Mother sues school over daughter’s strip search
By Chris Oberholtz, Multimedia Producer and Amy Anderson, Anchor/Reporter
Kansas City, KS (KCTV) — A Kansas mother is so infuriated with her daughter’s former school, she is suing after she said the Turner School District strip searched her daughter.
The family’s attorney says school faculty were searching her daughter for drugs because another teen claimed she had them and wanted to get her in trouble because they liked the same boy.
The 16-year-old girl’s mother says what happened at her daughter’s high school is having a domino effect on every area of their family life.
“What gave you the right to do that to my child,” the teen’s mother, Amanda Sandidge, said.
Sandidge says that was the first thing she said to faculty at Turner High School when she got the call her daughter had been searched in December 2011.
But this, according to Sandidge, was no ordinary search.
“She felt forced, threatened and coerced into exposing herself,” she said.
Sandidge and her daughter, who was 15 at the time, claim female faculty forced the girl to expose her breasts in order to prove she had no drugs hidden in her bra.
The district says while it did search the girl, they say it was with her grandfather’s consent, and say strip searches aren’t something they do.
The district released a statement saying the student “was merely asked to pull her bra forward with her shirt un-tucked but otherwise fully clothed so that any contraband hidden in her bra would fall out.”
Nothing was found on the girl, and it was over the line, which is why her mother says she is suing the district.
The lawsuit claims emotional distress and a violation of the teen’s civil rights. She is asking for in excess of $75,000.
Sandidge says the incident has changed her daughter. He daughter has dropped out of school, withdrawn and doesn’t want to leave the house.
“She got just a couple of friends, and they have to come to our home. She won’t go out,” she said. “I hate seeing a teenage girl who should be out having fun and doing fun stuff for the summer in her room.”
Sandidge says this is a fight that is far from over.
“I am the voice for my child and for every other parent out there who doesn’t ever want to be in the position I am with a child that just went through this,” Sandidge said.
The district says it broke no rules when doing the search, and has filed a motion to have the case dismissed.