This is absurd. Washington Post reporter Christopher Ingraham — who wrote up the story for his publication — says that it made his “jaw drop” when he first heard about it.
Nine students from Worth County High School in Sylvester, Georgia, have filed a federal civil rights lawsuit against their local County Sheriff’s Office for what they credibly allege was a search that wildly stepped over bounds of decency.
Lawyers representing the students say that they’ve literally never heard of anything like this happening before.
The search was conducted on the basis of suspicions that around a dozen particular students in the large high school had illegal substances on them. The search came a few weeks after a search conducted by the City of Sylvester that was deemed not up to par by the office of Sheriff Jeff Hobby.
Thus, a few weeks after the City of Sylvester’s search, Sheriff Hobby and dozens of deputies descended on the school to conduct their own search. School officials were notified of the Sheriff’s Office intent to conduct a search, but they were neither notified of or able to acutely address the egregious scope of that search.
The school was put on lockdown for four hours, with every student forced to give up their cellphones and no called in questions from parents answered, while nearly every student in the school received a pat down search, with a number of reported incidents of officers touching male students’ genitalia, female students’ breasts, and exposing female students’ breasts to their classmates.
Students were searched class by class, with students taken out of their classrooms, separated by gender on opposite sides of a hallway and made to take their shoes off, stand with their hands on the wall and their legs spread.
A short time after the search, which came in April, the local Sheriff’s Office put out a press release acknowledging that at least one deputy had touched students in an inappropriate manner and that corrective action had been taken, but they’ve refused to elaborate.
Those involved in the case are currently awaiting the Sheriff’s Office’s response to the suit, which must come within 60 days, and say that they want Hobby eventually removed from office.