school
Picture from Weber County, UT in which entire school was locked down after reports of a student having a gun.

Worth County, GA — Violated children and furious parents have just filed a massive lawsuit after the Worth County Sheriff’s office conducted an illegal search of 900 students — in the name of the war on drugs. The rights-violating intrusive and aggressive patdowns and drug dog searches at the school yielded absolutely nothing.

An Atlanta attorney is now representing multiple students who were subjected to invasive and outright horrifying body searches during a mass — and warrantless — search for drugs at a South Georgia high school. Attorney Mark Begnaud, who filed the class-action lawsuit, called out the sheriff for conducting “900 illegal, suspicionless searches.”

“This was a textbook definition of overreach,” said Begnaud. “They pulled 900 students out of class. They did full, hands-on body searches.”

To highlight the sheer unnecessary police state tactics of the tyrannical Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby and his deputies — not a single bit of contraband was found.

According to Begnaud, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation has now opened an investigation into the incident. However, no charges have been made.

As the Daily Report notes, Begnaud said the suit seeks certification as a class action on behalf of every student who was searched. It also asks for unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, as well as a declaratory judgment that a law enforcement officer violates a student’s constitutional rights when he conducts a body search absent either voluntary consent or an individualized suspicion that the student has broken the law. The case has been assigned to U.S. District Judge Leslie Abrams.

On April 14, when the students of Worth County High School returned from spring break, they arrived at school to find a police state had taken over. The sheriff and his deputies — with no probable cause — detained and illegally searched every single child in the school, all 900 of them. More than 40 cops from five other law enforcement agencies participated in the raid.

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When kids went home that day to tell their parents what happened, naturally, they were furious as it is a gross violation of the children’s 4th Amendment rights.

“It’s essentially a fourth amendment violation,” said Begnaud. “It’s 900 illegal searches, suspicion-less pat downs, suspicion-less searches.”

Naturally, Sheriff Jeff Hobby is standing by this rights violation on a massive scale, noting that as long as a school administrator was present, the search of the children was legal.

Apparently, in the sheriff’s mind, school administrators can usurp the constitutional rights of children in favor of unlawful police searches.

But school officials and the student rule book disagree.

In the student handbook, it says school officials may search a student only if there is reasonable suspicion the student has an illegal item.

As WALB reported at that time, Worth County Schools attorney Tommy Coleman said in order for the Sheriff’s office to search any students, they’d had to have reason to believe there was some kind of criminal activity or the student had possession of contraband or drugs.

“If you don’t have that then this search would violate an individual’s rights,” said Coleman. “[It] violates the constitutional right and enforcing them the right against unreasonable search and seizures.”

Interim Worth County Superintendent Lawrence Walters said he understands parents concerns about the drug search at Worth County High school on Friday, according to WALB.

“I’ve never been involved with anything like that ever in the past 21 years and I don’t condone it,” said Walters.

Walters said he was notified that there was be a search but pointed out that he did not give permission nor did he approve the mass groping of children.

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“We did not give permission but they didn’t ask for permission, he just said, the sheriff, that he was going to do it after spring break,” said Walters.

“Under no circumstances did we approve touching any students,” explained Walters.

Adding insult to injury, many students complained that they got far more than just a pat down.

According to the complaint,

Defendants’ searches of students were intrusive, performed in an aggressive manner, and done in full view of other students. For example: a) Deputies ordered students to stand facing the wall with their hands and legs spread wide apart; b) Deputies touched and manipulated students’ breasts and genitals; c) Deputies inserted fingers inside girls’ bras, and pulled up girls’ bras, touching and partially exposing their bare breasts. d) Deputies touched girls’ underwear by placing hands inside the waistbands of their pants or reaching up their dresses; e) Deputies touched girls’ vaginal areas through their underwear; f) Deputies cupped or groped boys’ genitals and touched their buttocks through their pants. 8. Defendants had no warrant or other authority to perform a mass search on hundreds of public school children.

