German Police Strip Search Eighth-Graders Over Missing €5

Chris | InformationLiberation
Dec. 04, 2012

Via The Local:
Police officers who forced teenage students to strip, some of them completely naked, in the hunt for a stolen €5 at a school in Munich are now being investigated themselves after pupils and their parents complained.

Teachers stood by while the children were strip-searched, the Süddeutsche Zeitung newspaper reported on Monday.

Police offers were at the Friedrich-List Economics School last Tuesday to talk to a class of 27 students aged 13 and 14 about moral courage in a public setting, when one girl complained that €5 was missing from her jacket pocket.

This prompted the youth liaison officer to call for back-up and organize a strip-search of the teenagers. Four officers split the pupils according to gender and searched them in separate classrooms.

"Some of the schoolgirls had to briefly open their bras, while some schoolboys had their underpants searched," police spokesman Wolfgang Wenger told the paper.

One 14-year-old boy told the paper a police officer had looked up his backside with a torch - after he had initially refused to take his underpants off.

[...]pupils told the Süddeutsche Zeitung they all had to take off their T-shirts and trousers and that in some cases their genitals have been checked.

One witness said, "By the end, all the girls were crying, and one of the boys had burst into tears too."
The €5 was never found. Of course, there's no way they could have determined the girl's €5 from any other.

While this case happened in Germany, similar incidents to this have happened in the United States. Earlier this year an assistant principle at Union Elementary School in North Carolina strip-searched a third-grader after another student accused him of stealing $20, the assistant principle reportedly "rubbed her fingers around inside of [the boy's] underwear."

Another similar case happened at Atlantic High School in Iowa, after a student reported $100 missing, school administrators ordered five girls to be strip-searched, one was forced to completely disrobe. As the Desmoines Register reported,
The classmate and a female counselor stood watch in the girls' locker room at Atlantic High School as the five girls removed their clothing, lifted up their underwear, and in one case took off all her clothing, according to lawyers Ed Noethe of Council Bluffs and Matt Hudson of Harlan.
In 2003, 13-yr-old Savana Redding of Arizona was strip-searched by school officials looking for an ibuprofen pain-reliever. As the NYT reported,
School officials ordered Ms. Redding, whom another girl had accused of giving her drugs, to strip to her bra and underpants and to pull them away from her body, exposing her breasts and pelvic area. No drugs were found.
In all of these cases had the strip-searchers not been acting as agents of the state, they would have been charged with sexually assaulting minors. Instead, settlements were paid with taxpayer money and the strip-searchers got off scot-free.
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