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July 12, 2006
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S.C. students to receive settlement in high school police drug raid

The Associated Press

CHARLESTON, S.C.- A federal judge approved a $1.6 million class-action settlement to compensate students who were searched during a 2003 high school drug raid in which police with guns drawn ordered students to the floor.

U.S. District Judge Patrick Michael Duffy approved the settlement Monday in a lawsuit filed against the Berkeley County School District and the Goose Creek Police Department by students' families.

Surveillance videotapes captured the raid at Stratford High School, in which officers drew their guns, ordered students to lie on the floor and used a dog to search them for illegal drugs.

Police found no drugs and no arrests were made, though some students were handcuffed for a time. About 140 students were in the school.

The students will split $1.2 million. Their attorneys' will receive the remaining $400,000. The exact amount each student receives will depend on the final number of claims, but could average between $6,000 and $12,000 apiece.

The raid provoked marches and lawsuits and brought national media attention and the resignation of the school's longtime principal.

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