A female Assistant Principal in North Carolina decided to strip search a ten-year old boy whom a classmate had accused of stealing $20. The strip search turned up nothing except the understandable ire of the boy’s mother, who called it “excessively intrusive.” The school says the Assistant Principal, Teresa Holmes, was within her rights, and violated no ordinances because she had a male janitor present. The boy, Justin Cox, was forced to remove his shoes, socks, pants, and shirt, leaving him in only a t-shirt and boxers. The Assistant Principal, having found nothing, ended the strip search by placing her finger inside the boy’s boxer shorts and running her finger all the way around, between his waist and the waistband of his boxers. The boy’s mother, Clarinda Cox, was not only not contacted before the strip search, but was not notified after.
Calling the act “outrageous,” Pam Spaulding at Pam’s House Blend notes:
The justification is that Assistant Principal Teresa Holmes said the boy had lied many times over the course of the school year. This is from Holmes’s statement about the strip search:
I told Justin to take off his shoes. I looked inside them and moved the tongue of each shoe from left to right. I told him to take off his socks. I turned them inside out and looked at both of them. I could see that Justin had on a pair of over-sized boxers. I told him to take off his jeans. I checked every pocket, the hem of both legs and the waistband. I ran my hands around the outside of the waistband of his boxers. I gave him his jeans to put back on. I turned his socks back right side in and gave them to him to put back on. I gave him his shoes to put back on. I could see that he had a t-shirt on under his shirt, so I asked him to take off his shirt. I checked the pockets on the shirt as well as the hem of the shirt tail and the hem of the sleeves. I asked him to pull up his t-shirt so that I could see under it. I gave him his shirt to put back on.
At this point, I knew that Justin did not have the money. I sat in front of him telling him that I was sorry that I had to search him. I again explained that as a school administrator, I had the authority to search him because two teachers thought he had the money as well as seven or eight students.
We invite you to sign up for our new mailing list, and subscribe to The New Civil Rights Movement via email or RSS.