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Parents Outraged When School Officials Force Kids to Pull Down Their Pants

schoolAs much as it’s important to me to teach my children respect for authority, it’s equally important that I teach them to always question authority. Always. We’ve all heard the phrase “absolute power corrupts absolutely” and when the wrong person tastes power it can lead them strange places.

A bizarre occurrence at a schoolhouse in a tiny town about 90 miles of Fort Worth, Texas unfortunately illustrates how important it is for children to learn that saying no to someone in a position of authority is okay. As ABC affiliate WFAA reports, a group of about two-dozen elementary students in the town of Gustine were rounded up — boys in one room, girls in another — and forced to pull down their pants. The reason? Apparently school officials had been finding poop on the gym floor. Their genius solution to tracking down the culprit was forcing kids as old as 11 to show their underwear so they could inspect for traces of poop.

“I said I didn’t want to, but I was told I had to because all the kids had to,” said 11-year-old Eliza Medina. “I felt like they violated my privacy.”

Eliza’s mother, Maria Medina is understandably outraged.

“I was furious … I mean, I was furious,” Medina said. “If you can’t do your job or you don’t know what you’re doing, you need to be fired. You shouldn’t be here.”

Gustine Independent School District Superintendent Ken Baugh acknowledges the partial strip search was ill-advised but that it’s his understanding that the kids were told to lower their pants just a little.

Oh. Just “a little.” Well that changes everything, right? Being herded into a room with your classmates and told to lower your pants “just a little” is no big deal, right? Wrong.

The superintendent is investigating but is likely to be on the receiving end of some harsh words from parents planning to attend a school board meeting tomorrow and demand accountability from the adults who forced their children to lower their pants.

As Allison Bryant notes on the Fox 13 Facebook page, “If this happened in a different location, like behind a dumpster etc, these adults would be charged with sexual assault, but since it was “public,” somehow they thought this would be okay?! Whoever was involved should be charged with as many counts of sexual assault as there are children involved. Maybe invest $50 in a camera instead??”

I’m in complete agreement. Why not send a letter home to parents explaining the situation and ask them to check their children on their own in the privacy of their own home? But as we’ve seen time and time again; we can’t trust anyone just because they hold a job that says they’re trustworthy and I hope I’ve raised my children well enough that they would absolutely defy authority in a situation like this. At the very least it’s a warning to all us parents to empower our children and make sure they know that even in cases when someone in authority is demanding they do something our children know they should follow their gut, say no, and call home. As Mark Lewis notes on Fox’s Facebook page, “Anyone forcing children to disrobe by use of authority should be charged with child molestation.”

Yep.

Image courtesy of ThinkStock

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