It started as a girl fight at Denver's Kepner Middle School. "The little girl grabbed her hair and yanked her down to the ground" says Danielle Espinoza, but what happened next to her 13 year old daughter crossed the line. Danielle says a female school counselor, a male staff member and a male police officer strip searched her 8th grade daughter after they found a pipe in her backpack. "To find out she was asked to remove her shirt in front of two males...I don't think that's appropriate" said the girls mother.
Denver Public Schools has a policy which reads, "searches shall be limited to the student's pockets, any object in the students possession..and/or a pat down of the student's clothing. No strip-searches shall be carried out." It wasn't until a local TV station jumped on the story that the school took the complaints seriously.
Thoughts-As a parent, I couldn't get down to that school fast enough to handle such an obvious breach of supervisory conduct. It has to be appalling to all of us that these intrusions into our personal dignity continue to be a day to day occurrence. What is the logical rationalization for such an action? There is none. We can't condone the young girls actions in this particular incident just as we cannot allow this personally invasive over-reaction on the part of school officials to stand without consequences. I am all for accountability and it remains to be seen what steps the school takes to make sure the proper discipline is doled out in this incident. We need to let them know we are watching.
I just recently saw a television report on an Egyptian woman who is fighting for her and other female basic human rights when they were stip searched. That government took it a step further when officials had the women examined to determine if they were virgins. A minor child being strip searched in her school in our USA in front of men is beyond acceptable. We are headed in the wrong direction. The direction of losing our basic human rights. We are looking like Egypt. That is frightening. We need to show outrage in this matter.