“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,” Cuomo said in a statement, according to NBC News.Cuomo’s announcement comes weeks after a school board meeting where community members expressed their outrage at the treatment of the four 12-year-old’s at East Middle School. After apparently acting “giddy” at lunch, because we all know excited Black girls are suspicious, the girls were forced to undress by the school nurse and assistant principal. NBC News notes that the school district has also announced that it hired an independent firm to look into the allegations as well. The school had previously said that current law and policy allows students to 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.” “Unfortunately, our students shared that these actions have had the unintended consequences of making the students feel traumatized. We sincerely apologize for the impact this has had and are working with these families to support their children’s success,” the school’s statement added.
The alleged search roused tensions in the community, prompting the local NAACP to step in with demands, including the end of strip-searching for any reason.