4 Black Girls Strip Searched At Binghamton School Without Their Parents' Knowledge

Discussion in 'News - Breaking News & Political Forum' started by Mooney72, Jan 25, 2019.

  1. Mooney72

    Mooney72 Well-Known Member

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    Binghamton schools put on notice after strip search of Black girls
    January 24, 2019 9:11 AM CST BY SCOTT HILEY

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    Parents and community members packed the meeting of the Binghamton District School Board. | PLOT


    BINGHAMTON, N.Y.—On January 22, parents and community members from Binghamton, N.Y. held the floor for two hours at a school board meeting, presenting their demands in the wake of an incident where administrators at East Middle School strip searched four 12-year-old Black girls without the presence, consent, or even notification of their parents. The story that emerged at the meeting is a thing of unrivaled ugliness.

    On January 15 (Dr. King’s birthday, as more than one speaker pointed out), during lunch period, Principal Tim Simonds noticed four girls engaged in behavior he qualified as “hyper and giddy.” On that basis, he had Assistant Principal Michelle Raleigh and the school nurse search the students for drugs. Three students were made to remove their shirts and were searched in only their bras. One of those students was also made to pull down her leggings, exposing her underwear. A fourth student refused to remove her clothing and received an in-school suspension as a result. During the searches, the nurse made humiliating comments about one girl’s skin and another’s breasts.

    Parents were not notified—at least, not until their daughters told them after school that they had been held, questioned, and searched for over an hour. The mother of one of the girls described how she had requested an incident report on the search, but instead received a letter dated the next day, claiming that her daughter had consented voluntarily.

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    Graphic from PLOT
    No drugs were found in the search, though that fact is irrelevant to the degrading treatment inflicted on the girls, as community members pointed out.

    Progressive Leaders of Tomorrow (PLOT), a grassroots racial justice organization in Binghamton, formulated demands based on their discussions with the girls and their families. Those demands include an end to strip searches of children for any reason, the removal of the school leaders and staff involved, a public apology to students, parents, and the community, and alternate instruction for the students until the situation is resolved to their families’ satisfaction.

    Other organizations adopted those demands as well, including the Broome-Tioga NAACP and TruthPharm, which advocates for humane, equitable, and research-based drug policy.

    PLOT also issued a call to pack the school board meeting to present those demands. The community responded, some 200 strong, with a show of unity that overcame attempts by the school board to limit public comment and push the issue to the end of the meeting. Each time a board member attempted to invoke protocol or time limits—a move they used almost exclusively against women of color, including the mother of one of the girls—voices from the audience demanded, “Let her speak!”

    Community members insisted on the board’s obligation to listen—not just to their grievances and demands, but to a sophisticated, collective analysis that placed the incident at East Middle School in its broader context of white supremacy, violence against women and girls, the War on Drugs, and the need for democracy and accountability.

    Parents and community activists spoke to the ongoing struggle against racially discriminatory discipline in the Binghamton City School District. Current and former students expressed their solidarity and shared their own stories of discriminatory treatment, sexual harassment, and sexual assault in the district. Medical professionals and policy experts pointed out that trauma like this puts children at a higher risk of adverse health outcomes—including substance abuse. Educators, parents, and voters questioned the competence and judgment of the school administration and reminded the board that they are elected officials, serving at the behest of the people.

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    Taking turns at the mic, parents and community members expressed their anger at the unjustified strip searches carried out by administrators at East Middle School. | Cori Marshall / PW
    In response to that meeting, Binghamton City School District issued its first statement on the incident the next day, asserting the right of administrators to perform searches “that involve an administrator requesting the student to empty their pockets, remove their shoes and/or remove their jackets.” Section 7330 of the district’s policy handbook defines a strip search as “any search that requires a student to remove any or all of his/her clothing, except an outer coat or jacket” and holds that such searches “are intrusive in nature and are almost never justified.”

    The district’s statement does not acknowledge that the procedure described by the girls constitutes a strip search, as defined by section 7330. As PLOT notes in a response posted to its Facebook page, “With the release of their statement, Binghamton City School District is surreptitiously accusing all four girls of lying about their trauma.”

    The East Middle School community made itself heard, but the district’s response suggests that its priority is to avoid accountability. A follow-up rally is scheduled at East Middle School on Tuesday, January 29, at 3:15 PM.

    If you can’t attend, but want to support this struggle you can:

    — uplift the case by sharing updates on social media;

    — write to BCSD Superintendent Tonia Thompson ([email protected]), telling her implement the community’s demands; and — contribute to a fund established to support the girls in their healing and recovery from trauma.

    Parents, students, educators, and the broader community are keeping up the fight to hold school officials accountable, end the barbaric practice of strip searching children, and build schools where the happiness of Black girls, and all kids, is welcomed and cultivated, not criminalized and punished.
     
  2. Atthatday

    Atthatday Every knee shall bow...

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    HORRIBLE! Added to the running list of being black: “Giddy while Black”. SMDH
     
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  3. blackbarbie986

    blackbarbie986 Well-Known Member

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    These poor babies!
     
  4. ThirdEyeBeauty

    ThirdEyeBeauty Well-Known Member

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    Perverts! How dare they undermine the trauma of the girls.
     
    Sanity, Brownie, janaq2003 and 6 others like this.
  5. momi

    momi Well-Known Member

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    This is what a bail money fund is for cause ain't no way.

    I am shaking at the thought of one of my girls being strip searched with or without me being present. All that and they still came up short on evidence???
    Even if I worked in the office I would have probably thrown myself in front of them like a human shield. I don't understand.
     
  6. Brwnbeauti

    Brwnbeauti Well-Known Member

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    This is ridiculous. I hope the citizens have a long memory and replace the whole board
     
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  7. HappilyLiberal

    HappilyLiberal Well-Known Member

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    If I had children, I would tell them to tell the school to call my mom then have a seat. We really have to (a) prepare our children on how to deal with this mess ahead of time and (b) let them and the schools know this is not going to happen with my kid!
     
    Last edited: Jan 30, 2019
    Sanity, mensa, Brownie and 12 others like this.
  8. itsallaboutattitude

    itsallaboutattitude Well-Known Member

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    I signed a petition today about this.

    Then to see MAGA's attack Jussie Smollett. Someone sent that to me directly. I try to be selective in my intake of information.
     
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  9. nysister

    nysister Well-Known Member

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    Binghamton used to be a Klan hotspot. No surprise they'd pick on Black girls. Who is the principal and who is/were the nurses? We can be our own worst enemy.
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2019
  10. Ms. Tarabotti

    Ms. Tarabotti Well-Known Member

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    How can you tell when pre teen girls are 'hyper and giddy'? What the principal should have done was to call the parents if he was so concerned about drug use. My child would have my permission not to comply with any actions until I or her father get to the school. Let's just say that they don't me to come to the school because of this. :angry2:

    The parents should sue the school, the principal, the assistant principal and that 'chatty' school nurse (why isn't her name released?).
     
  11. Ms. Tarabotti

    Ms. Tarabotti Well-Known Member

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    The principal and the assistant principal appear to be white.
     
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  12. HappilyLiberal

    HappilyLiberal Well-Known Member

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    :yep: :yep: :yep: :yep: :yep:

    That whole area of New York State used have heavy Klan activity. The Africana Studies Center on the Cornell campus in Ithaca got burned to the ground twice when they tried to put it on the main part of the campus. Not it's this tiny little building on the out-skirts of that huge campus.
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2019

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