Tupelo Middle School student’s mom sues over alleged strip search

Tupelo School District LogoBy Patsy R. Brumfield

Daily Journal

TUPELO – The mother of a Tupelo schools female student claims in a new federal lawsuit that officials and law enforcement failed to investigate a bullying incident before putting her daughter in jail and strip-searching her.

The Daily Journal is not using the mother’s name, although it is on the lawsuit document, because the minor student’s name would be obvious to others.

Defendants in the lawsuit are Lee County, the City of Tupelo, Tupelo Public School District and Dr. Kristy Luse, Jon Bramble, and John and Jane Does 1-5. They have yet to respond to the allegations because the lawsuit was just filed this week.

Luse is principal at Tupelo Middle School, and Bramble is a Tupelo police officer.

The lawsuit is just one side of a story.

In the 12-page document, filed by Tupelo attorney Victor Fleitas, the girl’s mother claims the daughter was injured in a bullying incident Nov. 10, 2010 then arrested because of the school policy of “zero-tolerance” for misbehavior without due process.

It also claims the girl was taken to the Lee County Juvenile Detention Center and subjected to a strip-search before her mother could secure her release.

The lawsuit seeks actual, compensatory and punitive damages, as well as court costs and attorney’s fees.

  • clevelandgator

    Would love to hear the other side of this story.

  • barney fife

    In some local schools even a student defending themselves from an unprovoked assault by another student will be apprehended and taken to juvenile detention. With police involvement comes at least one visit to a judge and perhaps face legal issues as well. Now this student … who merely defended himself … has been removed from school and sent to the county alternative school for a while.
    Both situations are appalling – the victims are painted with the same brush as the assailants with little apparent regard for their civil or legal rights. Why is that?
    This writer has no dog in this fight. My one & only graduated HS in 1999.

  • Go_figure

    The anti-bullying enforcement in the Tupelo School system is a joke at best. My child attends Tupelo Middle School and up until 3 weeks ago was being slapped in the back of the head by another student almost daily in the hallway between classes. She could file all the “Incident Reports” she wanted but unless it was witnessed by a school employee it was a waste of time. Finally, a teacher witnessed it happen, called her aside to fill out the report and it resulted in the other child getting In School Suspension for a couple of days. A lot of the students refer to the ISS as Mrs. (don’t recall her name)’s Daycare because they have a free reign in there!
    It’s a sad day when a child can’t defend themselves other than saying “stop” and filling out meaningless reports……