Stop Invasive Searching at Spring Lake Park High School

Stop Invasive Searching at Spring Lake Park High School

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Petition to
Spring Lake Park School Board and

Why this petition matters

Started by Tristian Rose

EDIT: Please be aware before reading that these searches are conducted with parental consent, however, this is not always viable or in the best interest of the student, regardless of parental decision. The student also needs to provide consent, though often this is in exchange for a lessened chance of expulsion.

Strip searches and other searches of its kind are a tactic used for security purposes, often employed in schools, public institutions, prisons, and otherwise toward those suspected of carrying dangerous materials. The procedure involves making the participant remove all their clothes down to their undergarments in order to check for dangerous materials such as weapons. Though on a surface level is a protocol enlisted for sake of safety of student populations, it has been utilized against students in this school and weaponized as a vehicle for emotional and physical harm. Because of this, we are urging the end of this procedure.

These searches are not only invasive and harmful, but ineffective. These searches have failed to bring a greater sense of safety within this institution and have caused disturbances and outrage among the student population. The practice is disproportionately employed on Black and brown students, and can be particularly humiliating for queer, trans, or otherwise nonconforming and vulnerable bodies. This targeting is also intensely geared toward assigned male at birth students, especially those with dark skin, irregardless of threat or suspicion, disregarding actual potential for harm or the same breach of conduct within other “unassuming” students, (most of whom are white and assigned female at birth).

This practice is an invasion of privacy and gives harmful license for school officials to invade the privacy and disrespect the dignity of the students they’re there to support (most of whom are legal minors). It has allowed for the opening of a gateway for rough physical handling of vulnerable youth. One student reports soreness for several days after a rough search, the hands of a school official being aggressively shoved into their pockets, and later being asked to remove clothing for an incongruous level of suspected threat. The legal unacceptability of this level of invasion of a minor aligns with previously established rulings of law, as evidenced by the Supreme Court ruling regarding 13-year-old Savana Redding, a student strip searched for the possession of over the counter Ibuprofen tablets, where the Supreme Court ruled 8-1 that her fourth amendment right had been violated. Similar instances have happened before our very eyes within our own school, and though not identical in circumstance, we can look to this ruling for a greater understanding of the morality of this situation. 

We urgently request that these searches be abandoned in place of more trauma aware, proactive, and preventative tactics, such as individual outreach, increased mental health resources, increased presence of staff of color, and inclusive de-escalative training. 

Join us in our efforts to stop the violation of our peers, and redirect our understanding of what safety means in our school.

45 have signed. Let’s get to 50!