Settlement Reached in Strip-Search

Friday, July 7th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

McMINNVILLE, Ore. (AP) — Three girls who sued after they were strip-searched at their middle school have settled their case against the school district and the city.

The amount of the settlement will not be disclosed until a judge approves it, attorneys said Thursday.

The girls were in gym classes at Duniway Middle School in January 1998 when they were searched by female police employees investigating locker-room thefts of CDs, jewelry, makeup and money.

Forty-five girls were taken in pairs into the locker room and asked to lift their shirts, shake out their bras and briefly lower their pants to their hips. No stolen items were found.

The school district and the McMinnville Police Department apologized, saying the searches were inappropriate.

Most of the girls accepted an insurance company's settlement offer of $5,000 and legal fees, but the families of six sued in federal court in Portland. One lawsuit was settled out of court, and two lawsuits are still pending. The most recent settlement was reached June 21.

``We're very anxious to bring closure to what was a most unfortunate incident,'' Superintendent Elaine Taylor said.