School Sued for Allegedly Strip-Searching 8th Grader Accused of Hiding Vape Pen

by Xara Aziz
FOX 2 Detroit

An 8th grader and her family is suing her school after alleging that the institution unbecomingly stripped and searched her.

Yvette Dinwiddie, the student’s mother, told FOX 2 Detroit that “the only thing she kept telling me was mom I thought I was going to get in trouble.”

The mother immediately contacted her family’s attorney and hopes that the lawsuit brought against George Crockett Academy in Detroit would serve as an example to other schools who strip and search their students.

“We allege in the lawsuit that the school administration strip-searched Ms. Dinwiddie’s eighth-grade daughter while looking for a vape pen,” Attorney Hannah Fielstra said.

Dinwiddie said that according to her daughter, whose name has not been identified, school officials believed that she had a vape pen hidden in her underwear.

“She was embarrassed – excuse me guys – she was on her cycle,” said Dinwiddie.

The mother added that she was never contacted to approve the search on her daughter.

“They could have called me…especially before the strip thing,” her mother said. “If she was smoking I should be the first one to know.”

The lawsuit states that the head of the school allowed two staff members to strip-search the student after they searched her backpack, locker and jacket. They found nothing.

The school claims that they informed Dinwiddie about the search, according to the family’s attorney.

“That her daughter voluntarily removed pieces of her clothing to prove her innocence is untrue,” said Fielstra.

The lawsuit further states that the student has been a victim of bullying and the allegations that she was hiding a vape pen had “been at odds with her daughter.”

“You [are] letting these kids go around bully each other, fight each other, lie on each other. That’s dangerous,” Dinwiddie said.

The student was not disciplined, but the child’s mother said she has since pulled her daughter from the school and has filed a police report.

“[She is] not going back there,” she said. “I don’t even trust them.”

Leona Group, which manages the school, declined to comment when reached by FOX 2 Detroit, citing legal privacy.

“It’s important for the school and the staff to know the bounds of the Fourth Amendment and what type of searches are permissible under those types of circumstances,” said the attorney. “Because in this case, a strip search was not permissible.”

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