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article imageOp-Ed: Students strip-searched for missing cell phone

By Elizabeth Parker     May 24, 2013 in Lifestyle
Montreal - A strip search of 28 high school students last week when a cell phone went missing during an exam is lighting up facebook pages everywhere with the question, What would you do if this was your child?
B101 FM asks, What if this was your child? The responses are consistent with parents stating how angry they would feel had their child been strip searched by teachers and shock that it was allowed to happen.
According to United Press International, this blog post says students were asked to place their cell phones on a teacher's desk before sitting their final math exam to prevent cheating. When one of the phones went missing the 28 students were apparently ordered into a small room where according to the Sun News a student said, "They put us in a small room," one teenage girl, who didn't give her name, told QMI Agency. "(They said) 'take off your bra, then raise your arms.' They even tapped us on the back."
United Press International goes on to state that the students parents were called as soon as school board officials heard about the incident and students will be able to retake the exam as the officials stated the incident was not conducive to test taking.
"Once officials heard what had happened, they immediately contacted the students' parents to explain the situation," Brochu said. Students will be able to re-take the exam, according to Brochu, who said "the climate was not conducive to a good test."
According to this article at The Law Teacher web site, Canadian's have the right to be secure against unreasonable search and seizure by the Canadian Charter of Rights.
“Everyone has the right to be secure against unreasonable search or seizure” (Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms [CCRF], 1982)
The article continues to say that police must first arrest someone to perform a strip search, and they will use two less intrusive forms of search if possible, as I quote here from the Law Teacher article,
There are two important requirements for a strip search to take place. These requirements were determined in the case of R. v. Caslake. As a result of Caslake, a search must be preceded by an arrest of an individual that is lawful or done for legitimate reason, and the search must be incident to the arrest or in other words the search must be in direct relation to the arrest (R. v. Caslake, 1998). Strip searches are one of many searches that can be conducted by police officers. Two other less intrusive form of search are known as pat downs and frisks. These are often the first tool used by police officers in the incident of arrest.
Apparently their is an ongoing administrative investigation into the matter, but the board did not say if the teachers will face disciplinary action, according to the article.
Read more:
Read more: Case law legislation and violations regarding strip searches within canada | Law Teacher
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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