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Wisconsin Legislature approves bill banning student strip searches, heads to Evers' desk

wisconsin state capitol
Posted at 12:18 PM, Jan 19, 2024
and last updated 2024-01-19 13:18:24-05

MADISON (NBC 26) — A Wisconsin bill banning student strip searches is on its way to Governor Tony Evers' desk.

Republican Rep. David Steffen of Howard said in a news release Friday the bill passed in both chambers of the State Legislature.

Steffen said he and GOP State Sen. Eric Wimberger of Green Bay introduced the bill in response to an incident at Suring School District. Several students were searched down to their underwear for vaping devices in January 2022.

Criminal charges were eventually dismissed against Suring School District's former superintendent Kelly Casper in connection to that incident.

Casper resigned in June 2022.

Steffen said the bill would extend Wisconsin law's definition of "strip search" to include searches requiring students to strip down to their underwear.

Wisconsin law currently defines "strip search" where a student's private parts are exposed.

“The incident that occurred at Suring revealed a statutory loophole that needs to be closed in order to protect our students from such humiliating and intrusive searches," Steffen said in the release. "We expect that our kids are being treated with dignity and basic privacy when at school—this bill helps to ensure that."