After a Houston Independent School District assistant principal allegedly ordered a mass suspicionless strip search of 22 preteen sixth grade girls in an attempt to locate $50, two of their mothers sued the school district, only to see their case dismissed by a federal judge—even though all parties agreed the search violated the girls’ constitutional rights.

But Houston appellate lawyer Peter Kelly recently convinced the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit that the mothers should be allowed to present their civil rights case against HISD to a jury as well as pursue an injunction against the school district requiring it to clarify its search policy and provide at least some Fourth Amendment training to its employees.

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