Crockett police investigating improper strip searches at high school

Crockett police investigating improper strip searches at high school

CROCKETT, TX (KTRE) - Crockett police are investigating after they say students were made to strip off their clothes during improper searches at a high school.

Now, the department is asking anyone with a student at Crockett High School who may have had a similar experience to contact police immediately.

Police began investigating when they received a complaint on Nov. 2, 2017.

The complainant told CPD detectives that he was accused of having contraband on the school campus. Police say that when Crockett High School officials found out, they escorted the student from class to an office.

Two male teachers accompanied the student - one teacher was a disciplinary alternative education program administrator and police say one teacher who allegedly identified himself as a law enforcement officer.

"The student alleged that the teacher made him take all his clothing off and drop his boxers down around his ankles. The student said that he felt compelled to consent to the strip search because the teacher purported himself to be a law enforcement officer," police said in a news release.

Police say the teachers did not find any contraband on the student, who was 15 at the time of the incident.

During the investigation, police say one teacher told detectives a strip search was performed on the student, but the teacher was unsure of the exact details because he was searching the student's backpack when it took place.

That same day a CPD officer was working security on the campus. The police department says the officer was not contacted until later in the morning after the incident was resolved.

"A DAEP administrator stated that the student that had previously been strip searched was not the right student and was not the same student that was alleged to have been involved in the incident that initially garnered the search," the department release states.

One teacher gave detectives a statement about the incident and the other declined and requested his attorney.

Charges could be filed against one of the educators.

A case has been sent to the Houston County District Attorney's Office to be presented to a Houston County Grand Jury for charges of Official Oppression and Impersonating a Public Servant on the Teacher-purporting himself to be a law enforcement officer and Official Oppression on the DAEP Administrator.

CPD says it has been confirmed that the teacher purported himself to be a law enforcement officer and has not been licensed by the state since 2012.

The department says the searches appear to be a pattern.

"The strip searches appear to be a pattern and we are asking anyone with a student in Crockett High School to speak with their children and ascertain if they have been strip searched at the Crockett ISD Campus for any reason," the police department says.

On Jan. 9, CPD received a second complaint about an inappropriate strip search of a Crockett High School student.

The parent of a 15-year-old reported that in October 2017, their child was strip-searched for allegedly having contraband.

"The parent said that they went to the school and complained but after they found out about the other child, they felt that they should come report the incident to law enforcement," CPD says.

In the Jan. 9 incident, the student said a teacher claiming to be an officer and high school administrator performed the strip search on him during the incident.

Parents who believe their students may have been involved in the same type incident are urged to contact the Crockett Police Department immediately at 936-544-2021.

Both cases are under investigation. The TEA and CPS have been notified of the incidents.

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