High School Principal In Compton Investigated For 'Inappropriate Searches' Of Students

(FOX 11 / CNS) A principal at Dominguez High School was on administrative leave today while sheriff's officials investigate allegations of inappropriate searches of students.

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According to the Sheriff's Department, several students claimed they were searched by the principal, and some were witnessed by school staff members. The students complained the searches made them and the witnesses "feel very uncomfortable."

Neither the Sheriff's Department nor the Compton Unified School District would release the suspect's name -- although the district said it was the school's principal of operations. The school's website lists Oscar Mendez as the principal of operations.

"Yesterday, the district administration determined the need to place the principal of operations at Dominguez High School on administrative leave pending further notice," according to the district.

"This action was deemed necessary by the fact that the district became aware that a law enforcement investigation is being conducted by the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department.

"At this time, the district has not been made privy to the specific circumstances surrounding the sheriff's investigation. However, the district is aware that no arrest was made. We will release more information as it becomes available."

Detectives from the sheriff's Special Victims Bureau interviewed 10 students and seven staff members with more interviews planned, according to sheriff's Sgt. Al Garcia.

Garcia told news media outlets that investigators have five victims. He said the principal ordered the searches because he was concerned about truancy and marijuana use.

The principal allegedly told one victim that he should loosen up his pants and shake his underwear with his pants still on. "It was too private for me," commented one student, according to Garcia.

The investigation should be completed by next week, Garcia said. 

Anyone with information on the case was asked to call the Sheriff's Special Victims Bureau at (877) 710-5273.

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