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Long Island Police Arrest Teens for Bullying

Jim Burroway

October 15th, 2010

Nassau County Police on Long Island have arrested three teens who stomped and kicked another teen on a school bus because they perceived him to be gay. Investigators have learned that the bullying went on for weeks. Police have charged Chase Morrison, 16; David Spencer, 18; Roy Wilson, 16 with felonies as hate crimes:

“Punches, backhand slaps and kicks, the victim retreated to the back of the bus where the defendants followed and continued with the assault,” Nassau County Police Det. Lt. John McEwan said.

The trio allegedly stomped on the victim’s arms, legs, stomach and thigh, while making disparaging remarks about his sexual orientation.

It also looks like the school system may be held responsible for the attacks as well:

Unfortunately, buses and locker rooms and hallways and playgrounds are fertile fields for bullying,” said Alane Fagin of Nassau County Child Abuse Prevention Services. The bus driver and matron are cooperating, being questioned by their supervisors and police, who said it is their duty to immediately report any taunting or bullying on the bus.

I’ve asked before when will the time come when school administrators and personnel are held responsible for bullying that takes place on their watch. While it’s not clear in this case whether school employees ignored the bullying, but it looks like the police are taking the possibility seriously.

Comments

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Timothy Kincaid
October 15th, 2010 | LINK

Three cheers for the Nassau County police.

David Malcolm
October 15th, 2010 | LINK

That’s insane… I hate to say it but I hope they make an example of these kids.

Pender
October 15th, 2010 | LINK

Worth a note that this is not just bullying but actual assault and battery. I think there’s a tendency to sweep what would be called criminal violence among adults into the euphemistic category of bullying when children are involved.

Matthew
October 15th, 2010 | LINK

As a Nassau County resident, I am thankful for the justice system!

Richard W. Fitch
October 15th, 2010 | LINK

With all this going on, someone proposed that we begin to look at these events in degree: teasing, bullying, peer abuse and criminal harassment. The lines between each may be a bit fuzzy at times, but actions that lead to physical and psychological injury to our nations young go beyond just the normal rites of passage. When adults are complicit with the peer ‘bullies’ by ignoring their actions, the adults should also be held legal liable for the abuse of the victims.

andrew
October 16th, 2010 | LINK

Frankly, with the pursuit to the back of the bus, you could add in unlawful detainment, and potentially attempted murder charges.

And, on another posting, I pointed out that this is nothing short of criminal behavior.

But, as a bullying victim for 15 years, I tend to get emotional and lose perspective on this issue. So, I need to stop and think a bit:

I’m not sure what we do with these kids. I’m also a fierce advocate for NOT treating child offenders as adults. I know from personal experience that these child bullies almost always grow out of this mindset and behavior. I can’t tell you how many peers approached me at my 10 year HS reunion to apologize — people who are now leading truly upstanding, moral lives in the community and would deplore the kind of behavior they espoused as pre-formed teens.

I think maybe the issue is supervision and leadership. Lord of the Flies anyone? Until children have the fully formed brains necessary to make good decisions, they need the help of adults to make sure that behavior stays within reasonable boundaries. Too often adults look away or worse signal that the behavior is perfectly fine.

Perhaps this is a case where you make sure these kids get into a counseling program… and then you slam the bus driver and matron with will indifference charges and give THEM the jail time.

andrew
October 16th, 2010 | LINK

sorry, that was supposed to be “willful indifference”

Regan DuCasse
October 16th, 2010 | LINK

Andrew, what needs to happen is at the beginning of a school year, parents AND children should be required to take instruction on the criminal and legal implications of such assaults.

If a workplace had one or more persons who routinely verbally abused, followed someone around the factory and hit them day after day, it’s considered criminal stalking, battery and as you point out, wrongful detention and attempted murder. If an instrument is used, it’s an ADW (assault with a deadly weapon).
The school would have to employ regular patrolling personnel, or have parents volunteer their time as a security force.

At BEST, there should be arrests and expulsion if these regulations are violated. A criminal hearing and community service can come later, if the degree of assault warrants it. Thus saving a young person a jail sentence and permanent record of violence, but at the same time, giving them AND their parents the sense of gravity of their actions and a means of making amends for it.

Churches need to get in on this, and quit their anti gay rhetoric and own up to contributing to this violence. If they don’t want to, and consider it a compromise to THEIR religious freedom, then they have to be held to account for how inconsistent they are regarding protection under the Constitution, while supporting another citizen’s lack of it.
That’s a moral contradiction no church or other religious institution could defend.
They deserve to be shamed over this inconsistency.
As do violent kids and their parents who allow it.

It’s not gay kids or those thought as such who deserve to be shamed and accountable, but people who let violence resolve their anger and institutions that teach the opposite of the golden rule.
A

Scott P.
October 16th, 2010 | LINK

andrew, I’m not sure I agree with you about teenagers being let off the hook because their brains aren’t fully formed. They know what they did was wrong, and criminal. In the eight grade a kid sat behind me and would stick pins in my back all through class. I knew if I complained, or reacted, that I’d get blamed (it happened every time I had to go to the vice-principal’s office) and that he’d get a group of friends together after school to gang up on me. He knew what he did was wrong, but he was popular and I wasn’t, he just thought himself above considering me a human being. If he had gone to jail, or been held accountable I might not still feel bitter about it now, over 40 years later. And he’s just one of dozens who used me as a punching bag. I was hit, kicked, slapped, spit on almost every day until my junior year of high school. Once a little bastard tried to kick my leg (it was in a cast) out from under me as I went down the stairs. I kicked out at him, he ran to a councilor, who blamed me and forced me to apologize for defending myself. I consider everyone of them, students, teachers and staff as lowlifes I’d happily run over if I could get away with it!

rlk
October 16th, 2010 | LINK

Enough already! No civilizied person condones violence, but it is time for us to fight back. There is nothing wrong with a man defending himself. It is a shame in more ways than one, when a gay kid is bullied because of some perceived weakness. Yet,there are surely other gay kids in the same school that easily blend in with the in-crowd that are likely quite popular but suffer in silence whether it is the guy on the football team or the cheerleader. This silence kills just as much as the actual bully. We need them to step up to end homophobia otherwise this cycle will continue.

MIhangel apYrs
October 19th, 2010 | LINK

“I’ve asked before when will the time come when school administrators and personnel are held responsible for bullying that takes place on their watch. ”

Possibly when some victim cracks, and instead of killing him/herself, takes a lethal weapon to scholl and kills his/her tormentors and staff who did f*all

MIhangel apYrs
October 19th, 2010 | LINK

um…
“school”

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