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Quebec judge rules strip-searched girl cannot return to her school

03/16/2015 04:20 EDT | Updated 05/16/2015 05:59 EDT
A 15 year-old girl who was strip-searched at Neufchatel High School in Quebec City in February will now attend another school.

The girl was suspended after the school said it had reason to believe she had been selling drugs on school property for several months.

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 at Quebec's National Assembly and made headlines around the world after former 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.

Bolduc resigned from politics a week later, citing a personal decision to return to his medical practice.

Court challenge

The girl, who has not been identified, challenged her suspension in court, hoping to return to class at Neufchatel High School.

A judge rejected her request Monday.

The De la Capitale School Board 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.

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 that is 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.​

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