- Four 12-year-old girls were allegedly strip searched at East Middle School in Binghamton, New York on January 15.
- It came after the girls were accused of being in possession of drugs, and “appearing hyper and giddy during their lunch hour.”
- The school has denied giving the girls strip searches, and said officials “acted in accordance with” school policy.
Four 12-year-old girls were allegedly strip searched at their upstate New York middle school after officials suspected they were in possession of drugs because they were acting hyper and giddy.
The girls were questioned then allegedly strip searched by a nurse and an assistant principal at East Middle School in Binghamton on January 15, according to the Binghamton Press & Sun-Bulletin.
At a school board meeting on Tuesday, community members said four black female students were accused of possession of drugs and were searched for “appearing hyper and giddy during their lunch hour.”
“The children were instructed to remove their clothing, and felt shamed, humiliated and traumatized by the experience,” said a statement from the Progressive Leaders of Tomorrow, a local advocacy group.
The Progressive Leaders group claim the girls were searched without parental consent, and that the parents only learned about the incident when the girls got home from school.
School officials denied that the strip searches happened in a statement released to Buzzfeed News.
The school said that officials “acted in accordance with” policy and that the girls weren’t strip searched.
“When conducting medical evaluation, it may require the removal of bulky outside clothing to expose an arm so that vitals like blood pressure and pulse can be assessed,” the district said in the statement. “This is not the same as a strip search.”
INSIDER has contacted the Binghamton City School District superintendent for comment.
A district handbook says students may be searched “only when the school district official has reasonable suspicion to believe the student has engaged in or is engaging in proscribed activity.”
The handbook says that strip searches are “intrusive in nature and almost never justified.”
The four girls’ parents released a statement on Friday saying their daughters “no longer feel safe at East Middle.”
“Listening to our children recount and relive this trauma has been an experience we would not wish on any parent,” the statement said. “And we hope no other child has to experience what they have endured.”
The parents also thanked those who were “willing to listen to and believe our girls.”
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- Covington high schooler Nick Sandmann says he wishes he ‘could have just walked away’ from his viral encounter with Native American activist Nathan Phillips
- A black student is suing her former high school after being told her skin was ‘too dark’ to perform on the dance team, lawsuit says
- A 32-year-old woman is accused of posing as a homeless teen to enroll in high school again
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