Attorneys: Girls Searched, Told to 'Squat and Cough'

CPS 'troubled' by variety of claims against charter school

Thursday, Jan 8, 2009  |  Updated 10:23 PM CDT
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Attorneys: Girls Searched, Told to 'Squat and Cough'

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A federal lawsuit to be filed in Chicago Thursday claims that an off-duty police officer -- working as a school security guard -- ordered a strip search of three high school girls.

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Attorneys: Girls Searched, Told to 'Squat and Cough'

Although the principal and off-duty officer who conducted the searches were let go, parents of the teens want more justice.
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A Chicago mother was so outraged by her daughter's claim that a school security guard strip searched her last winter, that she pulled her child out of the Chicago Public School charter school.

The Chicago Police Department is investigating allegations that an off-duty officer working security at the school ordered three girls strip searched in December 2007 after a small fire at their high school.

Attorneys for two of the girls say the teens were taken to a washroom at ASPIRA Early College Charter High School by the female officer, who searched them for a lighter allegedly used by another student -- a boy -- to set the fire.

School officials say they've investigated the allegations and disciplined two administrators and the officer, who was working as a security guard.

Attorneys say parents of two of the girls will file a federal lawsuit Thursday. 

They claim the off-duty officer searched under the girls' shirts and told the girls to drop their pants, lower their underwear, and "squat and cough." One of the girls refused the order.

"That's not acceptable," said one of the girls' mothers. I'm outraged and I'm assuming every other parent would feel the same way."

It's reported that ASPIRA is facing some other trouble as well.  The Sun-Times says that CPS' inspector general's office opened it's own investigation this week into alleged grade-changing and attendance tampering at the school.

 

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