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Clayton County student sues after 'degrading' strip search | Education

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Clayton County student sues after 'degrading' strip search

ATLANTA -- A Clayton County mother is suing the school district after she says her son was forced to strip naked in front of his classmates.

Angela Dawson has filed a lawsuit against the Clayton County School District on behalf of her son, identified only as D.H.

Dawson says her son was strip-searched last year as a 7th grader at Eddie White Academy.

According to the lawsuit, D.H. was "ordered to take off his pants, shirt, socks and underwear to a point where he was fully nude." Three other classmates, a school resource officer and school vice-principal were in the room.

The suit claims the officer was looking for marijuana. Three other students had already been searched, and one of them falsely accused D.H. of carrying drugs. When the students were called to the office, the student admitted he was lying, but D.H. was searched anyway.

Attorney Gerry Weber said Clayton County does not have any policies dealing directly with strip searches. A decade ago, a group of parents sued Clayton County Schools after an entire 5th grade class was stripped down to their underwear. Officials were looking for a missing $26 that was never found.

In 2009, the US Supreme Court ruled all strip searches on children unconstitutional, unless they are suspected of carrying a weapon.

School resource officer Ricky Redding was fired after the incident, and former vice-principal Eddie White resigned during an investigation.

Reached for comment Thursday, district spokesman Douglas Hendrix said they just received the lawsuit and are still reviewing its contents.

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