Strip-searched girl can't return to her school, Quebec judge rules
Student, 15, had challenged her suspension in court
A 15-year-old girl who was strip-searched at Neufchatel High School in Quebec City in February must attend another school after a judge ruled against her challenge of the suspension.
The teen was suspended after the school said it had reason to believe she had been selling drugs on school property for several months.
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The girl, who has not been identified, challenged her suspension in court, hoping to return to class at Neufchatel High School.
Quebec Superior Court Judge Bernard Godbout rejected the girl's request Monday.
The De la Capitale School Board had opposed the request.
The board’s lawyer told the court the school had "serious reasons for expelling the student" that the media could not report on for the moment.
The board had earlier offered to place the girl in another school that specialized in helping troubled young people.
In the strip search, the girl was asked to remove all her clothing, including her underwear.
No drugs were found.
The incident created a furor in Quebec's National Assembly and made headlines around the world after then education minister Yves Bolduc defended the strip search, saying it was acceptable as long as it was done in a "respectful manner."
Bolduc then ordered an independent review of the incident and promised to review the Education Ministry’s policy, but the political damage was done.
The minister resigned from politics a week later, citing a personal decision to return to his medical practice.
Girl's family launched lawsuit
The girl’s mother said the family was traumatized by the incident.
The mother said she was particularly upset about not being called before or after her daughter was strip-searched.
She said her daughter's requests to call home were twice denied.
The school board said this was not true.
The family's lawyer said he will file a lawsuit alleging the province misinterpreted a 1998 Supreme Court decision involving the drug search of a student in Nova Scotia when it formulated its search policy.
In response to the controversy, Premier Philippe Couillard said there would be no more strip searches in schools, except in extreme cases where police deem it necessary.