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Binghamton School District Says Students Were Not "Strip Searched" At East Middle

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BINGHAMTON, N.Y. -

After an alleged incident involving four Binghamton middle school students gained attention on Facebook, the school district is responding, saying there has been "misinformation" spread about what took place.

PLOT (Progressive Leaders Of Tomorrow), a local political organization, posted a story to their Facebook page, saying four 12 year old girls had been "strip searched" at East Middle School for "appearing hyper and giddy." The organization says parents are calling for the removal of the principal, assistant principal, and the school nurse. 

Binghamton City School District issued a statement, saying students were not "strip searched." 

When conducting medical evaluation, it may require the removal of bulky outside clothing to expose an arm so that vitals like blood pressure and pulse can be assessed. This is not the same as a strip search.

— The Binghamton City School District Board of Education

PLOT says the parents of these girls were not notified before their children were taken to the nurse's office for examination. The school district says their staff followed typical protocol and that "on-the-spot decisions are made to ensure the student’s health and well-being remain a priority, which is why students are evaluated immediately."

In an earlier statement released yesterday, the school district acknowledged that what transpired had left students feeling "traumatized."

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.

— Binghamton City School District

PLOT is organizing a rally outside East Middle School next Tuesday. The entire statement from the school district released on January 24th can be read below:

In the incidence in question, there has been a lot of misinformation being spread through social media from third parties and misinformation that was brought up at the recent Board of Education Meeting. School officials did not conduct a strip search. When students exhibit behavior that warrants further evaluation the district has an obligation to ensure their health and wellbeing, which may include physical and medical evaluation.

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. When conducting medical evaluation, it may require the removal of bulky outside clothing to expose an arm so that vitals like blood pressure and pulse can be assessed.

This is not the same as a strip search. As part of the typical procedure, parents are contacted to inform them 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, which is why students are evaluated immediately.

School officials acted in accordance with the board policy. We want to reiterate that no students were strip searched, nor were they punished as a result of the incident in question and they were allowed to return to class after being evaluated. The safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority.

— The Binghamton City School District Board of Education