21,000 Demand Binghamton School District Fire School Employees Involved in the Strip Search of Four 12-Year-Old Black Girls Accused of Being “Hyper and Giddy”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, January 29, 2019
CONTACT: Brett Abrams | brett@unbendablemedia.com
21,000 Demand Binghamton School District Fire School Employees Involved in the Strip Search of Four 12-Year-Old Black Girls Accused of Being “Hyper and Giddy”
UltraViolet Joins Local Parents and Advocates in Demanding Justice for Black Students
BINGHAMTON, NEW YORK — More than 21,000 people from around the United States have signed onto a new petition from UltraViolet, a leading national women’s rights organization, echoing the calls of local Binghamton parents and advocates from the Progressive Leaders of Tomorrow, in demanding that the Binghamton School District fire all employees who oversaw the strip search of four 12-year-old girls at East Middle School, ban all strip searches district-wide and implement a district-wide policy to prevent the racist and sexist treatment of all students.  UltraViolet is also echoing the asks of other organizations, like Color of Change, in demanding the school district pay for counseling for the victims of the unnecessary strip searches.
On January 15th, two East Middle School employees, including the assistant principal and school nurse, forced four 12-year-old Black girls to strip down to their underwear, on suspicion of using drugs, suspicion solely based off of the four 12-year old girls being “hyper and giddy.”  In a joint letter published Friday, the parents, who identified themselves Anais and Ibelyh Disla, Zulayka Mckinstry and Chanderlia Silva, said their daughters missed “several days” of school because “they no longer feel safe at East Middle.” They also accused school officials of ignoring their phone calls.
“It is completely unacceptable that for acting like 12-year-old girls, four scared young Black students at East Middle School in Binghamton were forced to strip down down to their underwear. The school officials may deny it, but it’s clear that racial bias, which often leads people to perceive Black girls to be less innocent than white girls, led to this horrific mistreatment,” explained Shaunna Thomas, co-founder and executive director of UltraViolet, “We see this pattern across the country – with Black girls suspended from school at six times the rate of white girls for the exact same behavior. Thats why, more than 21,000 UltraViolet members from around the country stand with the Binghamton parents and local advocates demanding justice. Binghamton School District must make it clear that they will not tolerate the racist mistreatment and abuse of their students and fire the school officials involved in conducting the strip search. The District should enact new policies banning all strip-searches in schools and conduct racial sensitivity trainings that will prepare staff to counter their own biases in the future.”
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UltraViolet is a community of more than one million people that drives feminist cultural and political change. Through people power and strategic advocacy, we work to improve the lives of women and girls of all identities and backgrounds, and all people impacted by sexism, by dismantling discrimination and creating a cost for sexism.