A culture of "hands off the little flowers" (children) no matter what they do, screams to kids, "You can do whatever you want". This well-known but unwritten "rule" harms everyone.
Especially the victims of bullies. A bully cannot exist in a zero-tolerance environment that is cognizant of the need to have accurate facts about circumstances before making conclusions. The NYC Department of Education does not have this embedded in policy at any District or school level, nor are there any "real" investigators ("real" investigators = people are professionally trained to look into the circumstances of events of bullying). It's a free-for-all in our city's schools where the strongest, most politically connected person wins the approval.
With accountability and consequences missing, bullies succeed. And they get people to follow them. This is "mobbing".
This type of mobbing, in my opinion, is a criminal operation created and pursued irrationally - because these are kids we are discussing.
"In ordinary language, a crime is an unlawful act punishable by a state or other authority. The term "crime" does not, in modern criminal law, have any simple and universally accepted definition, though statutory definitions have been provided for certain purposes. The most popular view is that crime is a category created by law; in other words, something is a crime if declared as such by the relevant and applicable law. One proposed definition is that a crime or offence (or criminal offence) is an act harmful not only to some individual but also to a community, society or the state ("a public wrong"). Such acts are forbidden and punishable by law.
With the meeting of more than two criminal minds, only malicious harmful consequences can occur. And such a group is almost always successful. No planning or strategies exist to re-direct the extremely malicious focus of a team of criminal minds.
This has to change.
“The mayor’s narrative is that the schools are safer, crime is down. These stats show crime is not down. Assaults are high, threats are high,” said school-agent union leader Gregory Floyd.
- A Bronx special-needs high-school student stabbed his teacher with a No. 2 pencil in October 2015. Devon Smalls, 17, attacked his 44-year-old teacher, Juliet Omenukwa, inside the Jeffrey M. Rapport School for Career Development, police said.Smalls, a special-needs student suspended three days earlier, allegedly punched the shell-shocked instructor and jabbed her multiple times in the ribs with the freshly-sharpened point, according to witnesses and reports. The teen pleaded guilty to harassment, and the charges were dropped on condition he complete community service, the Bronx DA’s office said.
- In May 2016, a veteran English teacher at troubled Flushing HS landed in hot water for trying to stop a student who threatened to beat her with a heavy cast on his arm. Eileen Ghastin was so terrified when the teen charged at her that she blurted in self-defense, “If you hit me, I’ll kill you.” The May 17 confrontation occurred at a long-troubled school in de Blasio’s $600 million “Renewal” program. But instead of expelling the teen, the DOE suspended Ghastin for four weeks, with a hearing officer saying she should have followed Michelle Obama’s motto, “When they go low, we go high.” Ghastin is appealing.
- In October 2016, a student at Manhattan Early College School for Advertising pummeled his principal who had asked him to remove his headphones. “He grabbed my Beats and was very aggressive so I lost control,” 18-year-old Luis Penzo confessed, court papers say. Matthew Tossman, 36, suffered two black eyes and a laceration that needed seven stitches. In September, a Manhattan Supreme Court judge granted Penzo youthful-offender status and sentenced him to a conditional discharge: if he stays out of trouble for three years, he’ll avoid prison and a criminal record.
"The teen then “went berserk,” Ghastin said. “He jumped out of his chair, rushed toward me and raised his arm,” encased in a hard cast from elbow to hand.
Eileen was frozen with fear that she was really going to be hurt. And then, she said, " I thought to myself, I have to say something quickly or else I am going to die. --you know. So, I realized, you know, that he is in a very--a blind rage. If I say something strong enough to him, he will stop.
I said, "If you beat me, I will kill you."
This statement stopped him."
"21 MS. HOGAN: …I think
23 how did you feel as a result of statements being
24 made to you in the classroom versus how did you
25 feel about reading about an allegation contained
3 about the Chancellor's Regulations deriving from
4 the allegations, but here it appears to me that
5 the Department's trying to argue that uncharged
6 conduct, which is notoriety, can be used in
7 making a determination as to whether or not
8 there was a Chancellor's Regulation violation.
21 counsel is taking it a step further and asking
22 that question about how the witness felt as a
23 result of reading the newspaper article.
24 THE HEARING OFFICER: But that's a
6 being answered because in my mind, should I find
7 a violation of the Chancellor's Reg., the impact
8 of the incident and the natural flowing
9 consequences that the student experienced and
10 the impact on that student's future really going
11 forward and interacting with teachers, is
12 relevant in the determination.
5 of the day, the Department has to prove for
6 verbal abuse which includes how the verbal abuse
7 by the teacher made the student/students feel.
8 If there is, if there was a follow up to the
9 incident, an incident, there's a continuation of
10 the incident that was now publicized that also
11 bleeds into how the student may have felt by the
12 incident, both the incident that happened inside
13 the classroom and now something that's now been
14 publicized about the incident. So I'd like to
16 about what happened in the classroom and
17 obviously we can only get how this affects him
18 educationally if we get his feelings about what
19 happened and what he read. I think it,20 everything has to be considered in its totality"
and then shockingly, Williams tried to get some emotional damages to penalize the Respondent, Eileen Ghastin:
"THE HEARING OFFICER: What ways have 5 you been affected?
6 WITNESS: Well I haven't been affected
7 at all physically. Honestly, I just thought it
8 was a stupid thing to still bring up. I'm not
9 holding a grudge. What was said was said, and
10 it was last year. I think it should have been
11 dropped last year.
20 on how she said the story had gone or what had
21 happened. But then just a week after that, I was
22 done. I just let it go." (transcript, pp. 472-473)
4 your friends saying stuff about it change your
5 mind about how it impacted you?
6 WITNESS: No. Every time they brought
7 it up, I said, "Yeah. That was me that got the
8 teacher fired." But I just leave it as that." (transcript, p. 475)