Japanese version is here.
A case of school strip search in the U.S. is reported on the WWW.
Source:By Aaron Epxtein:
Lexington Herald-Leader, WASHINGTON: AP, Johnson Rd/Leader, TX. A
Reuter report, By
I think these are useful for Japanese teachers, so I will summarize them briefly and at the end
of it I will add some comments of mine. They are somewhat useful for non-Japanese teachers to
understand educational problems in Japan,too.
1. Outline of the case
The case began May 1.1992, Two Alabama girls were forced to submit to strip searches after
a second-grade classmate accused them of stealing $ 7 and putting it in the backpack of the
other girl. No money was found.
The two girls were taken to a restroom and told by music teacher
to remove their clothes.
They were told to come out of the toilet stalls with their underpants
down to their ankles, which
they did. A second strip-search of each girl was conducted a short
time later,but no money was
The School Board investigated the incidents and concluded that the girls not been strip-searched.
The parents of the two girls sued, but a federal lower court dismissed
the lawsuit, and a appeal court
upheld the decision, ruling that the teachers enjoyed partial immunity
from the constitutioal claim,
and also concluded strip searches would not have been clearly unconstitutional
in 1992. By an 8 : 3
The appeals court took into accout the Supreme Court's 1985 ruling,
such searches must be "
reasonably related in scope to the circumstances " which justified
the interference in the first place,
and said school administrators have greater flexibility to search students,
but added that the search
cannot be " excessive intrusive."
The School Board acknowledged that the music teacher had committed a " gross error " in judgment,
but found insufficient evidence and rejected the superintendent's recommendation that the music
teacher be fired.
2. Comments ( By Shoji Sugita )
I will agree with the Supreme Court's 1985 ruling, such searches must be "reasonably related in scope
to the circumstances" which justified the interference, and cannot
be "excessive instrusive."
* A search by a public school official must be based on a reasonable suspicion, not on probable
* The objects search must be logically tied to the purpose of the search. For instance, reasonable
suspicion of possession of weapons or illegal drug ? stealing of
property ? urgently needed ?
Cited:In re Doe, 887 P 2d 645 ( Haw.1994 ),"Journal of Law & Education" Fall 1995, New Jersey v
So,I wonder if the decision of this case was rightful or not, for
this case occured when one of the
student told the teacher that $ 7 had been taken from her purse.
"Reasonable suspicion " was there ?
And if such a incident occurred at Japanese schools, homeroom would explain the happening to all
the students of his (her) class, and would check all their possessions; putting them on theie desks
out of their pockets or so. and if some students refuse to do so,
he (she) will conduct some others.
Recently,Japanese have much discussion of school strip search,
for incidents of using big knives are
increasing here and there in Japan. And Japanese teachers usually
say that they have to keep " Good
relationship with teachers and students ", so it might be justified
not to conduct school strip search at
the least, but when there are reasonable suspicion at schools and they
hesitate to conduct it, they will
lose " Good relationship with teachers and students ",too.
In fact, modern society is so stressful for most people, and many
students are not so exceptional. So
school shall be not only instructive, good moral and disciplinary place,
but also should be easy, enjoyable
and particulary, for the nferior students would be warmhearted.
These two principals are sometimes in contradiction with each other,
and it seems to be impossible,
but you know, we were all raised in such an environment of " Discipline
and Affection " of fathers and
mothers, " Instruction and Tenderness " of grandfathers and
grandmothers and "Social good moral and
Alert watchfulness " of neighbors.
Teachers are the same as them, and I do expect that school strip searches
could be administered by
them in such an educational environment.