When multiple students complained about being groped by at least one sicko deputy, Sheriff Hobby ensured parents and school officials that “corrective action was taken to make sure the behavior will not be repeated.”

Exactly who that cop was and what ‘corrective action’ was taken, remains a mystery.

“I’m okay with them doing the search, if it was done appropriately like the school has done in the past,” said father of two Jonathan Luke. “But when they put their hands on my son, that’s crossing the line.” 

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Aside from not finding a single bit of contraband, the sheriff’s search was also entirely uncalled for as the Sylvester Police Department did a search on March 17 — just a few weeks before — and found no drugs.

But Hobby told reporters he didn’t think that search was thorough enough, so he decided to do his own. And, this time, he’d grope every student.

As for the 900 counts of deprivation of rights under the color of law that the sheriff should be facing, despite the investigation, not a single charge has been levied against the department.

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Matt Agorist is an honorably discharged veteran of the USMC and former intelligence operator directly tasked by the NSA. This prior experience gives him unique insight into the world of government corruption and the American police state. Agorist has been an independent journalist for over a decade and has been featured on mainstream networks around the world. Agorist is also the Editor at Large at the Free Thought Project. Follow @MattAgorist on Twitter, Steemit, and now on Facebook.
  • Damiana

    What sucks most about these stories is that people are only outraged when nothing is found. If so much as a SINGLE marijuana seed had been found, everyone would be patting them on the back for a job well done.

    It doesn’t fucking MATTER that they didn’t find anything! This would be balls-out wrong even if several students had been “guilty.”

    • Guy

      Brentwood H.S. Administrators, along with cops on campus, use to toss the kids lockers pretty much on a routine basis, looking for (contraband), meaning anything considered inappropriate for the kids to have in there possession, including hemp, or a pocket knife, cigarettes and lighters. Or un-appropriate reading material, like a playboy magazine. They would box it up, and send it to the H.S. Dean’s office.This went on for awhile in the late 80’s. That was untill finally the parents and students got tired enough of it, and hired an attorney, who started the legal process of a threatened suit. Never was there any physically touching of the student, just locker tossing. The School Blinked, and that was the end of it. Now the student can get searched, (patted down) and his locker examined, if physically they are caught with it, or the administrators, have a pretty strong suspicion they are holding something. Most times being about 90% right.

      Thanks Matt. Good to read your article on stuff like this happening to our kids, it’s important to us, to read about just how far that the Police & Sheriff Departments are willing to go, to violate an intimidate our children, to keep em safe.

      • Roberta Beckert

        “phicialie” is that in the same family as “covfefe”???

        • Guy

          That’s my spell checkers fault, blame ti ! Damn ti !

        • Mod8guy

          I see whatcha did there.

      • Jaroslaw

        I don’t get some of your post. The parents filed a lawsuit and what happened? Then your next comment “the school blinked and that was the end of it.” That makes it sound like the locker searches stopped but you then continue “now the student can get searched, lockers examined…”

        • Guy

          “Threatened Action Of,” Not Actual. Parents along with Students & Representative took it to the School Board. After several board meetings, school policy on locker searches in mass, along with others, were changed to what they still are today, of individuals with reasonable suspicion of. Why do I know ? My brother was a H.S. board member at the time.

          The original action of mass locker tossing was started by one very paranoid over the top man, who was the Dean Of Students. He started several, very controversial school policies, that were not pre-approved or sanctioned by the board, in the first place. Resulting in he himself getting tossed out, as the end results.

          • Jaroslaw

            “started the legal process of a threatened legal suit” and “the school blinked” blinked here means what exactly? Not beating you over the head, but I hope you can see that your writing style is very unclear. Thanks for clarifying.

            This is also very ironic. Parents routinely check the children’s rooms for stuff like cigarettes, weed, etc. What percentage, I don’t know but I assume it is pretty high. Yet when the same thing is done in high school, everyone is outraged? I’m not suggesting children are subject to ANYTHING, but the parallels should be obvious.

