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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Girls Get Apology For Strip Search

Associated Press

After a week of conflicting accounts of the search of 30 middle school girls, police and administrators acknowledged some girls were told to drop their panties in the hunt for stolen cash, CDs and makeup.

“In spite of different versions, the point is it appears that girls were asked to expose themselves to the police employee, and that is wrong,” School Superintendent Elaine Taylor told the McMinnville News-Register on Wednesday. “We are very sorry.”

The search was ordered after a girls’ gym class returned to the locker room to find it ransacked. After school employees and the school’s liaison officer questioned the girls about the missing items, two female police employees were called in. Their search of the girls turned up nothing.

Although police hand-delivered apology letters after the search, Police Chief Rod Brown initially said a full strip search never took place. He said the girls were only asked to remove shoes and coats, loosen their clothes and lower their pants to their hips.

The latest details emerged as state police began arranging interviews with the seventh and eighth graders who were searched at Duniway Middle School on Jan. 29.

The state police investigation focusing on possible criminal violations will take at least five to 10 days, said Lt. Mike White, who will supervise the detectives.

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