Florida High Schoolers Sue School District, Sheriff's Office for Missing Prom

Categories: Crime, WTFlorida

jensenbeachprom.jpg
via Facebook
Morgan Kleabir got to spend only five minutes at her high school prom -- not even long enough to take a selfie.
Prom is a time to create either precious memories or future therapy fodder, depending on what clique you run with. But for a group of Jensen Beach High School girls, the event was reason to craft a bizarre lawsuit and file it in federal court.

According to the complaint, eight seniors, one underclassman, and two older male guests decided to take a party bus to the dance. When they boarded the vehicle, it was apparently littered with debris from previous customers who took the phrase "party bus" a little more literally than they did.

After pulling up in front of the Port St. Lucie Civic Center at 10 p.m on May 3, the bus was detained while a resource officer conducted a search. He unearthed an empty champagne bottle and ordered a Breathalyzer test be conducted on all of the students. The would-be attendees were then lined up in front of the bus as their peers poured into the prom, the complaint says.

Unfortunately, the resource officer had only two breath tests left, so everyone was forced to wait for an hour until he could go to the school and get more. Rather than wait, they wanted to get picked up and go home. They were apparently told they had to stay and wait until every person was tested.

Testing was concluded at 11:55. The result of each BAC reading was the same: 0.00. Finally vindicated, the girls and their friends were permitted to join their peers inside. For five minutes. The prom ended at midnight.

The suit claims that the promgoers were not only embarrassed but unlawfully detained -- and thus deserving of damages. It also says the resource officer violated the Fourth Amendment by searching the bus without probable cause.

Attorney Jeremy Harris is suing Martin County School District and its superintendent along with Jensen Beach High's principal, assistant principal, dean, and resource officer. The Martin County Sheriff's Office was also thrown in for good measure.

"When I took the case, it was pretty clear nobody was going to get rich off this," Harris says. "I don't expect this to be a case where a jury is going to award us $10 million or something crazy. I want a judge to just say this shouldn't have happened."

Send your story tips to the author, Allie Conti.

Follow Allie Conti on Twitter: @allie_conti



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7 comments
Olivia Polliard
Olivia Polliard

It'd be interesting to find out why they aren't holding the party bus company responsible for their part in this as well. Also, if one of those kids failed the breathalyzer, then would the party bus company face charges for providing alcohol to minors?

markie19
markie19 topcommenter



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Flashing Box Multimedia
Flashing Box Multimedia

Moral to the story: Clean the previous party's empty bottles out of your party bus before attending the high school prom.

Dan K. Alexander
Dan K. Alexander

These partygoers should also name the transportation company as defendants in their lawsuit. Illinois v. Caballes found that persons who are stopped during a traffic stop cannot be detained longer than 8 minutes in order for a K-9 officer to arrive (to conduct a sniff search). This logic should also apply to sobriety tests. Hopefully these students saved their receipts and have a good lawyer.

Colleen Marie
Colleen Marie

They should have cleared that stuff out before they got in and demanded a partial refund from the car company. It didnt dawn on them that open alcohol bottles in a car full of underage prom goers might be an issue?

Shawn Weaver
Shawn Weaver

Sounds like the resource officer got picked last for kickball as a kid...and now everyone will suffer for the rest of his life

Charlie
Charlie

but because they made this minor oversight, they deserve a criminal record for the activities of others?

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