28 students strip-searched at St-Jérôme high school

One female student told the TVA network that at one point she was asked to remove her bra.

Staff members were looking for missing cell phone

Grade 10 students at Cap-Jeunesse were strip-searched after a cell phone went missing during an exam. (Rivière-du-Nord school board)

A school board in the Laurentians has launched an investigation after some Grade 10 students said they were strip-searched before writing a math exam.

The incident happened last Friday at the Cap-Jeunesse Secondary School in St-Jérôme.

The school and the Rivière-du-Nord school board aren’t talking, but did issue a written statement about what took place.

The students at Cap-Jeunesse were taking the prepatory test, ahead of the provincial end-of-year exam, that all students in the board take at the same time, in order to prevent cheating.

According to the statement, 28 students in a Grade 10 class at Cap-Jeunesse were searched after a cell phone, collected prior to the exam, went missing.

The release said that when no one came forward to return the missing phone, staff members performed a strip search without the school administration’s knowledge or consent.

They were concerned about cheating on the exam using the cell phone.

The support staff, then, decided to strip-search each of the 28 students in the class, one at a time in a separate room.

Two male staff members searched the boys, while two female staff members searched the girls.

The statement issued by the school board didn’t say which articles of clothing the students were asked to remove, but one female student told the TVA network that at one point she was asked to remove her bra.

The statement did say, however, that the search was a disproportionate reaction to the cell phone’s disappearance, and the school board has launched an administrative investigation.

However, the results of the investigation will not be made public, as it may result in disciplinary action.

The school board is looking at having the test rescheduled or cancelled, given that "the circumstances in which it happened were not optimal."