A Binghamton resident tells the board they should be “ashamed of themselves.”
Ashley Biviano, pressconnects.com
Two days after a protest erupted at a Binghamton school board meeting over an alleged strip search of four 12-year-old girls at East Middle School, the Board of Education released a statement firmly denying the claims.
“School officials did not conduct a strip search,” officials said.
Board meeting attendees said four black female students were questioned and strip searched by the school nurse and assistant principal after suspicion of possessing drugs.
A statement distributed by local organization, Progressive Leaders of Tomorrow, claimed the girls were “instructed to remove their clothing” for “appearing hyper and giddy during their lunch hour.”
Board members said the district has an obligation to ensure the health and well-being of students, “which may include physical and medical evaluation,” but added the evaluation did not involve a strip search.
Read the full statement below
“The administrators who work in the middle school every day are trained to monitor and evaluate students and recognize behavior that is out of character,” read the statement.
Officials said school officials followed protocol by contacting parents “of the precautions and procedures that were taken.”
“These on-the-spot decisions are made to ensure the student’s health and well-being remain a priority,” read the statement, “which is why students are evaluated immediately.”
Board officials said the students were not punished as a result of the incident and were allowed to return to class after being evaluated.
“The safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority,” officials said.
Binghamton City School District said Wednesday “a student may, under current law and policy, be searched in a school building by an administrator when the administrator reasonably suspects that a student’s health is in danger or is in possession of a substance that may harm themselves or others.”
During those searches, the district said, an administrator could ask a student to empty their pockets, remove their shoes and/or remove their jackets.
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