Women Watch Afrika, Inc. was appalled to learn about the four Black girls who were stripped search by a school nurse and vice principal at Binghamton East Middle School strip because they were acting “hyper and giddy” at lunch.
Such actions and policies by adults who are meant to protect the children is disturbing and outrageous. Moreover, even according to the statement from BCSD on the policy, it seems the officials went beyond the policy requirements.
All young children deserve to feel safe; and more specifically, girls need to know their school is a safe, fostering, and non-sexual environment.
Additionally, because of the many ridiculous stereotypes, racist, and sexist assumptions about Black girls and their behaviors and sexuality, Black girls MUST be allowed to feel safe at school and not traumatized, harassed, and embarrassed for simply being children.
This was not a case of threat to others or themselves, so the idea that the situation warranted a strip search of little girls is extremely unsettling. Furthermore, in a situation where there is concern for the safety of others proper legal authorities and the parents of the children should be contacted.
There need to be immediate consequences for the school officials who stripped searched these four Black girls and there needs to be more specific guidelines for actions school officials can make in all situations.
The safety of all children–with a specific emphasis on girls, and most especially Black girls–is paramount.
As an expert in this field, Women Watch Afrika provihudes trainings as a consultant on the issue. For more information on training, guidance, consulting services, and/or information on working with immigrant communities contact Glory Kilanko, Founder and Executive Director, Women Watch Afrika, Inc. at 404-759-6419 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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