Allegations that four black middle school girls in upstate New York were strip-searched has sparked calls for a state investigation.

The four 12-year-old students and their parents say the girls were questioned and forced to disrobe by the assistant principal and school nurse at East Middle School in Binghamton on Jan. 15 on suspicion of drug possession because they were acting “giddy.”

The school district announced this week that it has hired an independent firm to review the allegations.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Wednesday also addressed the matter, saying he has asked the State Department of Education to investigate the claims. He also raised the question of whether race was a factor.

“The allegations that 12-year-old girls were strip-searched for drugs after being perceived as ‘hyper and giddy’ at a Binghamton middle school are deeply disturbing and raise serious concerns of racial and gender bias,” Cuomo said in a statement.

(more at nbcnews.com)