Pubdate: Tue, 17 Mar 2015
Source: Regina Leader-Post (CN SN)
Copyright: 2015 The Leader-Post Ltd.
Author: Sidhartha Banerjee
Page: B6


MONTREAL - A teen girl who was strip-searched at a Quebec City high 
school in a highly publicized case has lost her bid to return to the 
same institution.

The family's lawyer had sought an injunction, challenging the 
suspension and allowing her to return to the Neufchatel High School, 
which had suspended her last month. Family lawyer Francois-David 
Bernier said Quebec Superior Court Justice Bernard Godbout rejected 
the request Monday.

Bernier had argued an urgent need for the 15-year-old girl to return 
to her old school to save her school year. The school had countered 
with a spot in a school for students with learning difficulties.

The Capitale school board said in a statement they were very 
satisfied with the ruling.

"Justice Godbout emphasizes that the transfer of the student in 
another facility to complete the school year is in her best 
interest," the school board said. "The school board quickly put in 
place the necessary arrangements to support the student in the 
pursuit of their academic progress and success."

Bernier said in a phone interview late Monday that the girl and her 
family are disappointed, but will drop the injunction request and 
abide by the court ruling.

Bernier said other legal challenges are still pending, including a lawsuit.

The incident last month sparked outrage across the country after the 
girl told a local paper she felt violated by the Feb. 12 search after 
officials suspected her of selling drugs.

The local school board says officials followed government regulations 
drafted in 2010 when it conducted the search, but the family lawyer 
countered the school went too far.

The Quebec City school board defended itself, saying it followed 
guidelines: 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. They found no drugs. Quebec Premier Philippe 
Couillard later said there was "no question" strip searches should 
not be allowed in Quebec schools, except under extreme circumstances.

The Quebec government has ordered an independent investigation into 
the incident led by retired lawyer Fabienne Bouchard, who will make 
recommendations by March 27.
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