Wisconsin lawmakers push to ban strip searches in schools

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Lawmakers in Wisconsin are pushing to ban strip searches in schools across the state after a school superintendent told six female students to remove their clothing during a search.

In January of 2022 six female student of Suring High school were searched to their underwear by school superintendent Kelly Casper for vaping devices. The incident sparked outrage among parents who eventually sued the superintendent. Casper was said to have done the search with a school nurse on the girls aged between 14 and 17 inside a room. But, the criminal complaint against Casper was later discharged by a judge.

Now, Wisconsin republican lawmaker Elijah R. Behnke representing Oconto County is leading a proposal that could totally ban strips searches in schools.

‘I believe the dignity of these young adults was violated because she knew the letter of the law and manipulated the circumstance to take her power too far. The removing of clothing, I believe, a parent needs to consent because they’re minors and the police should be involved’

He said this is about giving a technical language of where students cannot be strip searched and properly define what underwear is. But, will there be exceptions for security reasons?

‘So where do we draw the line? Right. Because, you know, if you can’t pat someone down for a knife, well, then you’re not patting them down for a vape pen. I wouldn’t mind an amendment that would say if there is a school resource officer or if the sheriff’s department is contacted, could they with reasonable suspicion still to I don’t want to call it a strip search because we’re getting rid of that. But a search for a weapon? Yes, I would agree that’s a reasonable amendment to add to this bill.’

He says he is convinced that this bill will pass because he believes a lot of people are passionate about keeping our children safe.