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Published: Thursday, 6/10/2004

3 students, ACLU sue Detroit schools over sweeping contraband searches ASSOCIATED PRESS

DETROIT - Students were lined up against walls and illegally frisked by police and school security officers, according to a federal lawsuit filed yesterday.

The Feb. 18 search at Mumford High School was one of at least four conducted in the 2003-04 school year at high schools in the city, said Detroit attorney Amos Williams, who joined the American Civil Liberties Union in filing the suit on behalf of three Mumford High School students.

The officers were looking for contraband, but pat-down searches of Mumford's approximately 1,800 students turned up nothing, said Michael Sternberg, legal director for the ACLU of Michigan. One student who objected to being searched was arrested for disorderly conduct, Mr. Sternberg said.

The ACLU's complaint says such sweeps are unconstitutional because they are not based on suspected lawbreaking by any one student or group.

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