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Speaking of teens, schools, and power relationships . . .

This morning, the United States Supreme Court ruled 8-1 in favor of Savana Redding, a young woman who was strip-searched at her middle school after being accused by a fellow student of being in possession of over-the-counter ibuprofen (which were banned by school regulation).

Redding, who now attends college, was 13 when officials at Safford Middle School ordered her to remove her clothes and shake out her underwear because they were looking for pills — the equivalent of two Advils. The district bans prescription and over-the-counter drugs and the school was acting on a tip from another student.

“What was missing from the suspected facts that pointed to Savana was any indication of danger to the students from the power of the drugs or their quantity, and any reason to suppose that Savana was carrying pills in her underwear,” Justice David Souter wrote in the majority opinion. “We think that the combination of these deficiencies was fatal to finding the search reasonable.”

Earlier this year, I posted a link to Dahlia Lithwick’s column following the oral arguments . . . I look forward to any further thoughts she might have in the wake of this decision.

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