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Radio host says 8-year-old strip-searched

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Patrick George
AUSTIN AMERICAN-STATESMAN
Thursday, May 21, 2009

Note: Police are leaving comments on this article claiming that Alex once said they had microchips in the back of their heads, a complete lie and an attempt to set up a strawman distraction to debunk the issue at hand, which is the CPS attempting to seize children for the state. We invite our readers to go to the original article and leave comments to counter these debunkers.

Hays County sheriff’s department officials repudiated a radio report Wednesday that claimed an elementary school student was strip-searched by sheriff’s deputies.

But Alex Jones, an Austin-based nationally syndicated radio host, said he thinks the alleged search of an 8-year-old girl Tuesday was unlawful. And the family’s attorney, whose fees are being paid by Jones, said he is considering taking legal action.

Wade Jefferies, the family’s attorney, said a Buda Elementary School staff member saw a dime-sized bruise on the back of the girl’s thigh on Monday and asked where it came from. The girl said she hurt herself, Jefferies said, but when pressed further, the girl said her mother might have done it. On Tuesday, Jefferies said, the girl was asked to pull down her pants for a protective services official, school administrators and possibly a sheriff’s deputy.

“It was humiliating to her, frightening to her, and it caused her severe trauma and distress,” said Jefferies, who declined to name his clients.

Chris Van Deusen, a spokesman for the Department of Family and Protective Services, said that as a rule, the agency does not conduct forcible interviews or strip searches.

“CPS does not strip-search children and did not strip-search a child in this case,” he said. Van Deusen said he was unaware of any charges being filed in the incident and declined to say whether an investigation is ongoing.

  • A d v e r t i s e m e n t

Sheriff’s department spokesman Lt. Leroy Opiela said a deputy was sent to the campus to assist a caseworker. The caseworker, accompanied by the school nurse, went into a private room to examine the child, he said.

Jones reported that deputies performed the strip search, Opiela said.

“That is completely untrue,” Opiela said. “Our deputy was asked to leave the room. He was not present for any type of exam or search.”

In a statement Wednesday, Julie Jerome, a Hays assistant superintendent, said, “School staff responded appropriately to the child’s comments by contacting Child Protective Services.”

Jones’ story prompted calls from across the country that caused the Hays County 911 system and administrative lines at the sheriff’s office and the school district to overload, Opiela said. The calls peaked about 2:30 p.m., he said; it was unclear how long the overload lasted or what effects it might have had.

Reached by phone Wednesday, Jones said he aired only what he was told by the child, whose mother works in his office. Jones said the girl told him that a man in a uniform told her to remove her pants or she would “get in trouble.”

Full story here.

This article was posted: Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 6:56 am





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