Quote of the Day, Common Sense Edition

“However, I can state that as someone with an IQ over room temperature, the fact that we are debating whether it is appropriate for school authorities to strip search kids is a sure sign that something has gone horribly, horribly wrong with this country and our sense of perspective, and I blame the war on drugs.”
John Cole

See “Supreme Court to Hear Honor Student Strip Search Case” for background.

FILED UNDER: Law and the Courts, , ,
Alex Knapp
About Alex Knapp
Alex Knapp is Associate Editor at Forbes for science and games. He was a longtime blogger elsewhere before joining the OTB team in June 2005 and contributed some 700 posts through January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheAlexKnapp.


  1. Steve Plunk says:

    I blame public officials who think they know everything and are unaccountable for their actions. This school strip search wasn’t about the war on drugs but about authority. Some people want authority without responsibility.

    The war on drugs has some problems but more accurately those waging the war have problems. Cops who over zealously prosecute the war, school officials who are clueless about what is actually harmful, and politicians who pass so many laws while disregarding the most important one, the law of unintended consequences.

    This is much too complicated to reduce to a single statement.

  2. hcantrall says:

    Crap like this is a big reason why I pulled my kid out of public school and have either home schooled or had him in an online academy for the last few years. It’s frightening what these teachers and school officials think their job entails. Why wouldn’t they get the parents involved? When I was a kid that was the first thing they did if you screwed up, they were on the phone with your mother. Do you sign over your parental rights when you kid gets on the bus these days?

    On the other side of it, what kind of kids are we raising that allow that to happen to them? Even as a kid I would have said to call my parents, there’s no way in hell I would have let school admins do that to me.

  3. Steve,

    While I take the point about authority, this is all very much about the war on drugs. I would argue that one of the animating impetuses for the drug war is the need to “keep our kids safe” and it leads to things like no tolerance policies for Advil because of the potential that the Advil isn’t Advil.

    The whole idea that it is okay to search a little girl’s panties is because the assumed danger is so much greater than the common sense fact that this was a stupid thing to do in the first place.

  4. Steve Plunk says:

    Dr Taylor, I would disagree. I have an interest that my high school son is drug free but I don’t count the Ibuprofen everyday. The administrators knew they were looking for an over the counter medication that is perfectly legal to be in the possession of a minor. They also had the opportunity to contact the parents. This is not keeping children safe, it is not assuming there is danger in a child carrying Ibuprofen, it is people given power they neither deserve nor understand how to administer. The blame rests squarely on those who mucked this up and did what is generally considered a dumb ass thing.

    The track record of bureaucracies and bureaucrats is one of over reaching and absurd justification for ineptitude. Another hallmark of specifically public school officials is their ability to escalate situations beyond reason. This is one of those cases amongst the thousands we hear of. Let’s face it, the people running our public schools are not the brightest to begin with and then are conditioned into being top notch bureaucratic idiots. I’ve seen this as a student, as a parent, and as a citizen involved in my local schools.

    I just don’t see any other blame to be placed other than on the school officials.