Target: Yves Bolduc, Minister of Education for the Province of Quebec
Goal: Change regulations allowing school administration to conduct invasive strip-searches.
A 15-year-old girl was recently strip-searched by the administration of the school she attended. Suspected of possessing marijuana, two staff members forced her to remove all of her clothing, including her underwear, so that the staff could search the garments. When the girl demanded a call to her parents, the school principal refused and forced her to undergo the invasive search despite her objections. The search turned up no contraband.
When the case resulted in public outrage, Quebec Education Minister Yves Bolduc was quick to defend the school’s actions. According to him, provincial schools have guidelines in place allowing them to bypass police involvement. He claimed that in order to protect the safety of all students, such immediate searches are sometimes necessary.
While an immediate search may be necessary in the event of possible imminent harm to others, such as a concealed weapon, this girl was accused of selling marijuana based on a joke text message she sent to a friend. In no way would the sale of marijuana jeopardize the immediate safety of another student, nor did the school even have grounds for reasonable suspicion that she possessed drugs. Critics of the move suspect that the school chose to conduct the search themselves as any officer called in would likely refuse to search the girl due to lack of evidence.
While the safety of children is paramount in a school environment, school administrators should not be able to conduct demeaning strip searches without an immediate threat to the physical safety of other students. Sign the petition below to demand a review of Quebec’s provincial education regulations in order to prevent such outrageous invasions of privacy in the future.
Dear Mr. Yves Bolduc,
A 15-year-old student was recently forced to strip completely naked by school administrators who accused her of possessing and selling marijuana. The student was denied a call to her parents when she objected and was forced to undergo the humiliating and invasive search.
While provincial schools have guidelines allowing these types of searches in order to protect the safety of other students, marijuana would have posed no immediate threat to the physical well-being of her peers. It is not only ridiculous that this happened, but that you have defended the school’s blatant abuse of authority. We, the undersigned, demand a change in school regulations so situations like these do not happen again in the future.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Makaristos via Creative Commons