February 18, 1998 in City

School Official Resigns In Wake Of Strip Searches

Associated Press

The administrator in charge when 32 middle-school girls were told to drop their panties in a search for stolen cash, CDs and makeup resigned Tuesday.

“Please know I am extremely concerned about what happened … and sincerely apologize for my involvement,” Vice Principal Patricia Jenkins said in her resignation letter.

Jenkins has not detailed publicly her role in the Jan. 29 search at Duniway Middle School, but some of the 12- to-14-year-old girls say she was present when two female police employees told the girls to remove their clothes.

The search came after a girls locker room had been found ransacked and items were missing.

At the time of the search, Principal Mickey Toft was meeting with Superintendent Elaine Taylor in the district office. By the time Jenkins notified them of what was happening and they put a stop to it, 32 of 39 girls from two gym classes had been searched.

Taylor met with the girls the following day to apologize.

Police initially said a full strip search never took place. But later, Police Chief Rod Brown said he had learned each of the girls had been asked to “pull her trousers and underwear down and up rapidly to show if anything was lodged in the waistband.” No items were found.

© Copyright 1998 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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