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Lawyers explain next step in Worth County High School search settlement

Lawyers explain next step in Worth County High School search settlement. / Credit: Alexandria Ikomoni

Parents and students met with the lawyers in the class action law suit settlement Monday evening to get answers.

They want to know when they should expect to see a check of at least $1,000 for each student.

Progress has been made, but there are still a few more details that need to be handled before checks are given out.

“It pisses me off that they even did that,” Sandy Jerrell, parent, said. “You know better than that.”

Jerrell is a parent to one of the 900 students that were improperly searched by the Worth County Sheriff’s Office.

“She told me that she was put up against the wall, spread eagle with her hands on the wall,” Jerrell said. “A female officer came around her and breast, had messed with her bra. They had messed around in her pants, on the edge of the waistband, along with the pockets.”

After hearing what they did, she reacted like any mom would.

“I was mad when she got home,” Jerrell said. “I called the police department right away, and told them I was going to have a lawsuit against them because it was uncalled for.”

Seven months after a class action lawsuit was filed, a settlement of $3 million was made. Parents and students want to know what’s next.

“The parties will file a joint motion to approve the settlement,” Attorney Crystal Redd, Southern Center for Human Rights, said. “Once that happens, we will contact each class member.”

A survey will be attached with the notice to determine how much that student will receive. It can be anywhere between $1,000- $6,000.

It’s going to ask them questions about what happened that day and what they experienced.

After all students receive their checks and legal fees are paid, the money will be split evenly for two other reasons.

“50 [percent] will go back to the insurance agencies, and fifty [percent] will go into a fund to be used for the benefit of Worth County students,” Redd said.

As for Jerrell and many other parents involved, one unanswered question remains.

“Are we going to get it in December,” Jerrell said. “Are we going to get it next year? Or next summer? How fast is this going to go?”

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