A quest for a supposedly hidden cell phone, via strip-search of a student at the Milton Hershey School in Pennsylvania, has resulted instead in a lawsuit seeking $75,000, punitive damages, attorney’s fees, costs, and injunctive relief.
The free private school for underprivileged kids, a gift from the founder of the chocolate empire more than a century ago, conducted a strip-search on a student last year, identified only as “C.W.” Administrators explained to her that they were able to do so, because “she does not have constitutional rights since she is in a private school, and they are backed up by the Derry County Police Department,” Infowars reported.
The nurse removed C.W.’s shirt and according to the victim, “touched her all over her body – including her chest- feeling for a smartphone,” leaving her “feeling violated, visibly upset, crying, and shaken,” according to the mother, Trina Howze.
No phone was found, which the school considers contraband, and the lawsuit contends that school officials were “malicious, intentional, and displayed with a reckless indifference to the rights, safety and well-being of the Plaintiffs.” The suit further alleges the strip-search was conducted without Ms. Howze’s knowledge or presence, violating the child’s Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments rights.
A Hershey School spokesperson said in reaction to the Federal Court filing that they had not yet read the papers, but that “we take their privacy rights very seriously.”
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