Key Coverage

‘A Battle for the Souls of Black Girls’

Zulayka McKinstry’s once silly, sociable daughter has stopped seeing friends, talking to siblings and trusting anyone — changes Ms. McKinstry dates to the day in January 2019 when her daughter’s school principal decided that “hyper and giddy” were suspicious behaviors in a 12-year-old girl.

Ms. McKinstry’s daughter was sent to the nurse’s office and forced to undress so that she could be searched for contraband that did not exist.

The Binghamton case is now the subject of what might be a groundbreaking federal lawsuit by the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, which has drawn on the disparate treatment and discipline rates of Black girls to pursue it.

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