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Safford Middle School (SMS) is a public middle school in Safford, Arizona and currently the only middle school in the Safford Unified School District. It has an estimated 400 students and 51 staff members.
A student at SMS, Savana Redding, was pulled from class on October 3, 2003 by the school's vice principal, Kerry Wilson. Earlier that day, the vice principal had found prescription-strength ibuprofen (400 mg, the strength of two advils) on one of Redding's classmates; prompting him to question the student in possession of the pills. The student blamed Redding, who had no history of disciplinary issues or drug abuse.
Redding was informed of the accusation in Wilson's office that day, and Redding claimed that she had no knowledge of the pills and had not seen them previously. Accompanied by the school's nurse and a female administrative assistant, Redding was ordered to strip to her underwear, and to pull her bra and panties away from her body. The strip search failed to produce any ibuprofen. None of the other students suspected of being involved in the possession or distribution of ibuprofen on campus was subjected to such an invasive search.
The ACLU agreed to represent Redding in the San Francisco 9th Circuit Appeals Court after the trial court ruled that the strip search did not violate Redding's rights. The ruling was overturned in 2008.
On June 25, 2009, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the school officials violated the law, and her rights, with their search of Savana Redding.