MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A parent is suing a south metro school district, alleging that employees at an elementary school broke policy when they performed a body cavity “strip” search on her then second-grader.
The lawsuit, filed last week in Hennepin County District Court, alleges that employees at Countryside Elementary School violated Edina Public Schools policy when they performed the search in the spring of 2018.
According to the lawsuit, such a search could only be done, per district policy, in situations involving “imminent danger” or an “emergency heath situation.” In this case, the search was allegedly done to determine if the then 8-year-old had defecated on the floor in a school bathroom.
The district says it “vehemently denies” the allegations in the lawsuit, adding that it will defend itself from the lawsuit’s claims.
“District staff acted to support this student, and it is unfortunate that this matter has progressed to this point based on significant misunderstandings of the District’s actions,” Edina Public Schools wrote in a statement. “District staff at all times has the best interests of its students as their primary focus and goal, and the District remains committed to providing the best possible education and environment for its students.”
The lawsuit is seeking damages of more than $50,000, claiming that the incident left the child with mental and emotional distress. Also sought is a full report on the incident, which the lawsuit says the district conducted and has not released in full.
According to the district, the child is a former student in Edina Public Schools.