School officials deny strip search accusations in lawsuit

BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (AP) — Court documents in a federal civil rights case say an upstate New York school district and its employees categorically deny allegations that four 12-year-old girls were illegally strip searched by a school nurse.

Lawyers for the Binghamton City School District say the four students were sent to the school nurse in January for a “basic medical evaluation” after they were found in an unauthorized area at lunch time. The court documents filed this week say the students were “guilty of culpable conduct” and officials responded with actions that were “reasonable and necessary.”

The civil rights lawsuit was filed on behalf of the girls’ families in April by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund. It claims racial bias caused school officials to interpret the girls’ playful behavior as suspicious.

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