Parent says West Sabine staff out of line after feces found on gym floor

Wes Little
Wes Little

PINELAND, TX (KTRE) - West Sabine Elementary fourth graders came home with a story last Tuesday. It's one that shocked parent Wes Little.

"My kid came home and he said, he told me that he had been inspected, his butt had been inspected at the elementary school for feces," Little said. "And I asked him, I got to ask him about it and he said he was embarrassed by the whole situation."

Feces had been found on the gym floor at least five times during or after PE Class. It first happened last year only with this particular class of children, said principal Deborah Lane.

Lane says she asked the children numerous times who was responsible. She even gave them lectures on germs and the dangers of e-coli.

This last time, she requested the school nurse search for feces in the Tiger cubs' pants. Accounts of how the search was conducted differ.

"The school nurse basically pulled their pants out or down."

The superintendent, the principal, the school nurse and the coaches all gave their account of what happened. Every one said no pants were pulled down past the buttocks, that they were merely pulled away at the waistline and peeked in to see if there was any feces.

"We've all been examined by nurses," said Superintendent Mike Pate. "I do think it is appropriate in certain situations."

"There are lies being circulated," lane said. "there was no strip search. No pants were pulled down."

"I just peeked in their pants like you would check a baby's diaper," said nurse Jo Ann Clark.

"I know the stuff we have to deal with every day and I know the thought process that may have gone through their minds and I understand that, but you don't violate someone's civil rights just to achieve the ultimate goal, in my opinion," said Little, who is a former school board member and educator.

The goal really wasn't reached. The search revealed no clues.

The district says it's received only two complaints.  

Lane said eight of the 37 children in the class have parents, relatives or guardians working for the district.

Pate said the matter could have been handled differently.

"Yes, a less intrusive way would be to sniff the area a little bit," Pate said.

Pate said Little was the only board member to vote against his appointment as superintendent.

Little says he hasn't decided if he'll take the matter before the board or state officials. Right now he's hoping by making the incident public, it will keep it from happening again.

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