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CHICAGO: Teen strip-searched in highschool washroom


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#1 key2thecup

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 05:49 PM

Parents Of Teen Strip-Searched At School Sue Assistant Principal, Police

CHICAGO (CBS) – The parents of a 15-year old boy who was allegedly strip-searched at a high school last month have filed a lawsuit against the Chicago Public Schools.
In an exclusive interview with CBS 2 Investigator Pam Zekman, the boy and his outraged parents described what happened.

“He came home crying. So I asked him why he was crying,” said the boy’s father, Anthony Woodman. “And he was like hysterical. He tells me he’s been strip-searched.”

It allegedly happened at Taft High school last month.
His mother, Michelle Woodman said she contacted the CBS2 Investigators “so this doesn’t happen to anyone else. No one should go through what our son went through.”

The student said two security guards, a Chicago police officer and a female assistant principal took him from an room where he was serving an “in school suspension” to a nearby washroom on the second floor.

Asked if the officer or assistant principal said anything, the student said, “They told me they had an anonymous tip. They were looking for drugs.”

He said, while the others watched, one of the security guards put him up against the wall of a bathroom stall so his back was to the guards.

“And then he searched me with my clothes on,” the boy said. “Then he told me to remove my belt. As I undid my belt he pulled my pants and underwear down to my knees.”
After that, “He started grabbing and searching my privates,” the boy said.

He said they did not find any drugs.

Records the Woodmans provided said CPS staff diagnosed their son with an emotional disorder and learning disability. He requires special education services.
Misconduct reports detail behavioral problems leading to numerous suspensions, some contested by his parents.

As for the strip search, his father said “there needs to be consequences for what they did to him.”
Now his parents are suing everyone allegedly involved, and Chicago Public Schools and City of Chicago.

“What we are claiming is that his civil rights were violated when he was strip searched without cause and unreasonably,” said Julie Herrera, the Woodman’s attorney.

“The way it was done was outrageous,” Herrera said. “Having a 15-year-old boy have to have a woman – an older woman – watch him with his pants down, while he is touched by another man. I think is horribly humiliating and embarrassing.”

His mother said it was humiliating for her son, and it has adversely affected him.
“He is very withdrawn. He sleeps with his clothes on. He’s had nightmares,” said Michelle Woodman. “He is very angry. He’s depressed. He is just not the same person.”

The assistant principal who allegedly watched the strip search declined to comment, referring questions to the Chicago Public School’s law department.
A CPS spokeswoman said their policy is that “under no circumstances are strip searches of students allowed on CPS premises.”

The CPS policy manual also prohibits “washroom searches.”
Spokeswomen for both CPS and the Chicago Police Department said they cannot comment on this case until their investigation is complete.

http://chicago.cbslo...incipal-police/


Edited by key2thecup, 06 December 2012 - 05:56 PM.

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#2 vavoom

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:30 PM

It is always surprising that such things can happen especially when there are people there that should have better common sense (Assistant principal + Cop).

But yeah, the sex of the student makes a huge difference...I would care more if it was a chick. To me, if it was a chick, I would suspect the existence of some sexual motivation vs. actually looking for drugs. To me, this strip search was just an abuse of power.

Not to downplay the guy's suffering, just saying I'm more concerned that people with such bad judgment hold positions in society where good judgment should be mandatory.

#3 SkeeterHansen

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 07:33 PM

Ooh looks like someone was on Sympatico this morning!...

Edited by MaximYapierre, 06 December 2012 - 07:34 PM.

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#4 Special Ed

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 10:43 PM

I hope the judge makes an example of all those involved.

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#5 :D

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:38 AM

Sounds like the kid has a history. Not going to judge until all the facts are out.

#6 :D

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:41 AM

Also, wtf is going on with Chicago Police lately if this is true.

#7 thad

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:44 AM

Also, wtf is going on with Chicago Police lately if this is true.


No kidding eh.. Even if I was a police officer that had drugs destroy my entire family, I would have enough common sense to know that strip searching a teenager in a school bathroom is wrong. Even if I thought it was right, I would have enough common sense to know there will be a huge public outcry and major lawsuits and investigations to follow.

Good thing the parents are using restraint and dealing with this properly. I'm sure there's a lot of parents out there that would have handled it differently and marched down there to start sucker punching school security guards and teachers.

#8 DeNiro

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 10:55 AM

Sounds like the kid has a history. Not going to judge until all the facts are out.


Doesn't matter, it's still violating his civil rights.

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#9 RiCHC3

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:00 AM

I prefer the drug sniffing dogs in these cases... not that I've ever had the experience :P

#10 Jai604

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 11:24 AM

It is always surprising that such things can happen especially when there are people there that should have better common sense (Assistant principal + Cop).