          • Guy

            Sure you are !

            As to searching childrens rooms ! I raised two son’s, one is now 36 and the other is 33. My wife and I never ever searched ethers room for anything, and would consider it to be gross and a breach of trust between child and parent, as was the same between my parents and us. Maybe that is considered normal in your world, but never ours !

          • Jaroslaw

            I said I don’t know what percentage of parents do this didn’t I? Seeing lots of references to it on blogs doesn’t mean all or most parents search, but neither would it seem too unusual. I only know my mom found a porn mag under my mattress when she made my bed. Which in retrospect was not the best place to keep it. So I don’t know if they searched my room or not. I tend to think not but then my mom threw a lot of stuff away. So she wasn’t ‘snooping’ but going through stuff for excess junk. I often came home from school to see brand new stuff in the garbage bags to be thrown out. Even then, I realized as a young teen, we can’t keep everything we’re given or buy but I didn’t understand why it couldn’t be donated. In your case, it also presumes your children gave you no reason to distrust them. Situations are different in different families.

          • Guy

            That’s true about the presumption of innocence. But also true we never had a reason to doubt what they told us either, we just as parents maybe foolishly, took it for granted that our children were as we believed them to be, even with catching them in the occasional white lie. Thank full that we were right. As they grew older they developed more distinct personalities, as the results of influence from others, that we did not enjoy, sometimes leading to conflict of they acting not as we expected, resulting in being dissatisfied for all involved. How we overcame that was the hard part and still is today. You do become the friends that you keep !

            My mom threw out my old collection of comic books when I was a kid in the early 60’s, that would have been worth a friggin fortune today. Original runs of Batman, Superman and DC. plus the start of *fantastic 4 and many others. Makes me almost cry when I think what went into the trash. Like all my Mickey Mouse stuff from the 50’s and Coon Skin Hat and Cub Scout uniform, complete with merit badges !

          • Jaroslaw

            Well, my grandparents took us to Greenfield Village all the time, and my grandpa had a lot of money. My brother and I bought hand made wood toys and such there. She threw out a lot more than that as well. My mother had some real issues with her father for reasons I’ll never know, then cried every night for a year when he died at 59. Almost the age I am now! As I said, I didn’t understand then and still don’t know now why stuff couldn’t have been given to St. Vincent DePaul or some other charity. I’m really responding to your comment about some of your son’s friends, though, since ironically, I was the one who didn’t want to hang out with bad kids and my parents thought I was just a little bit “goody goody.” Seems good grades and never being in trouble wasn’t enough. One can never seem to satisfy parents. I vowed if I ever had kids, I would certainly be somewhat strict but more fair than they ever were. Another irony, my dad’s mother kept his room (shared with a couple brothers) untouched until the day she died. I would have thought my dad would have been more understanding. Oh well! Thanks for the conversation.

    • TomKi

      Good thought. Even if someone had had something, these searches were unjust. Who provides the justification, and can they be dealt with harshly, please?

    • Jerry Bushman

      I beg to differ, this was horrendous and a pure rights violation, and if one seed was found no one would be cheering. However if 200 students had quantities of drugs then the suspicion was warranted and justified. They would have escaped punishment for they would be hailed as heroes for stemming the tide of a major problem. As it turned out, the police chief and the sheriff are imagining a problem where none exists and both need to be held personally and financially responsible. Any deputy or officer that groped any minor needs to be up on federal molestation charges.

      • Damiana

        Well, since you begged nicely, I’ll allow your difference of opinion. *grins amiably*

      • Mod8guy

        They couldn’t even follow . procedure to obtain a warrant to carry out this B.S. raid.

        No LEO will have to account for this blatant violation of constitutional rights.

  • Damiana

    “I’m okay with them doing the search, if it was done appropriately like the school has done in the past,” said father of two Jonathan Luke. “But when they put their hands on my son, that’s crossing the line.”

