# Strip Searches

School board election results thread

Turnout was low in most of Iowa’s school board elections yesterday, but not in Iowa City, where a controversy over a school closure earlier this year helped spark the highest level of voter participation since the 1995 school board races. John Deeth has details and analysis of the results. Many Iowa Democrats will recognize the name of Sarah Swisher, a superdelegate to the DNC who has been Iowa Political Director of the SEIU.

In Des Moines, Margaret Buckton was the only challenger to win one of the four seats up for grabs. As the associate executive director of public policy for the Iowa Association of School Boards, she’s got a lot of relevant experience.

Buckton’s day job is to train school board members and superintendents about how to work with state legislators and advocate for their district, how school finances and budgets work, and how to implement policies such as the new Iowa Core Curriculum, the state’s blueprint for what students should learn while in school.

The three re-elected incumbents in Des Moines were Connie Boesen, Teree Caldwell-Johnson and Patty Link, whom many of you may have seen at Democratic functions. She is married to the campaign consultant Jeff Link.

The Des Moines Register published results for many other central Iowa school districts here. Many Iowa Democrats may know newly-elected West Des Moines school board member Liz Brennan, a Montessori pre-school teacher. Her husband, Scott Brennan, was the previous chairman of the Iowa Democratic Party.

Ankeny voters rejected a bond initiative that would have funded a new elementary school and improvements to a different school. Given the rapid population growth in Ankeny during the past decade, it’s hard to see how the school district can avoid overcrowding if they can’t build a new elementary school.

Share any thoughts about education or school board races in this thread.

Atlantic residents are rightly angry about the strip search of five girls that staff conducted after a student said $100 had gone missing.

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Heads should roll in the Atlantic school district


School officials in Atlantic forced five teenage girls to take off their clothing for a search after a classmate reported $100 missing from her purse, according to the girls’ families and two lawyers.

The classmate and a female counselor stood watch in the girls’ locker room at Atlantic High School as the five girls removed their clothing, lifted up their underwear, and in one case took off all her clothing, according to lawyers Ed Noethe of Council Bluffs and Matt Hudson of Harlan.

Strip-searching is illegal in Iowa schools.

Dan Crozier, the interim superintendent of the Atlantic school district, said the search took place Aug. 21, the third day of school, during a gym class in the last period of the day.

Crozier said faculty members denied it was a strip-search. “According to our board policy, it was an allowable search,” he said.

Two predictions:

This matter will be settled out of court if the Atlantic school district has minimally competent legal advisers.

This interim position won’t lead to a permanent job for Crozier. Telling a group of girls to take off their clothes is an allowable search now? The Register quoted from the district’s search policies:

“A more intrusive search, short of a strip-search, of the student’s person, handbags, book bags, etc. is permissible in emergency situations when the health and safety of students, employees or visitors are threatened.”

I don’t think strip searches should be permitted in high schools at all, but I understand why it might happen if a student claimed to have seen a classmate carrying a gun, bomb or knife. For these girls to be humiliated over $100 allegedly stolen is outrageous.

Earlier this year the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that strip-searching an Arizona middle school student suspected of bringing ibuprofen to school was unconstitutional.

UPDATE: Pam Spaulding discusses this case at Pandagon. An administrator has reportedly been placed on leave because of this incident.

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