Binghamton, New York: School officials are denying a report that four 12-year-old girls were strip-searched for suspected drug use at an upstate New York middle school.
Community members packed a Binghamton school board meeting this week to demand answers after reports circulated on social media that the girls, who are black, were strip-searched by the school nurse and assistant principal because they seemed giddy in the lunch room.
A community group distributed a statement at Tuesday’s meeting saying the children were “ashamed, humiliated and traumatized” after being told to remove clothing Feb. 15.
“The children were instructed to remove their clothing, and felt shamed, humiliated and traumatized by the experience,” according to the Progressive Leaders statement.
The school district issued a statement Thursday that officials “did not conduct a strip search.”
It says a medical evaluation may require removal of bulky outside clothing to expose an arm to take blood pressure, but that’s “not the same as a strip search.”