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Mother of P.G. high school student sues over alleged illegal search

The mother of a Prince George’s County high school student has filed suit against the school district and a Central High School security officer, claiming her 15-year-old son was illegally searched during class earlier this month.

Rochelle Woods Hogue is seeking more than $75,000 in damages, according to the lawsuit, filed Tuesday in Prince George’s County Circuit Court.

Security officers came to Devonte Woods’ class Oct. 1 after a classmate claimed her phone was stolen, according to the lawsuit. The officers began searching every students’ belongings, according to the lawsuit. When the phone was not recovered, the officers began searching the students, according to the lawsuit.

Woods “refused to be personally searched because he had not stolen the phone nor was he specifically named as a person who might have stole the phone,” the complaint states. He told the officers they could not search him without his parents’ permission because he was a minor, the complaint states. An officer also threatened to detain Woods when the student asked to call his father, the complaint states.

Woods was searched against his will, according to the lawsuit. The phone was not found with Woods nor anyone else in his class.

Hogue is represented by Jimmy A. Bell, an Upper Marlboro solo practitioner.

The case is Rochelle Woods Hogue v. Prince George’s County Board of Education, et al., CAL1532553.