Stop Strip-Searches of Children in North Carolina

Target: North Carolina Board of Education

Goal: To prevent unnecessary and invasive strip-searches in elementary schools

A 10-year-old student named Justin Cox was taken into a bathroom at Union Elementary School, ordered to strip down to his undershirt and boxers, and searched by a female assistant principal. The search was administered because the young student was accused of stealing $20 from a classmate. Although Justin insisted he had only picked up the money and handed it back to the classmate who had dropped it, fingers were still pointed at him and the school administration apparently decided to take matters into their own hands.

Justin mother, Clarinda Cox, was furious. Not only was she not contacted before or after the search, Clarinda described details of the search that was administered. Apparently, “[the assistant principal] came up to him and rubbed her fingers around inside of his underwear. If that isn’t excessively intrusive,” Clarinda stated, “I don’t know what is.”

After the money was found in the school lunchroom, the assistant principal hugged Justin and profusely apologized to him; however, her actions must not be repeated for any student. Students should, at the very least, have a parent or guardian present if a search is absolutely necessary. Furthermore, a search conducted by a member of the same gender would be far more appropriate than what occurred at Union Elementary School. Sign the petition now to ensure that students have their basic rights intact if they must be searched.


Dear North Carolina Board of Education,

It has come to my attention that an unnecessary strip-search occurred at Union Elementary School. A 10-year-old male student was ordered to strip down to his underwear and was searched by female assistant principal Teresa Holmes because he was accused of stealing $20 from a classmate. I would like to stress that the search was highly inappropriate. Not only did the assistant principal trace the inside of the student’s underwear with her fingers while searching for the money, the student’s parents were not informed that such an invasion of privacy was necessary. As a side note, the money the young boy was accused of stealing was later found in a lunchroom.

If strip searches absolutely must occur in the future, I urge you to tell all schools that they are required to inform the student’s parents/guardians prior to the search. Furthermore, please ensure that searches are administered by a member of the same sex. Failure to do so would be a direct invasion of a student’s privacy and dignity.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. That isn’t what strip searching is. Seriously fuck you idiot liberals.

    • you must be friends with the Hulk that STRIP searched the boy, touch my kids and I’ll break your forking hands!!!

  2. George Payerle says:

    Thanks for taking an instance of a boy, rather than a girl, as raison for this excellent petition. I was subjected (along with everyone else in my grade at the school) to a similar “humiliation” when I was about 12. This was not a strip search, it was a medical examination. It’s purpose was entirely good, ensuring that the basic health of all students was assessed and appropriate measures taken if problems were found.

    Trouble is, the exam was carried out by a (very attractive) female public health nurse. The girls never did tell us boys what procedures they were subjected to, but all of us pre-pubescent males were told (kindly enough) to strip down to our underpants, one by one in the school’s firat-aid room. Standard examinations like a stethoscope check of lungs were carried out. But then, this pretty nurse suddenly pulled out the waistband of my jockeys and peered inside, tilting her head left and right. I later learned that this was to determine that my testicles had descended as they should.

    I felt totally embarrassed, and even the nurse blushed a bit and seemed to think she was doing something taboo. (And it was a Roman Catholic school.)

    I am now nearing 70 years of age, so that was a long time ago. But the case of the 10-year-old described here is very similar. I do believe that, whatever the circumstances (searches or medical exams), the official and the subject should be placed on an equal footing. Whether or not it is a cross-gender situation, the child MUST be briefed (no pun intended) on the nature and purpose of what will take place and be assured that the procedure is totally objective and professional.

    Advance warning in the case of the boy suspected of stealing is not practicable, but in the case of anything like a medical exam, parents should be informed ahead of time and asked to explain the nature and purpose of the procedure to their child. They should also be offered an alternative, such as a signed certificate from the family doctor stating that all the items of the exam had been carried out by him/her and the outcomes.

    The kind of medical exam I describe is probably no longer carried out in schools, but the issue of this sort of invasion of privacy, of enforced intimacy with a representative of an authority, is everywhere. Think only of the invasive body searches and scanning now required at airports. It needs to be addressed with adequate protocols, and with transparent (again no pun intended) public education.

  3. My 16 year old son was recently accused of being in pocession of drugs at school. His two female principals searched him. He removed his shirt and shorts, socks, and shoes. He then was instructed to jump up and down. I know this is a violation of his civil rights but, can’t seem to find a lawyer. I live in a small minded town. The sheriff’s office wont take my report. They say it’s not a crime. They also happen to be the employer for the schools resource officer. Yet, one town over police say this is a crime but, not their jurisdiction. Any advice on a good law firm would be appreciated. The small ones in this town want like $20k up front and won’t admit it was a crime. They don’t want to go against their town. By the way, nothing illegal was found on my son. I’ve went to the superintendent of schools and all he did was ask the principals. They admit to the search but, say my son agreed, was wearing shorts for boxers and no one touched him so it was all nice and legal. Um no. Still two women searching a male underage student. Also the details aren’t as important as the fact the search was done at all by them. Which they’ve admitted.

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