The bizarre episode shook the small South Georgia community 20 miles east of Albany and drew national attention to one of the most brazen civil rights violations by a law enforcement official in recent memory. Students reported feeling sexually violated by deputies as they touched their underwear and private parts in a search that found no drugs in the school.
The payments to each student will be determined by how badly their civil rights were violated. Those who subjected to the worst searches will receive a maximum of $4,000, while the minimum payment will be $1,000. Close to 600 students responded to written surveys to determine the nature of the search conducted on them and how much they will be eligible to receive.
"These were incredibly invasive searches," said Mark Begnaud, a civil rights attorney in Atlanta who along with the Southern Center for Human Rights represented the students.