With the rise of school shootings and drug problems across the country, t absolutely makes sense to have tightened security in schools around the country. More security is one important way for schools to try to ensure that senseless violence doesn’t happen, but are certain schools taking it too far? This week, one school is being accused of getting too intense when it comes to protecting their students against drugs and illegal substances, so much so that they are actually harming them. Worth County High School in Sylvester, Georgia, is in the midst of controversy because of the way they dealt with a drug investigation, and now three girls are suing sheriffs for uncomfortable pat-downs.
The high school has had a lot of issues with drugs and illegal substances, so they recently called in the sheriff’s department to investigate. Students were pulled out of their classrooms, asked to take off their shoes and spread their legs, and then patted down. Obviously, this is super uncomfortable, and it sounds like things may have been even worse than that. Some girls allegedly said that officers exposed their breasts to others, boys allegedly had their genitals touched, and students said some of the officers didn’t even wear gloves. The students were allegedly crying during the search, asking if they could call their parents.
The officers didn’t end up finding any drugs, but the students were so upset that they ended up filing a complaint to the sheriff’s department. According to the document, around 900 students were searched, despite the fact that the sheriffs had no warrant to do so. Below is a more detailed account of the type of things that the officers performed on the students:
Obviously, this is incredibly upsetting. According to complaint, the officers had no reason to believe that these students were carrying any illegal substances or paraphernalia, which just makes the situation worse. These are just kids trying to go to school, and they were physically violated by those who are supposed to protect them. To make it even worse, the school had done a drug search just a month earlier, and hadn’t found anything. So why would they do it again, in this way?
Honestly, I think these officers should be punished for their actions. The lawsuit states that the search violates the fourth and fourteenth amendment rights: the right against unreasonable search and seizures, and that no state should restrict the rights of life, liberty or property without the due process of law.
The sheriff’s department then released an official statement, saying that a sheriff did go too far, and will now be punished. Even though they released an apology, this situation still sucks so much. The lockdown lasted for four hours, where students were scared and unable to contact their parents or get any information about what was happening. According to the lawsuit, the students hope to get the head of the Sheriff’s department to resign.
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