A Quebec school board has launched an investigation after high school students were strip-searched during a year-end math exam.
School staff at Cap-Jeunesse High School in Saint-Jerome was reportedly looking for a cellphone when they searched 28 students during the test. The board has already admitted that staffers "lacked judgment" by conducting the search.
Prior to the test, students were ordered to put their phones on a teacher's desk to prevent cheating. When one phone was missing, the strip-search was ordered.
"They put us in a small room," said a teenage girl who didn't give her name. "(They said) 'take off your bra, then raise your arms.' They even tapped us on the back."
School board spokeswoman Nadyne Brochu admits the teachers overstepped their boundaries. "It was a disproportionate action under the circumstances," she said. "These are not measures that are recommended by either the school or the school board."
Brochu said the school’s principal was not told about the search, Sun News reported.
"In the heat of the action, the decision seemed the best," she said. "Once officials heard what had happened, they immediately contacted the students' parents to explain the situation."
Students will be given the option to re-take the exam. Brochu said that "the climate was not conducive to a good test."
It is unclear if the teachers who conducted the strip-search will face disciplinary action.