D.C. School officials said yesterday that two Lincoln Junior High School administrators who searched 10 students on Wednesday in violation of school system regulations will be disciplined following an investigation that could not determine exactly what happened, a school official said.
Assistant Principals Donald A. Wills and Emma I. Bonner acknowledged that they searched the students for $20 that was reported missing from a female student's purse during an eighth-grade science class. But both denied students' claims that the students were ordered to undress, said school spokeswoman Janice Cromer.
Wills and Bonner will be disciplined because they did not have written approval to conduct the search, indiscriminately searched most students in the class and asked them to remove their shoes -- all violations of the rules, Cromer said. The violations constituted "indiscretion" and "poor judgment" on the administrators' part, said Cromer, who refused to say what their punishment would be.
Investigators could not determine the truth of contradictory statements given by the administrators and the students, Cromer said.
"The extent to which the students were actually searched could not be conclusively verified," she said, reading from a report prepared by the schools safety and security division. "As of now, the issue is closed for us," Cromer said.
George Farmer, parent of one of the boys who complained he was strip-searched, said school officials "are trying to take the easy way out. The issue is not closed. The kids have no reason to lie to their parents about such an incident."