Parents of two female students at a California middle school claim that school officials — including one man — subjected their daughters to strip searches which involved the girls shaking their breasts.
One of the girls is 13 years old and the other is 15, reports local television station KTLA.
The incident occurred on April 7 at Serrano Middle School in San Bernardino, a city on the eastern edge of Southern California’s Inland Empire.
A female vice principal summoned the two girls to her office. When the pair arrived, the vice principal and a male school official were present, the outraged parents say.
There, parent Anita Wilson-Pringle told KTLA, the unidentified vice principal told her 13-year-old daughter to “take off her jacket, take off her shirt, take off her T-shirt, unfasten her bra and pull her bra out — literally pull her bra out from the bottom and shake her breasts.”
A second parent, Wendy Alvarado, said (through an interpreter) that the male in the room patted her 15-year-old daughter down.
Both parents say they don’t know the identity of the male who allegedly watched their teen daughters undress and patted at least one down. They suspect he is a security guard at the school.
“My child should never have been subjected to that,” Wilson-Pringle told the station.
Alvarado agreed. “It’s devastating for her,” the mad mother said of her daughter. “She’s very emotional about it.”
At some point, school officials allegedly found marijuana in the possession of one or both of the girls. Police arrested the pair of suspicion of drug possession.
It’s not clear if the strip search was a contributing factor in gaining evidence for the arrest.
The parents are defending their daughters against the drug charges.
School district spokeswoman Linda Bardere forwarded the district’s search policy to KTLA.
“Factors to be considered by school officials when determining the scope of the search shall include the danger to the health or safety of students or staff, such as the possession of weapons, drugs, or other dangerous instruments,” the policy reads. “In addition, school officials shall consider the intrusiveness of the search in light of the student’s age, gender, and the nature of the alleged violation.”
Ten reviewers give Serrano Middle School an average rating of three stars (out of five possible stars) at Great Schools.org.