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Students searched by teachers over missing $5

/ Source: The Associated Press

A class of third-grade students got a lesson in civil liberties when an envelope containing $5 disappeared from their teacher's desk.

The students at Martin Luther King Elementary in Hopkinsville were asked to remove their shoes and socks during a search. Some were patted down and had their pockets checked.

Some parents were angered by the Feb. 15 searches, which did not turn up the missing money at the western Kentucky school.

"The way they treat our students is ridiculous," said Zlatko Skuljan, the father of a 9-year-old girl in the class.

The school's principal gave written reprimands to four instructors who had physical contact with the students. The principal, Sarah Newman, declined to comment and phone numbers for the four teachers could not be located Wednesday.

Christian County Schools spokeswoman Regan Huneycutt said the search violated the school district's policy. School employees can touch students only when the student poses a threat to another student or to themselves.

School officials said the search was prompted by the disappearance of an envelope containing $5 for a school function that was on the teacher's desk.

The students' regular teacher was absent that day.