Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Middle school student sues after strip search for marijuana

Our kids have new concerns now when facing a day at school, not just bullies, gangs, censorship, mindless order or teachers trying to sleep with them, but being forced to strip in front of other students as well. Apparently now in some schools, if one student simply points out a student and mentions marijuana, that student can be stripped searched in-front of their accusers, and the school doesn't care one bit for their individual rights.

A student at Eddie White Academy in Atlanta, Georgia claims that he was unlawfully strip searched after other students accused him of selling marijuana. The student known only as D.H. from court documents, stated that 3 of his classmates accused him of having marijuana to avoid punishment themselves. D.H. was then taken to the office of vice principal Tyrus McDowell and questioned in-front of his accusers.

Vice principal McDowell then, against his rights and the law, searched his backpack and his pockets finding no marijuana. His peers whom were present insisted he had pot, and Vice principal McDowell wasn't satisfied coming up empty handed and that's when he ordered the 7th grader to strip down. Embarrassed, D.H. requested to go do the strip search in the restroom to be more private, he didn't want to flash everyone his Superman underwear.

McDowell insisted again to strip down, so against his will, D.H. stripped down to his underwear to prove he had no marijuana, in-front of 3 other students and the schools resource officer. No marijuana was ever found, and now D.H,'s underwear has become part of open ridicule at school.

Attorney Gerry Weber is now representing D.H. stating that his clients rights were grossly violated siting a case in 2009 were a U.S. Supreme Court ruling found that school officials can't perform even a "partial strip search" of a student, even if they have probable cause. "This is like deja vu," Weber said, "It is simply beyond belief that students are still being stripped naked in the Clayton County schools." He also recounts a lawsuit from a decade back where the federal appeals court found strip searches of Clayton County students was unconstitutional because it violated their Fourth Amendment rights.

Weber has now filed a lawsuit against the Clayton County school district which also names the county's sheriff's department and Ricky Redding, the school's resource officer as defendants. "The strip searches were done intentionally, willfully, wantonly, maliciously, recklessly, sadistically, deliberately, with callous indifference to their consequences," according to the lawsuit.

Either McDowell or Redding will comment on the incident, and D.H. continues to fight ridicule from peers and has developed trust issues with staff.

Middle school student sues after strip search for marijuana - Phoenix Cannabis Culture |