Friday, June 09, 2017


Georgia Sheriff Accused of Ordering Pat-Down Searches for Every Student at High School

By Stanley Dunlap

The Macon Telegraph
June 8, 2017

WORTH COUNTY, Georgia -- A group of Georgia high school students have filed a lawsuit alleging a sheriff directed an illegal search that led to deputies touching students' breasts and genitals.

The federal lawsuit, filed Thursday, claims Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby and some of his deputies committed an unlawful and intrusive search of the Worth County High School student body in April. Hundreds of students were subjected to their belongings being searched as well as "full, hands-on body searches," said an attorney representing the nine students who filed the lawsuit.

On April 14, Worth deputies and other area law enforcement agencies -- under the supervision of Hobby -- descended upon the school in a quest to find illegal drugs.

The Worth sheriff's office had a list of 13 students suspected to have illegal substances, although only three were attending school that day. The search -- that also included lockers, vehicles and classrooms -- uncovered no drugs, the lawsuit said.

"Defendants had no basis for suspecting any other student of involvement in unlawful activity," the complaint said.

Among the allegations are that deputies put their fingers inside girls' bras, and "groped" and "cupped" boys' genitals and butts through their pants.

The other agencies involved in the drug sweep are not listed as defendants in the suit because they are not believed to have participated in the body searches, the complaint said.

Worth County is located just outside Albany.

The Albany Herald reported following the search that "corrective action" was taken against a deputy for his actions during the search. The Fulton County Daily Report said Hobby had not responded to a request for comment before their story about the lawsuit was published online Thursday afternoon.

"This was a textbook definition of overreach," plantiffs' attorney Mark Begnaud told the Daily Report. "The students, along with the rest of the high school student body, were forced to submit to intimate and invasive body searches by local deputies. They pulled 900 students out of class. They did full, hands-on body searches."

EDITOR’S NOTE: In loco parentis, Latin for "in the place of a parent," allows schools to act in the best interests of the students as they see fit, but does not permit what would be considered violations of the students' civil liberties. So even if the principal gave the cops permission to search every student, that would most likely not be legal.

1 comment:

bob walsh said...

I wonder what they would have found if they had searched the staff?