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Oklahoma middle schooler forced to reveal bra at school during search for a vape pen, mother says

The student was strip-searched in front of a fellow student, a school resource officer and the principal, according to a lawsuit.

An Oklahoma woman who says her daughter's school principal pushed the middle school student to reveal her bra during a strip search is suing the school district.

Kristal Trenkamp alleges her daughter was asked to reveal her bra in front of another student and Heartland Middle School staff members on May 10, 2021, according to a lawsuit filed this month in Oklahoma County. The child, a minor, is identified only by initials.

Trenkamp's daughter was suspected of having a "nicotine vape" and was searched in room a with an "uncovered window that has a clear view" to general areas of the school, the lawsuit said. Heartland Middle School Principal Veronica Johnson, a school resource officer and another student were also in the room, according to the suit.

It alleges Johnson ordered Trenkamp's daughter to lift her shirt and spin and then asked the child about her undergarments. The child was ordered to lift her shirt up high enough so Johnson could view her bra, the lawsuit said. 

No vape pen was found, according to the lawsuit.

Heartland Middle School in Edmond, Okla.
Heartland Middle School in Edmond, Okla.Google maps

Neither Johnson nor the superintendent of Edmond Public Schools immediately responded to a request for comment Monday.

Trenkamp is suing the district for a minimum of $25,000, alleging that the principal's actions were outrageous and that they transcended "the bounds of all human decency."

Trenkamp alleges that the principal and district violated her daughter's Fourth Amendment rights, as well as laws about sexual assault and assault.

The lawsuit also accuses Johnson of violating district policy and state law, citing an Oklahoma statute that prohibits strip searches of students. The statute says no clothing "except cold weather outerwear shall be removed" during a warrantless search of a student.

"No reasonable person would conclude that the benefits of conducting an illegal strip search of the minor ... would outweigh the harm caused by the search, nor find that the search was necessary in light of the circumstances," the lawsuit said.