Is the world becoming a scarier place to live in or do we just have way too much information nowadays? What is fueling this urge to sexually abuse people? Is it bad parenting? The media? Is there something in today’s culture that says it is okay to take sex by force or has this always been the case? Too many questions, very few answers.
The good thing is, the brave boy immediately reported the assault to his teacher instead of keeping quiet in shame. I wish more people would get proactive like that but these things are frequently easier said than done.
The incident took place at P.S. 194. The ringleader — who was in fifth grade and had been involved in an attack on a female student two years earlier — along with two third-grade students, pushed the boy into a bathroom stall, where he was forced onto his knees and had his hands behind his back. The boy’s mother is filing a $6 million lawsuit on Friday against the Education Department.
BY KERRY BURKE AND CORINNE LESTCH / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
A third-grade boy was dragged into a bathroom at his Harlem elementary school and forced to perform oral sex on three male classmates, including one who was involved in an attack on a female student two years earlier, according to a bombshell lawsuit.
The 8-year-old boy had just finished lunch at Public School 194 and was in a hallway waiting for class to start when a fifth-grader, the ringleader, and two third-graders pushed him screaming and pleading for help into a bathroom stall, the lawsuit says.
He said one boy held his hands behind his back during the March 2012 attack while another forced him to his knees.
The three culprits then took turns pulling their pants down and demanded that the victim perform oral sex, according to court papers.
“When I was going on line three kids drag me to the bathroom and they pull down there (sic) pants,” the lawsuit says he wrote in a statement to the school. “I told them no but they didn’t listen to me.”
After the boys were done with their sick session, the terrified victim rushed to class and told a teacher what happened, according to a report filed to the Education Department by officials at the W. 144th St. school.
He recalled that the perverse pupils “told everyone” about what they made him do.
The teacher alerted guidance counselor Alicia Blackwood and principal Josephine Bazan, who called the boy’s mother.
“I don’t know how to explain this to you, but your son was in the bathroom and was forced to perform oral sex on three boys,” the mother, whose name is being withheld by the News, recalled Bazan telling her when she arrived at the school.
The mother said she is filing a $6 million lawsuit Friday against the city Education Department in Manhattan Supreme Court for “emotional and psychological anguish,” and for failing to alert parents and authorities that the ringleader had a history as a “sexual deviant.”
During the 2009-2010 school year, he was accused of touching a third-grade girl under her skirt during a reading class, according to a lawsuit filed last week by the girl’s mother.
The lawsuit says the principal at the time, Charyn Koppelson, did nothing to punish the young perpetrator, or at least discourage his lewd behavior — and allowed him to continue attending the school as if nothing had happened.
“She said, ‘He’s just a kid,’” the girl’s mom told the News in March. “(The incidents) were never placed in the system at all.”
The attack on the boy happened just a month after Koppelson had been reassigned in January 2012 and replaced by Bazan, a 23-year department veteran. Koppelson was removed to a school administrator rotation pool.
After the attack on the boy, the two third-graders received a five-day suspension, and the ringleader — who has since left the school — received a 10-day suspension, the lawsuit says.
According to DOE regulations, a five-day suspension is warranted if students engaged in “inappropriate or unwanted physical contact or touching someone in a private part of body.”
A superintendent’s suspension, when a student is booted from school for more than six days, is recommended when students partake in an “act of coercion or threatening violence, injury or harm to others.”
It is also the consequence if a student engages in “physical sexual aggression/compelling or forcing another to engage in sexual activity.”
The boy, now 9, got a safety transfer to another school about three weeks after the assault.
His furious mom said she ended up being the one who called police from the 32nd Precinct after her emotional meeting with Bazan and Blackwood.
Education Department regulations say police must be notified if a criminal incident on campus poses an “immediate safety emergency.”
The mom said she was outraged that the ringleader was allowed to go home before police arrived at the school.
Cops arrested the two third-graders at the school on sexual misconduct charges. The fifth-grader was arrested on the same charges later at the precinct, the lawsuit says.
The outcome of charges against minors is not public.
A spokesman for the Education Department said he could not comment on pending litigation.
Bazan, when approached by a reporter about the bathroom incident, said, “It’s a legal matter. I can’t comment.”
P.S. 194 has been on the state’s list of “persistently dangerous” schools since 2011.
A school makes the list when six violent incidents per 100 students are reported.
According to the state’s most recent data, there were 11 physical assaults at the school with weapons and five physical assaults without weapons in academic year 2010-11.
The mother’s Manhattan-based lawyer, Tahanie Aboushi, said both of the incidents should have been stopped by school authorities.
“These children are all victims of something that could have been prevented,” she said.
The boy’s mother said she watched her son become distant and withdrawn after the bathroom assault.
“He would wake up in the middle of the night screaming and crying,” she said. “My son was a very joyful, loving little boy, and the next few weeks after that he would just sit down and stare at the wall. He never stepped foot inside that school ever again.”
With Ben Chapman
Culled from www.nydailynews.com