Former student sues school officials for forced strip, body cavity search

LEWIS CO., NY (CNN/WCMH) —  A former student is suing her old school’s officials for allegedly forcing her to undress and performing an invasive body cavity search.

The former student, identified only as Jane Doe in the lawsuit, claims the strip search happened at Harrisville Central School one year ago. The suit claims officials accused her of possessing drugs. When she denied the accusations, the lawsuit says “Jane was told she would undergo a strip search,” and that “Jane was forced to remover her clothes.”

According to WWNY, the lawsuit also says the student was forced to stand completely exposed in a medical examination room in front of two female staff members, the school nurse and the elementary school principal. When no drugs were found after the strip search, the nurse retrieved a glove and a flashlight. The student was then told her privates would be searched.

The lawsuit says the body cavity search went on, despite protests from the student, and that a school official laughed after the search, saying “This is a first for Harrisville.”

Harrisville community members are outraged.

“I’d have to say some people should be held accountable,” said Harrisville resident John Wernsdorfer. “I always thought ‘innocent until proven guilty.’’

The lawsuit doesn’t say what amount is being sought in damage.

“I think it’s gonna cost the school a lot of money,” said Harrisville resident Sandy Ryder. “And it should.”

According to court documents, the lawsuit will go to mediation in March. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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