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June 29, 2022

School Official Who Searched Girls for Vapes Resigns; Criminal Charges Dropped

The story of the Wisconsin school official accused of conducting illegal body searches on high school students suspected of vaping has come to an end. Suring School District Superintendent Kelly Casper has agreed to resign June 30 from her post in the small town, according to the Green Bay Press Gazette.

Casper admitted searching the female students (male students were searched separately by male staff) in January, but insisted there was nothing illegal or improper about the searches. She was assisted by a school nurse, who later reported the incident to her supervisor, explaining she thought the searches were inappropriate.

Suring is a village of fewer than 1,000 residents in Oconto County, 50 miles northwest of Green Bay. Suring High School has about 120 students.

The superintendent was put on administrative leave by the school board March 2, just days after being charged with six counts of felony false imprisonment by Oconto County District Attorney Edward Burke Jr.

“The issue isn’t whether or not she had the ability to search, the issue is whether she had the reasonable authority to do what she did in conducting the searches,” Burke told Brown County Judge Marc Hammer. “And from the state’s point of view, the confinement as defined by the statute and the jury instructions, she limited their freedom of movement.”

But Judge Hammer disagreed and said there were insufficient facts to support the criminal complaint. He dismissed all charges against Casper.

“There’s nothing here that would allow me to conclude that there was a lack of consent or the defendant would know there was a lack of consent, or that she would know she did not have lawful authority to confine or restrain,” Judge Hammer said, bringing cheers from Casper’s supporters in the courtroom.

The status of potential lawsuits by some students and their parents is uncertain, according to the Press Gazette.

Smokers created vaping without help from the tobacco industry or anti-smoking crusaders, and I believe vapers have the right to continue innovating to help themselves. My goal is to provide clear, honest information about the challenges vaping faces from lawmakers, regulators, and brokers of disinformation. I’m a member of the CASAA board, but my opinions aren’t necessarily CASAA’s, and vice versa. You can find me on Twitter @whycherrywhy
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