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]