Despite denying the allegations, the Binghamton City School District in New York has announced that it has hired a third party to conduct a review of the allegations that four Black middle school girls were strip-searched at East Middle School. Additionally, Gov. Andrew Cuomo has called in the New York State Department of Education, as well as the state police to help local police investigate the claims.
Cuomo has spoken out against the incident stating: “The allegations that 12-year-old girls were strip-searched for drugs after being perceived as ‘hyper and giddy’ at a Binghamton middle school are deeply disturbing and raise serious concerns of racial and gender bias. Asking a child to remove her clothing and then commenting on her body is shaming, humiliating, traumatic sexual harassment.”
“We stand with those who are calling for clarity on this troubling incident,” Cuomo added.
RELATED STORY: Middle School Denies Strip-Searching Four Black Girls, Parents Outraged Acting State Police Superintendent Keith M. Corlett elaborated on the state police’s involvement. He addressed the community’s understandable outrage as well.
“Given the severity of the allegations and the unrest they are causing in the community, State Police will thoroughly investigate this incident, in consultation with local authorities,” Corlett said.
Since the story was first reported, more details have emerged regarding the strip search. The nurse, reportedly, made disparaging comments about two of the girls regarding the eczema on one girl’s breast and the size of the other’s breasts while conducting the search.
The district continues to deny that the search even took place although their policy clearly states that schools in the district can perform them. That policy can be found here on page 84 of the document.
The district has yet to acknowledge they do indeed have a strip search policy. But what’s even more puzzling is the fact the district denied the incident instead of hiring investigators prior to publicly denouncing the girls.