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Safford Unified School District #1, et al., v. April Redding

US Supreme Court Case No. 08-479 (2009)

NCYL was one of sixteen organizations signing on to an amicus brief filed in this case supporting Savana Redding, a 13-year old student, who was strip-searched at school. School officials strip searched Savana after receiving an unreliable tip from another student that Savana had brought Ibuprofen to school. The search exposed Savana’s breasts and pelvic area. Nothing was found after the intrusive search.

Amici urge the Supreme Court to hold that the strip search violated Savana’s Fourth Amendment right against unreasonable searches. The brief points out the trauma that is inflicted by strip searches on children at school, and argues that the school’s interest in locating the Ibuprofen allegedly brought to school by Savana does not outweigh the harm she suffered as a result of the intrusive search. The brief argues that because children are different from adults, a more lenient constitutional standard should apply.

On June 25, 2009, the United State Supreme Court held that the school’s strip search of Savana violated the Fourth Amendment.

The organizations in addition to NCYL signing on to the brief, which was written by attorneys at the Juvenile Law Center, include: the Barton Child Law and Policy Clinic, the Children and Youth Law Clinic, the Citivas Child Law Center, the Juvenile Rights Advocacy Project, the National Juvenile Defender Center, the Women’s Law Project, Youth Law Center and the Justice for Children Project.


Counsel: Pat Arthur, NCYL; Marsha Levick (Counsel of Record); Jessica Feierman, Riya Shah, Emily Keller and Sherry Orbach, Juvenile Law Center, Counsel for Amici Curiae.

Updated April 2, 2010

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