Education

Girl, 12, was strip-searched at Kentucky school. Her father is suing.

The father of a 12-year-old girl on Thursday filed a federal lawsuit against the Clark County Public Schools board alleging her rights were violated when she was strip-searched at school.

The girl, only identified in the lawsuit as “K.K.” , was called to the counseling office at Campbell Junior High School in Winchester in October. She was asked to” strip down to her underwear” and searched by counselor Becca Boyd and assistant principal Kris Creteau, the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit does not say why the girl was searched.

It alleges that the school board had not adequately trained the employees on investigating students and the legal rights of children. It said that Boyd and Creteau severely “frightened, alarmed and humiliated” the girl and as a direct result, she suffered emotional anguish.

The lawsuit said the girl’s constitutional rights were violated when she was subjected to arbitrary action, unreasonable search and deliberate indifference for her civil rights. It alleges that Boyd and Creteau are liable, “under state law, for invasion of privacy, assault, negligence , and intentional infliction of emotional distress.”

The child’s father is seeking compensatory and punitive damages in an unspecified amount sufficient to deter the Clark employees and other school officials from engaging in unconstitutional conduct, the suit says.

Clark County Superintendent Paul Christy said Friday morning that he was not aware of the lawsuit and he cannot comment on pending litigation.

Ed Dove, the Lexington attorney representing the father, was in court Friday and could not immediately be reached.

Amber Duke, communications director for the Kentucky ACLU, said Friday the constitutionality of searches and seizures in Kentucky public schools “are fact specific to individual incidents.”

“Federal courts have found that students’ Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable searches and seizures do not always apply in a public school setting, “ Duke said. “The ACLU believes that students have the right to privacy and dignity in school and should not have to fear school officials will violate their most private autonomy.”

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