THE CITY REBORN FROM THE ASHES OF AMERICA'S MOST DISASTROUS FOREST FIRE
DA Asks Sheriff To Resume Suring School Search Probe
Issue Date: February 23, 2022
Controversy continues over allegations Suring High School authorities conducted illegal "strip searches" on January 17 and 18 when they had a number of students strip down to their undergarments to determine whether or not they had vaping devices concealed somewhere on their persons.
Investigation into the complaints from parents and students had been completed and an announcement was made that no charges would be coming in regard to the incidents. However, investigation by the sheriff's department has been resumed at the request of Oconto County District Attorney Edward Burke.
After parents over 40 parents complained at a school board meeting on Feb. 9, they relayed their concerns to Oconto County Sheriff Todd Skarban. An investigation by the Sheriff's Department then began. Skarban told reporters on Tuesday, Feb. 15 that his office had investigated and turned its findings over to District Attorney Edward Burke. Later that same day, Burke issued a statement that the searches did not meet the statutory definition of illegal strip searches, and there would be no criminal charges coming form his office against the school authorities who did the searches.
Even before Burke issued his decision, several parents had hired legal counsel, and statements have been issued that student's civil rights were violated. Parents were not notified before or after the searches took place.
On Friday, Feb. 18, Burke asked Skarban to have the Sheriff's Department re-open its investigation. Skarban and Burke reportedly are to confer on exactly what Burke is seeking, and the entire issue is reportedly slated to be further discussed at a special meeting on Wednesday, March 2.
Madison Civil Rights Attorney Jeff Olson, who has become involved at the request of several parents, is quoted as saying he believes while a criminal violation might not have occurred, there was a civil rights violation. He reportedly said a lawsuit is pending.
"There is really almost no relation between the two," said Olson.
Burke says Suring superintendent Kelly Casper and a female school nurse visually searched six female students for vaping devices.
State law defines a strip search as having private parts uncovered for the person conducting the search to view or touch.