Wisconsin parents demand changes after alleged student strip searches

WATCH: Suring parents demand changes after alleged student strip searches
WATCH: Suring parents demand changes after alleged student strip searches
Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 8:20 AM CST
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SURING, Wis. (WBAY) - Parents met Monday night in Suring, upset over allegations that a group of kids were strip searched in school.

The searches were conducted to find vaping devices.

The incident involving both male and female students is being investigated by the Oconto County Sheriff’s Department.

“I mean what they did was stupid, but to take it to this level of disgrace is just disgusting. The kids don’t know they can say no,” said Raelene Helminger, a parent.

Investigators haven’t said how many students were strip searched.

Parents say the boys and girls were divided up, placed in different rooms, and searched by same sex administrators, removing everything except their underwear.

It happened on January 18th.

Helminger added, “When I first learned about it I didn’t know the severity of it. I didn’t know they had to remove clothing, I just thought they got their pockets padded down and whatnot. When I found out how bad it happened I just cried.”

Many parents went before the school board last week to voice their concerns.

In response, board president Wayne Sleeter issued a statement saying, “The Suring School Board understands the seriousness of this situation. The school board is monitoring the situation closely and we will have a statement once the investigation is complete.”

Parent Rachel Sexton said, “We need action. We need to make sure our kids are safe. We need to make sure our kids trust the school, they trust the staff, they trust the adults that are suppose to be guiding them.”

Sexton also told us many of the kids involved did receive in school suspensions, and restricted bathroom use, but the search went too far.

Other parents say they weren’t notified prior to the search being conducted.

Action 2 News did reach out to the Oconto County district attorney who had no comment since the investigation has not been referred yet to their office for specific charges.

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