Quebec education minister wants to tighten school strip-search rules

Quebec Education Minister Yves Bolduc says he wants to tighten the rules surrounding how high schools in the province are allowed to conduct strip searches.

A spokeswoman for Bolduc says the education department is verifying under what circumstances students can be strip-searched if school authorities suspect them of selling drugs.

The issue surfaced after a 15-year-old girl told a newspaper she felt violated after being strip-searched because the school suspected her of selling drugs.

On Tuesday, Bolduc said in the legislature that a strip search is permitted under “strict” guidelines and in a “respectful” manner when student security is at issue.

Bolduc says a student must be searched behind a curtain, the clothes given to a staff member to look over, and the student must never be touched or be seen naked by school officials.

The school principal in question said the girl’s clothes were searched and there had been no physical contact.

“These searches must follow a very strict protocol with specific conditions,” Bolduc said.

“And I would add, even though it’s not in the protocol, to add the human side, it must be done very respectfully.”

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