Parents upset after students at Worth Co. High were improperly searched
SYLVESTER, Ga. —
Many parents are currently upset after their children at Worth County High School were improperly searched last Friday.
“I was shocked that the Worth County Sheriff’s Department brought all the deputies down there and locked the school down,” David Newsome, father, said
David Newsome is the father of a 17-year-old boy that attends Worth County High. After hearing how his son was patted down, David called the sheriff’s office to let him know how he felt.
“I asked him what was going on, and what happened,” Newsome said. “He told me that my child wasn’t singled out.”
Worth County High has a total of 900 students, and each boy and girl was patted down. Girls had their bras and the inside of their thighs checked, and the boys also received an improper search.
“My son was put up against the wall,” Newsome said. “Feet back, legs spread. And his personal belongings was searched, along with his pockets and the inside of his leg up onto his groin.”
The Worth County Board of Education attorney confirms that this search violated students’ rights. In order to pat someone down, officers need a search warrant or probable cause.
“Which means you have to have some reason to believe that some kind of criminal activity, or you’re in possession of some contraband, drugs or weapon,” Attorney Tommy Coleman said.
Based off of the search, there was no reason to pat down the students.
“No drugs were found,” Coleman said. “The only thing that was found was a vial of prescription drugs, for which the child had a prescription written for it.”
Since deputies did not find any drugs, parents don’t understand why their child was patted down.
“I sent my child to learn at school, not to be accused of a crime that he has not committed,” Newsome said.
David is thinking about moving forward and taking legal actions.
"My son’s fourth and possibly 14th amendment rights has been violated by what happened at his school on Friday,” Newsome said.