***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***
Posts about real school tragedy, crime, and/or events can be upsetting.
October is Bullying Awareness Month. As with most causes, every month should be Bully Awareness Month. Reported on www.stopbullying.gov, in 2017, 20% of students ages 12-18 experienced bullying.
Bullying is rampant. Consider this—if your child hasn’t been bullied, they may be a bully, participating in bullying, or be a silent witness.
BLOG POST #205: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a high school senior.
In middle school, he had long hair. It was about the same time when the bullying began. Kids threw stuff at him and called him derogatory names. He cut classes to avoid the bullies. Three times, his mother requested a transfer and was denied all three times. He attempted suicide.
The bullying continued through high school until one day in history class, he snapped.
On that day, the bully-victim said, because he feared for his safety, he brought a switchblade to school. An argument turned to violence thirty minutes into history class. One boy punched the bully-victim several times. He felt alone and believed nobody would help him. He stabbed two boys, one 15 and the other 16. The 15-year-old died from his injuries.
Why do schools make improvements or update emergency procedures after a tragic event?
The school administration vowed to have random bag checks performed and screen students for metals with hand-held wands beginning the next day when classes resumed.
The Chief of Detectives said, “No question, the weapon would have been picked up by a metal detector.”
Hours after the stabbing, local police installed metal detection equipment at the school.
There was never a doubt as to who had stabbed the two boys. The bully-victim waited in the principal’s office for the police to arrive.
Almost two years after the stabbing, the bully-victim was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
At the trial, the District Attorney said, “The incident has forever traumatized the young students and school faculty who watched in horror the violence that unfolded that morning.”
A Supreme Court Judge sentenced the bully-victim to 14 years in prison for the manslaughter verdict and eight years for the assault verdict—sentences to run concurrently. After his release, he’ll be on probation for five years.
Worth mentioning: Both the murder victim’s family and the bully-victim’s family filed civil lawsuits against the school system. Both families felt the school did little to stop bullying.
Also worth mentioning: At the end of the school year, in which the stabbing occurred, the school closed its doors for good. During that troubling year, the school struggled with low performance, and they released the principal.
Here are some great bullying resources for parents: StopBullying.gov and Bullying Guide from DrugRehab.com.
What are your thoughts about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools.
Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.
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Source: Bronx County District Attorney, ABC7NY, AMNewYork, WNYC