necessity of a search if they simply ask to search a student and the student consents.
If your teachers or the police try to strip search you, FIGHT BACK until they let you go. Then call your parents, contact an aggressive lawyers group called the ACLU, and sue the school. Then, send us a note , so we can honor you as a Libertarian Rockstar.
When your teachers strip your clothes, they also are stripping away your dignity. It is very difficult to maintain your self-respect after a government official has removed your clothes. Many officials like strip searches because of the psychological impact. They want to humiliate and demean you until you lose your self-respect and begin to believe that you have no rights.
During the holocaust, Hitler humiliated the Jews in order to reduce the chance that they would revolt. The Jews were forced to sweep the streets, forced to wear yellow stars, and mocked in public. After suffering through those humiliating experiences, they became depressed individuals who obediently entered cattle cars that took them to the death camps.
You must defend your self-respect in the same way that you defend your physical body. Never let the government humiliate you by stripping off your clothes. During the Montgomery Bus Boycott, Martin Luther King and the rest of the Negro population would gather at prayer meetings and repeat – “It is an honor to face jail for a just cause.” It is also an honor to endure detention, suspension and even expulsion in order to defy a teacher’s attempt to strip search you.