Wisconsin Lawmakers Are Trying to Ban Vape Strip Searches in Schools

After an incident involving six students being strip-searched for vapes last year, Republican lawmakers are trying to ban strip searches in schools.

In January 2022 former Suring School District Superintendent, Kelly Casper, instructed six female students to strip down to their underwear during a search for vapes. This action has led to outrage which ultimately resulted in Casper handing in her resignation.

Strip searching a student to the point where they are naked is considered a Class B misdemeanor. However following this incident, a bill co-authored by state Rep. Elijah Behnke, of Oconto, Rep. David Steffen of Howard and Green Bay Sen. Eric Wimberger, seeks to expand the definition of a “strip search” to include having students stripping to their underwear.

“This is a common-sense bill that will help protect every student’s dignity while in school,” said Behnke in a statement. “I look forward to getting it passed through the legislature and signed into law.”

Steffen added that the bill aims to ensure that such a violation is never repeated. “The allegations surrounding this incident are a clear violation of basic privacy expectations, and the fact that this involves minors is even more concerning,” he said. “We have joined with parents in demanding that these types of strip searches performed by teachers or school staff never happen again in Wisconsin.”

New York’s A.10547
Meanwhile, A.10547 introduced in New York State by Assemblyman Keith Brown, D-Northport, amended local regulations so that teens caught vaping are required to attend a state-created smoking cessation program. The bill also requires that the parents or guardians of any minors caught vaping are notified.

“Electronic cigarettes are a relatively recent product and manufacturers had previously geared marketing toward non-smoking youth, with a large assortment of sweet flavors of e-liquid and ad campaigns,” wrote Brown. “Additionally, certain youth-targeting e-cigarettes were designed to be small and sleek, and refillable with user-friendly pre-filled pods of liquid-making the device easy to conceal from authority figures. A single pod contains as much nicotine as a pack of cigarettes.”