    Fuck you right in the eye socket, Jonathan! If it weren’t for jackasses like you condoning locker searches and random piss testing, they never would have felt entitled to put their hands on your son. You basically surrendered your son’s Constitutional rights to keep him “safe” from drugs and now you’re all shocked and outraged that his lack of rights didn’t keep him safe? Fuck you again, man! If stupid were a population, your ass would be China.

    • Guy

      Damn Straights Young Lady !

  • Gordon Klock

    I don’t think this is really about “drugs”…(more like an excuse to ‘normalize’ people, to being searched, & groped, on what may likely become, a daily basis)….

    • Guy

      You mean like sort of conditioning Pavlov’s Dog to bark every time it heard the bell ring !? That sort of “Normalization”?

      So in other words, get use to it, so every time I shove this stick up your butt, you will just smile and say “Please Sir, May I have Another”!

    • Liz O’neill

      I have to agree with you, americans are already de sensitised to cops, killing children, killing dogs and cats, killing the mentally ill and killing people for minor traffic violations, this is just page 2 of the tyrants handbook, and nothing will come of any investigation, the pure fact that one of the parents said he was OK with the search, tells you that their plan is working.

      • Guy

        I hope you are wrong Liz, for all ours and the kids that it affects sake’s !

        • Damiana

          She’s only wrong 22.8% of the time.

      • RTM1995CSCO

        Would be justice if cops would be under citizens arrest for groping, maybe have a foot up their asses and say you are searching for brain cells

        • Jaroslaw

          What a stupid thing to say. Work for change or join the police force. I suspect if you join, you’ll have a much different opinion.

          • RTM1995CSCO

            Let’s get the facts correct before you once again violate the discussion rules. You said I should change or join. Fact are you being pre judgemental. I did work for the Justice Department for some years, as well as family (FBI/Immigration). Secondly, by putting out discussions, it keeps the readers interested in changing by means of editorials, blogs, etc. Third, ignorance means you did not know but learned your lesson, whereas stupid defines one who continues to not learn. I am both educated and experienced. I am trying to educate you about the US Constitution and remind you police policies abide by the US Constitution and not the other way around. Warrants are required for strip searches, especially unlimited groping on unlimited students. There are limits. We had a cop lose his job and go to jail for this, courts of law supersede your opinions. We had courts of law require many decisions you may not like. Cops are supposed to enforce the law, not create a law convenient for their jobs, then get a lawsuit that we taxpayers reimburse, after violations already occur. There is only one law, one justice, not convenient policies.

          • Jaroslaw

            I responded ONLY to your ridiculous comment about “putting your foot up the cop’s ass and saying you’re looking for brain cells”. If you wanted to have a reasonable discussion then don’t express yourself so crudely. Funny how your reply is completely different than the initial comment. Finally I am not violating any rules of discussion since I am not nor is anyone required to be a mind reader.

          • RTM1995CSCO

            If you attack, then expect reciprocation. Keep your mind open and mouth shut, you will learn more.

          • Jaroslaw

            Saying you said A (as in ONE) stupid thing is not an “attack” nor does it mean your entire being is stupid, but the more you say I’m thinking you might be. Cheers!

    • pappy450

      Hell,
      Just try flying, if you want to be “groped”, “grabbed” “felt up” or what ever term you prefer. I was subjected to this in an airport in Syracuse N.Y. because I have metal implants in my hips, neck and back. I had a Doctor card which was torn up and thrown in the trash, after being told “anyone could make one on a computer”

      I almost missed my flight to my Daughter’s wedding. welcome to the communist State of N.Y.

      • Jaroslaw

        Watch “the Yes Men” movies – they DO make up very realistic ID badges and every other kind of document on their computer. They have infiltrated major corporate meetings, given interviews which fooled very seasoned reporters and politicians and everything else. I don’t think the card should have been torn up and thrown in the trash but knowing hard difficult it is for passengers AND the TSA you should have allowed a day or so extra to MAKE SURE you got to your daughter’s wedding. Planes malfunction etc. also right?

