Demand the Binghamton City School District End the Criminalization of Black & Latinx Girls

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    Demand the Binghamton City School District End the Criminalization of Black & Latinx Girls

    UPDATE:

    The parents of the four girls submitted a list of demands to the Binghamton City School District to ensure a strip search never happens to another student. But, the District failed to meet those demands. Now, with the help of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and a group of lawyers, the parents are filing a lawsuit to hold the District accountable.

    Join us in showing the girls and their parents that we support them and their pursuit of justice by calling on the Binghamton City School District to meet the demands of the girls and their parents:  

    • Provide the girls with mental health and social emotional support with a provider of each student’s choice until graduation at no cost to the students or their families.
    • Tell the Principal, Assistant Principal, and School Nurse to apologize for and acknowledge the harm they caused to the girls and their families. 
    • Take appropriate disciplinary actions, up to and including termination.
    • Revise and and update the district's policy to prohibit strip searches for any student in the future.
    • Make publicly available any and all documentation of all prior student searches.
    • Require that all school personnel undergo training on the constitutional rights of students, parental notification, consent protocol, and racial and gender bias.

    SIGN NOW to tell the Binghamton City School District to meet the demands of the four girls, and hold school officials accountable for profiling and traumatizing these girls.


    A school nurse and vice principal at Binghamton East Middle School stripped searched four Black and Latinx girls because they were acting “giddy” at lunch and school authorities suspected they were using drugs. Normal behavior for 12-year-olds was used to justify strip searching four young Black and Latinx girls in front of adults and traumatizing them. Three of the girls were forced to strip down to their underwear, while a fourth girl refused a search and was served with an in-school suspension instead.

    We know that racist and sexist assumptions about Black and Latinx girls lead to the perception that they are less innocent than white girls. These warped views play directly into the criminalization and rampant sexual abuse of girls of color; perpetrators aren’t worried about suffering serious consequences because societal messages tell them these girls are without protection. These assumptions play directly into the fact that Black and Latinx girls are six times more likely to be suspended from school than their white counterparts and lead to long term negative effects for their emotional and educational development. From the over-policing of Black girls hair, to strip searching them for exhibiting normal pre-teen behavior, the criminalization of Black and Latinx girls must stop.

    Here is the Petition:
    Dear Dr. Tonia Thompson,

    The events that took place at East Middle School on January 15, 2019 are unconscionable and cannot be allowed to go without justice for the four girls who were embarrassed and traumatized. Strip searching four 12-year-old Black and Latinx girls because they were "giddy" during their lunch hour plays directly into harmful racist and sexist stereotypes that are pervasive about Black and Latinx girls, and results in their being suspended from school at six times the rate of their white counterparts. As the superintendent of Binghamton City School District, it is up to you to make this right. 

    At Color Of Change, we are supporting the girls in their families in their demands from Binghamton City School District. These demands are: 

    • Provide the girls with mental health and social emotional support with a provider of each student’s choice until graduation at no cost to the students or their families.
    • Tell the Principal, Assistant Principal, and School Nurse to apologize for and acknowledge the harm they caused to the girls and their families. 
    • Take appropriate disciplinary actions, up to and including termination.
    • Revise and and update the district's policy to prohibit strip searches for any student in the future.
    • Make publicly available any and all documentation of all prior student searches.
    • Require that all school personnel undergo training on the constitutional rights of students, parental notification, consent protocol, and racial and gender bias.