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Money That Led To Controversial Strip Search Of Students Turns Up

May 25, 1988

STUART, Fla. (AP) _ The missing $100 bill that led to a strip search of high school students and the demotion of the official who ordered the search was found tucked in a closet of the room where it vanished last month.

Martin County High School officials don’t know how or when the money ended up in John Parson’s classroom. The bill was still tucked inside a coin purse.

″It’s been very painful,″ Principal Wanda Yarboro said Tuesday. ″After all we’ve been through, we just want to put it behind us.″

She said it appears the coin purse was taken and later stuffed into a closet.

″It definitely was not misplaced,″ Yarboro said. ″But I’m not going to draw any conclusion, because I don’t know. All we wanted was for the money to be found. It just happened a month too late.″

Deneen DeShields, 18, reported the money missing during Parson’s cooking class last month.

A student looking for grill cleaner during a yearly inventory found the money Tuesday in the rarely used closet, Parson said.

″It could have been there all along. I don’t know,″ he said.

Miss DeShields had brought the money to school April 11 to pay for a trip to Texas with the school’s choral group. When she reported it missing, and a search didn’t find her coin purse, the 16 juniors and seniors in the class were locked in the room.

Dean of Students Michael Lindgren and security personnel separated the students by sex and searched them. Assistant Principal J.C. Williams helped in the search, which infuriated parents.

The Martin County School Board earlier this month demoted Lindgren to a teacher and suspended Williams for five days.

Lindgren was pleased that the money turned up.

″That’s all I ever wanted,″ he said.

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