        • pappy450

          THAT wasn’t the WORST part…There was a “thing” in a burka that was “allowed” to walk AROUND the scanning station (as I am getting “questioned” and “scanned” WITHOUT a “feel up”, grope, questions…NOTHING and got on OUR FLIGHT!) How would YOU feel??? ALL of the people flight I got a chance to talk to, were VERY upset.
          NO MORE FLYING FOR ME.

          • Jaroslaw

            Pappy450 – I’m no liberal, but if you want rights and respect, it isn’t very nice of YOU to say ” a thing” in a burka. Yes I would be very annoyed if the Muslim woman got to walk around the scanner. Did you alert the media? Take photos with your phone (I realize this may have happened before you had the chance to do this or you may have not wanted to further jeopardize your chance to get to your daughter’s wedding*) and I certainly would have complained to the TSA in writing. Let your congressman know etc. *but of course, sacrifices have to be made or the authorities continue unchecked right?

          • pappy450

            I got a question for YOU….. How do you KNOW if “it” is a MAN or a WOMAN under that rag?
            Hence my term “thing”. THINK ABOUT IT…. (could have been a MAN strapped with C-4.)…”political correctness” is OUT of control. The a-holes would rather molest old people disabled (like me) and children, than actually do what they are supposed to be doing. Congress doesn’t give a rats butt, you can write them forever, even then they still won’t DARE offend those MUSLIMES.

          • Jaroslaw

            Again, if you want respect, give it. You give yourself away at the end by calling them Muslimes. Again, not very nice. Since you don’t want to answer my questions, I see no reason to answer yours.

          • pappy450

            OK then I will just BLOCK your IGNORANT BUTT then…No Problem.
            MUSLIMES are not “nice” to US, and want to KILL us, so WHY should I show respect to them? Enjoy your life of rainbows and unicorns.

    • Mod8guy

      Let me see your papers.

  • Bebo

    We should reserve the death penalty for all instances of gross over reach. All officers involved should be permanently without a job and the commanding officer put to death. Unfortunately America has it’s head up it’s butt when it comes to corruption. We the People should be able to end corruption.

    • Damiana

      A’ight, gimme that! *takes his drink, sniffs it suspiciously, and hands it back* Carry on, then.

  • Fred

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

    This is all about indoctrinating a new generation into submission to the martial fascism that the U.S. is moving toward.

  • Jerry Bushman

    Does the sheriff still have his house? He needs to lose it one way or the other

  • George III

    This is one of those times I wish a cop accidentally turned on his body cam in the parking lot after the searches and it captured several of them bragging about what the grabbed, while laughing and sniffing one another’s fingers. Somehow, some people still would’ve been okay with the so-called searches for drugs. Cops are sick and they look for any reason to grope and rape kids.

    • Jaroslaw

      George III – cops are sick? I can say all cops are 100% saints. Neither your statement nor mine is true. You CANNOT assume that ALL cops are in it just to grope kids. That is absurd. You obviously cannot know any police personally to make such an encompassing prejudiced statement. The police in my city did 30,000 calls last year according to the newspaper and there were no complaints of groping. No black men got killed etc.

  • Roberta Beckert

    The police and deputies should all be jailed for paedophilia!

  • Brian King

    these pigs aint loyal [to the constitution]

    • Mod8guy

      They have no concept of the oath they swore.

      • Brian King

        or they dont give a fuck

  • John C Carleton

    The goons of LAW ENFORCEMENT are raping, robbing, beating, murdering Americans because THAT IS WHAT Washington wants them to do, or it would not be happening.

    Be sure to vote for those people again who sent pervert cops to feel up your children.

  • junktex

    “Copping” a few feels

  • 31266150

    The only reason this became an issue is because parents got involved and made it public. Many times things like this get swept under the rug and no one hears about it. Therefore they get away with it. There is NO justification for anyone to grope a child, law enforcement or not. The school administrator should be included in the lawsuit if he/she approved any part of it. Walking through the halls with drug dogs is one thing, lining the entire school up and searching them is something else entirely. We The People cannot let overreach like this go unnoticed.

