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Georgia High School Students Win $3 Million Lawsuit Against Illegal Police Drug Searches

Many people think that students have less rights while attending their educational institutions. But a new lawsuit will end that line of thinking quickly.

Students at a Georgia high school won a $3 million lawsuit yesterday against the Worth County Sheriff's office after a judge determined that police illegally conducted a massive search without probable cause.

Last April Worth County Sheriff Jeff Hobby and his deputies went to the county high school and spent several hours searching more than 800 students for drugs. They found none. The lawsuit stated that the officers "touched and manipulated students' breasts and genitals" and "inserted fingers inside girls' bras," and that students were forced to reveal intimate areas of their body during searches. It's unclear what evidence Hobby had to justify the searches.

Shortly after the searches, the Southern Center for Human Rights and the Atlanta-based civil rights firm Horsley-Begnaud filed suit against the Worth County Sheriff's office for the incident. 

“We hope this settlement sends a message to law enforcement beyond just south Georgia — or beyond Georgia — that this abuse of power is just not tolerated,” said attorney Mark Begnaud. "Students don’t shed their constitutional rights when they enter a school."

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal signed an executive order on Monday suspending Hobby and replacing him with an interim sheriff.

The lawsuit settlement will now head to a U.S. district court for approval. Begnaud said each student will receive between $1 and $6,000, depending on the severity of the illegal search they endured.

And while they spent all this time at the high school, there were probably countless other ways they could've spent their time. War on Drugs in action!

(h/t NBC News)


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