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“Strip-searches in high schools OK”

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Published on February 20, 2015 with No Comments

Quebec Education Minister Yves Bolduc has said that students can be strip-searched in the province’s high schools under “strict” guidelines and in a “respectful” manner.
Bolduc told the Assembly that strip searches are reasonable when student security is in question.
His made the comments after a 15-year-old girl told a Quebec newspaper that she felt violated during a strip search at her Quebec City high school. The girl said school officials suspected her of selling drugs and told her to take her clothes off behind a screen for inspection.
The girl said the principal and another female staff member searched all of her clothes, including her bra and underwear, looking for pot. They didn’t find any, the girl said.
Bolduc said that schools must take drug allegations seriously.
“When we suspect drug trafficking we want to protect our youth; it’s a security issue,” he said.“These searches must follow a very strict protocol with specific conditions. And I would add, even though it’s not in the protocol, to add the human side, it must be done very respectfully,” he added.
Bolduc said students who are being searched take their clothes off behind a curtain and hand them over to a staff member to be inspected. Students are never naked in front of school officials, he said.
The school board said there must be “reasonable grounds to suspect a rule was broken and the evidence can be found on the student.” It also said that only clothes are searched, not the student’s body.
But although the courts have granted schools the right to search students’ lockers, a strip search of any kind is in an entirely different category, legal experts say.


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