But yeah, the sex of the student makes a huge difference...I would care more if it was a chick. To me, if it was a chick, I would suspect the existence of some sexual motivation vs. actually looking for drugs. To me, this strip search was just an abuse of power.

Not to downplay the guy's suffering, just saying I'm more concerned that people with such bad judgment hold positions in society where good judgment should be mandatory.


That's just stupid. What exactly is the difference here?

You're also assuming the police officer is straight, what if he wasn't?

THe motivation doesn't matter, the fact remains that the boy was sexually abused, and his civil rights were trampled on. There shouldn't be a double-standard for the law or the whether or not we care about it.

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#11 vavoom

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:42 PM

That's just stupid. What exactly is the difference here?

You're also assuming the police officer is straight, what if he wasn't?

THe motivation doesn't matter, the fact remains that the boy was sexually abused, and his civil rights were trampled on. There shouldn't be a double-standard for the law or the whether or not we care about it.


Come on, man! I basically fully admitted my own gender bias here. Its not stupid, I'm just saying that I would care more if it was a chick. Didn't say it wasn't wrong, just saying that I care less.

#12 Denguin

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 12:51 PM

Come on, man! I basically fully admitted my own gender bias here. Its not stupid, I'm just saying that I would care more if it was a chick. Didn't say it wasn't wrong, just saying that I care less.

That's one hell of a gender bias you have there...

#13 vavoom

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 02:18 PM

That's one hell of a gender bias you have there...


Hold on, the key is, I would care "more". How much more? don't know if that is something that is quantifiable. Suffice to say, it doesn't really matter to this story...

edit: just realized there were some previous comments that I was responding to that have vanished. I can see that this makes my specific comment a bit more crass. Oh well, I suppose my comments should be able to stand on its own.

Edited by vavoom, 07 December 2012 - 02:20 PM.


#14 canucks since 77

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Posted 07 December 2012 - 04:21 PM

No kidding eh.. Even if I was a police officer that had drugs destroy my entire family, I would have enough common sense to know that strip searching a teenager in a school bathroom is wrong. Even if I thought it was right, I would have enough common sense to know there will be a huge public outcry and major lawsuits and investigations to follow.

Good thing the parents are using restraint and dealing with this properly. I'm sure there's a lot of parents out there that would have handled it differently and marched down there to start sucker punching school security guards and teachers.

Ya got me. Especially if it was my daughter. I hope they win the lawsuit.
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#15 GoaltenderInterference

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:28 AM

The title of the article makes it sound like the parents were strip-searched...

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#16 CanucksSayEh

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 01:44 AM

I have a hard time believing all the "nightmares" and "emotionally damaged" stories in a lot of these things. It's like a robotic response people give that seems to get them more $ and sympathy. I'm sure it is serious and legit it many cases, but cmon it seems like everyone is crippled for life for an awkward moment these days. Justice system eats it up. Mental midgets, need to party harder.

#17 :D

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 02:33 AM

What's to say the kid, who has a history of behavioral problems, didn't make the whole thing up?
Has anything been released that would corroborate? Video of the group going into the washrooom? A witness? An admission?

#18 Bertuzzi Babe

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 08:33 AM

I have a hard time believing all the "nightmares" and "emotionally damaged" stories in a lot of these things. It's like a robotic response people give that seems to get them more $ and sympathy. I'm sure it is serious and legit it many cases, but cmon it seems like everyone is crippled for life for an awkward moment these days. Justice system eats it up. Mental midgets, need to party harder.


You call an incident like this an 'awkward moment'????? Remind me to feel sympathy for you when such an 'awkward moment' makes an appearance in your life. Oh right, it's no big deal, you're Mr. Macho 'n everything 'cause you party hard'. Jeez........ :picard:

Edited by Bertuzzi Babe, 08 December 2012 - 08:42 AM.

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#19 EX_Bert_Worshipper

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 09:13 AM

That would be a very horrible situation to go through - especially on an "annonymous tip" - seems like an extreme response. But, I agree with :D... I want more facts to the story before making any decisions.
On a side note, I hope that if this kid has had numerous suspensions that the parents are getting help for him. He sounds like he is having difficulties making good decisions in life. When he's out of highschool and out "in the real world", strip searches are going to be the least of his concerns if he keeps acting out.
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#20 Wetcoaster

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 12:04 PM

What's to say the kid, who has a history of behavioral problems, didn't make the whole thing up?
Has anything been released that would corroborate? Video of the group going into the washrooom? A witness? An admission?

One of the reasons to file a civil suit is for the Plaintiff to be given access to all the evidence during the discovery process to determine the facts.

There are also ongoing investigations by the school board and police department.
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