    • Mod8guy

      But, but, but… If I stand up I’ll get in trouble and possibly lose everything I’ve worked for.

      Shaking like the masses.

  • G’ma G

    “Naturally, Sheriff Jeff Hobby is standing by this rights violation on a massive scale, noting that as long as a school administrator was present, the search of the children was legal.

    Apparently, in the sheriff’s mind, school administrators can usurp the constitutional rights of children in favor of unlawful police searches.”

    I fear this is exactly the precedent this has been orchestrated to set.

  • Michael Houseman

    When that sheriff took an oath to uphold the Constitution he said he would fight for the citizens of his county. This is a gross violation of that oath. The full force of the law should come against him. There should be an investigation into the criminal activity that took place. Everyone of those that were involved should be suspended…

  • Shawnda Philbrook

    It’s a gov’t funded building that is host to our children for many hours of the day. Everyone is complaining that we do something about the violence and drugs in schools, but when they do… it’s shame on them… Can’t have it both ways people. They have random searches at the court house and we all know about the secerity at the airport, this is all in the name of keeping people safe… school should be no different. Especially, since it is where our most valuable assets are for many hours of the day. They probably took this too far, in this case; but as a parent… I’m glad they tried something. I would probably recommend weapon and drug sniffing dogs on the property, walking the halls daily. Why not, most schools have an officer on the property now anyways… And the only one that would complain about this, is someone up to no good anyway. Am I wrong?

    • Mod8guy

      If expressing your distain with having your rights obliterated is indicative of guilt, then, I suppose trade your rights in for tyranny.

  • crazytrain2

    No warrant is needed to search lockers or run a k-9 through hallways and parking lots. To search students, you have to be able to point to a specific student and say I am searching them because…a dog hit on their locker, or information came in that little johnny had drugs on him. You can’t search a whole school

    • Mod8guy

      And then a warrant.

      • crazytrain2

        If you intend to search the car, I think a warrant should be obtained. I am not 100% on that, but they obviously have the time to get a warrant, then they should.

  • Peter Smith

    This was nothing more than a bunch of goons molesting children. Every single “officer” who was present should be arrested prosecuted for assault and molestation of children. Every single one of them should be labeled a sex offender as well. This isn’t just un-American, it is repulsive and antithetical to liberty.

    • Jaroslaw

      Peter you’re an idiot. You would be the FIRST one to DEMAND body cavity searches if some kid pulled a gun out of his A$$ and shot your kid dead. Yes, there are abuses of power and searches are not fun. I’ll even concede the officers MIGHT have enjoyed this. But you can’t prove that. It is a complete ASSumption on your part. I know you didn’t address this directly, but you have considered that police also deal with lots of gruesome stuff too, put their lives on the line, often give up holidays to be on duty (someone has to since Police are 24 hours). They deal with a horde of “undesireables” so YOU don’t have to.

  • Ibcamn

    wait till they analy probe all the kids in the hall,cops love raping kids and this is just a step away from forced penatration…these cops are pedo predators,they will do far worse to our children than raping choking and beating half to death or into a coma,just wait,i wonder who the first child will be to get murdered by these american terrorists….just wait,maybe it will be your child……

  • Jaroslaw

    (1) I can’t say the sherriff’s office was right to do this since I wasn’t there. The superintendent is a pussy if he said he didn’t give permission, so he should call the state police or the governor’s office or somebody. Why didn’t he?
    (2) invasive searches are necessary because yes, even our darling teenagers know where to hide stuff which means under scrotums, in vaginas etc.
    (3) If you think America is a police state, then do some heavy duty research about what went on in the Communist bloc of Eastern Europe from post WWII through the 1980s. Not excusing any abuse in America but we still have it pretty good.