A California mother is disturbed, as her 10-year-old son was strip-searched in front of his entire fifth-grade class. Gina Gonzalez said she met with Auburn Union School District Superintendent Laura Glassman to discuss the incident. However, she is not satisfied with the school’s response.
Last week, a substitute teacher at Rock Creek Elementary School accused Santiago Nolasco of stealing homework passes off her desk. Although the boy admitted “looking at the passes,” he denied the substitute’s accusations.
Santiago said his “real teacher” eventually returned to the classroom. However, she also believed the boy stole the homework passes. The teacher, who was identified as Claudia Wilson, then proceeded to removed the child’s clothing.
The boy said he asked Wilson to stop, as she is not his mother. Despite his protests, the teacher refused to stop the search.
As reported by Auburn Journal, Wilson removed Santiago’s shirt, shoes, and sweater, while the other children watched. The 10-year-old boy said he was mortified to be strip-searched in front of his classmates. Santiago said he was “nervous and embarrassed,” as “some of the kids were laughing.”
In an official statement, Superintendent Grassman said the incident is still under investigation. However, she explained that it is “a personnel matter.” She further stated that she and her colleagues “take the health and safety of [the] students and staff seriously.”
Gonzalez said her son was moved to another classroom to avoid further teasing. However, she is frustrated, as school officials have failed to provide “more information about what happened.”
In 2004, 13-year-old Savana Redding was subjected to a strip-search at her Safford, Arizona, middle school. The New York Times reports that the teen was forced to strip down to her bra and panties, as she was accused of possessing over-the-counter pain medication.
In 2009, the Supreme Court ruled that the school violated Savana’s Fourth Amendment rights. Justice Souter, writing for the majority, explained that “the content of the suspicion failed to match the degree of the intrusion.”
Although the high court was clear in their ruling, it is unclear whether their decision applies to the 10-year-old boy’s strip search.
Gonzales has not mentioned whether she intends to file a lawsuit. However, she is terribly upset that her son was humiliated in front of his classmates. She is further concerned with the school’s response to the situation.
Superintendent Laura Glassman has not discussed whether she intends to discipline the teacher who strip-searched the 10-year-old boy.
[Image via Shutterstock]