Parents file lawsuit in federal court after high school search of eighth grader
Eastlake, Ohio. The mother of a high school student sues alleging that her daughter was searched by a nurse. The federal lawsuit accuses the Willoughby-Eastlake School District of violating this teenager’s constitutional rights, failing to educate school officials, and intentionally inflicting emotional distress.
According to the family’s lawyer, it’s all because of the vape pen.
According to the lawsuit, it happened back in September at Eastlake High School.
The girl’s lawyer said that the eighth grader, whose name is not mentioned in the lawsuit, was approached by a friend and asked to put the vape pen in a locker in the gym.
“She didn’t use it. She didn’t want to be a part of it, but she felt pressured like a teenage girl trying to fit in. “Hey, okay, leave it there, but leave me out of the way,” lawyer Jared Klebanow said.
It turned out she wasn’t.
Klebanov said that shortly before lunch, the school principal dragged her out of the classroom and asked about the vape pen.
The lawyer said the teen admitted it was in her locker, but the search turned up nothing.
Klebanov said the headmaster searched the eighth grader’s locker in the hallway but found nothing.
It was then that the lawsuit states that the teenager was taken to the nurse’s office for a body search.
“This assistant takes it upon herself to search this teenage girl down to her underwear, to subject her to a search, although in the circumstances it really was unreasonable,” Klebanov said.
Klebanov said courts have ruled that schools can conduct strip searches, but they are generally limited to extreme cases, such as an imminent threat of violence.
In this case, he says, the school has gone too far.
“Many might say it was one day, move on. But this is an impressionable teenage girl and you can imagine the range of emotions. You have fear, humiliation, don’t you? It’s a shame that she had to go through this and be almost naked in front of a stranger,” Klebanov said.
He says that a personal search turned up nothing either. However, the teenager was suspended from school for two days.
A county spokesperson said she could not comment on the upcoming trial.
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