There is a case before the U.S. Supreme court right now that will determine if school officials may strip search students. I find this case particularly appalling in view of the violations of the privileges we have already given school officials under the doctrine of in loco parentis. Those who have read my posts from way back at the American Federalist Blog will surely recall my post there on this very issue.
What's at stake is nothing less than our freedom as a nation and the future of our children and grandchildren. When school administrators perform the duties of law enforcement while acting under in loco parentis, they are in a conflict of interest. They cannot be acting in your child's best interests when they are seeking evidence that may convict them of a crime. It is outrageous that any school official should be able to question, search, lie to and offer rewards to a child for confessing to a crime, in order to prosecute that child and still claim to be acting in the place of a parent. I believe that most parents would insist that their child have a lawyer present for any questioning that might lead to a criminal conviction for that child, just as they would for themselves.
Some may argue that the purpose of a school administrator in these situations is not to find prosecutorial evidence against a child but rather to maintain order in the school and to protect the other students. That when, during such an investigation, a school official finds evidence of a crime, they are then obligated as, both a citizen and an agent of the state(who is paying them in the case of public schools)to communicate what they have found to law enforcement. This might be true if a crime was discovered to have been committed serendipitously, but this is often not the case. When school administrators have carte blanche to interrogate your child on the basis of rumors(malicious or otherwise) or chance heard comments, the tendency is for them to want to find something wrong. This process is traumatic for the student and their family and it sends a message to the other students. That message is-you have no rights to due process here. Even if your child is of a strong enough character to defend him/herself by taking the 5th, many districts maintain that a child's use of the 5th amendment to protect their interests may be construed as a confession and used to expel your child. (Taking the 5th is not an admission of guilt, it is common sense.)
The reason I think that this is an issue of vital national interest is the same reason many of our founders insisted that education be a priority. Educated people can maintain the boundaries of government and prevent it from becoming tyrannical. If our youth are taught by this most practical of examples that the bill of rights does not apply to them while they are in school, how can we possibly expect them to exercise those rights or protect them when they are old enough to vote. If we do not allow our students to exercise their rights, we should not expect to have any when we are old and we should not expect our grandchildren to have them either.
Please understand that I am not condoning criminal behavior on the part of children. I am saying that our children have the same rights we do as American citizens. Those rights include a right to legal counsel when being questioned by an agent of the state about a crime and a right not to incriminate themselves under questioning. Not only does current law allow such abuses of our children' rights, without notification to us, but it it places the heaviest burden to exercise one's God given and Constitutionally affirmed rights on that segment of our population that is least able to exercise it.
If it is determined in this case that school officials do have the right to strip search your child, I would urge all parents to pull their child(ren) out of the public school system and homeschool them for their own safety. If you cannot, then send a certified letter to your school district's administrator revoking the right of all school officials to act "in loco parentis" in such circumstances and directing them to contact you immediately. It should also prohibit them from questioning your child without yourself and /or your legal counsel present. (In fact, I would recommend you do the second one now anyway.)
If you are interested in adding a Constitutional amendment to assure the rights of parents to direct the upbringing of their children , please also visit http://www.parentalrights.org/
In my own state I have recently submitted language to my legislators for a bill limiting the rights of school officials to act under "in loco parentis" in these types of situations. If your own state does not have such legislation, may I suggest you help them to make some. The future of your children and our nation is at stake. (Always assuming we can get ourselves out the the debt prison to which our Congress has recently consigned us.)
"For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him."~Gen 18:9