A top Canadian education official said Tuesday that it’s OK to strip search students suspected of concealing drugs—as long as it’s done in a “respectful” way.
“It is permitted to do strip searches, on one condition: It must be very respectful,” Quebec Education Minister Yves Bolduc said at the National Assembly, the Montreal Gazette reports.
Bolduc was defending the decision to strip search a 15-year-old student at a Quebec City high school, where staff reportedly believed she had offered to sell marijuana to her friend. The student told a local newspaper that she had jokingly sent a text message to a friend, offering to sell him “pot.” After a teacher confiscated the phone and saw the text, the student was escorted to a room and asked to take off her clothes behind a blanket. The search left her feeling “intimidated,” “violated,” “destroyed” and “ashamed,” according to the Journal de Québec.
A representative for local political party Coalition Avenir Québec said Bolduc should resign. “It was completely, completely wrong to say that it’s OK to force a teenage to get nude just because the principal thinks that maybe she has some drugs on her,” said Jean-François Roberge.