Teen Sues School Over Alleged Inappropriate Strip-Search

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TURNER, Kan. -- A teenage girl is suing after she was allegedly forced to bare her breasts to a Turner High School principal and nurse because of another student's false accusations.

The 16-year-old girl, who has not been identified, and her mother are seeking no less than $75,000 for pain, suffering and medical expenses from the December 2011 incident. According to court documents filed by attorney Richard Klein, the strip-search is described as extreme, intentional and reckless.

Klein says that his client was strip searched by school officials because of allegations from another girl at the school who was angry because they liked the same guy.

"Its so outrageous, I mean its mind boggling to me," said Klein, who says that his client was accused by assistant principal Nancy Bartek of having drugs or drug paraphernalia on her. He says that his client consented to having her backpack and shoes searched and to be patted-down. But he says that the school took it too far by asking for consent to search the girl's bra.

"If they really thought she had drugs on her and were really certain she had drugs on her, they would have brought the police in for sure," said Klein.

Klein says that his client refused the strip search, but was led to the school's nurses office and forced to lift up her shirt and bra.

"The nurse put her hands on her, touched her and tried to pull up her shirt," said Klein. "She said 'No, that's not going to work, I don't want anyone touching me,' and she went ahead and pulled up her shirt and bra, exposing her breasts."

Klein says that the school found nothing, but the damage was done. He says the she tried to return to school in January, but dropped out in March because she couldn't handle feeling harassed and embarrassed by school officials.

Klein says that except for one incident in which she was caught smoking in the school bathroom, his client has had no issues with drugs or discipline at school.

"She's trying to figure out now what to do after leaving high school in her sophomore year," said Klein.

The Turner School District says that they take all student complaints seriously, but cannot discuss the details of the case because of privacy laws protecting both students and staff.



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