Georgia Student Sues Middle School Over Marijuana Strip Search

A Georgia middle school student claimed in a lawsuit Wednesday he was humiliated and traumatized when he was brought to a vice principal’s office and forced to strip in front of classmates who said he had marijuana.

The student, then in the seventh-grade, said he still suffers from emotional distress because his classmates taunted him by calling him Superman, the underwear he was wearing when he was strip-searched. The student is suing the Clayton County school district for unspecified punitive and compensatory damages.

Clayton County school officials didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment about the lawsuit, filed in federal court.

The student, identified in court documents as D.H., said officials at Eddie White Academy initially strip-searched three other students on Feb. 8, 2011, after suspecting they had marijuana. One of them accused D.H. of having drugs, and he was brought to then-vice principal Tyrus McDowell’s office.

While the three classmates watched, D.H.’s pockets and book bag were searched but didn’t find anything, the lawsuit said. One of the students told school officials he had lied about D.H. having drugs, but administrators continued the search as D.H. begged to be taken to the bathroom for more privacy, according to the lawsuit.

D.H. was ordered to strip and again, no drugs were found. The lawsuit didn’t say whether drugs were found on the three students.

“The strip searches were done intentionally, willfully, wantonly, maliciously, recklessly, sadistically, deliberately, with callous indifference to their consequences,” according to the lawsuit, which also names the county’s sheriff’s department and several former school officials as defendants.

The student’s attorney, Gerry Weber, said a 2009 U.S. Supreme Court ruling found school officials can’t perform even a partial strip search of a student, even if they have probable cause.

Weber also litigated a case nearly a decade ago in which the federal appeals court in Atlanta found that a mass strip search of Clayton County students was unconstitutional because it violated their Fourth Amendment rights, which protect against an unreasonable search and seizure.

“This is like deja vu,” said Weber. “It is simply beyond belief that students are still being stripped naked in the Clayton County schools.”

Redding, who is now running for county sheriff, was fired about a month after the search, the lawsuit said. McDowell was placed on administrative leave before subsequently resigning.

Redding declined to comment and McDowell could not immediately be reached.

The student’s mother, Angela Dawson, said her son still hasn’t recovered.

“This situation has broken the very foundation of my child’s education because in order for him to learn, he has to believe that what schools are trying to teach him is right and now he questions them after they stripped him of his clothes and dignity,” she said. “His trust is broken.”

– Article from The Washington Post.

Comments

4 Comments

  1. Bud Grinder on

    I grew up down there but I thank my karma every day that I live in Canada, not Amerikka.

  2. guitarod on

    I doubt the law would go this extent if alcohol were involved instead of pot. Alcohol poses a far greater risk as it is by far the more dangerous drug. Friggin pervs.

  3. Tom Powell on

    Yep, and this is just the beginning. I wish I could go back to the Amsterdam, the way it was back in 1987. I wouldn’t even take a look back.

    In terms of the Netherlands “weed pass” that will be required to go to coffeeshops, I can’t prove it but I bet $64,000 to a sausage that this so-called “free country” of the U.S. was leaning on the Netherlands to do this for some time. The next step will be sketchy people (who are Dutch) going into the coffeeshops and then selling it on the streets. When prices go up and some of these sketchy people commit crimes of their own, who will be the “true” culprits? Why it will be the coffeeshops, of course! The next step to that problem for those “culprits” will be obvious, close the coffeeshops and lean especially hard on marijuana users/possessors. Thus, the Dutch will have “our freedom” forced down their throats and they will be “free” like America!

  4. Anonymous on

    Did the SS even show such pedophilic tendencies? Land of the freeeeee hoooooome of the brrrr….. yeah right.

    And they wonder what the cause of school shootings are. Between systemic molestation and pharmaceutical lobotomies I’d say the answer is obviouis.