Authorities in upstate New York have charged two students, ages 10 and 11, in the ruthless beating of an African-American schoolmate — an attack officials believe may have been racially motivated.
According to police, the Gouverneur Middle School students left the victim with a black eye and missing chunks of hair when they reportedly jumped her on a school bus Sept. 10. Gouverneur Police Chief Laurina M. Greenhill released details of the attack Monday, noting how the girls spewed “racially motivated language” during the beating as a school bus monitor stood idly by.
Now all three are facing criminal charges.
Both the unnamed attackers are charged with one count of second-degree aggravated harassment, Greenhill said. The 11-year-old was slapped with an additional charge of third-degree harassment as a hate crime.
The parents of the victim reported the incident to police earlier this month, NNY 360 reported. Authorities said the attackers punched the Black student in her right eye and ripped out pieces of her hair in the assault.
The victim also suffered bruises to her knee after falling backward onto a bus seat as the assailants continued pulling her hair.
Meanwhile, school bus monitor Tiffany Spicer watched the attack unfold but made no effort to try and stop it, police said. The 28-year-old is now charged with three counts of misdemeanor endangering the welfare of a child.
Gouverneur Central School District Superintendent Lauren French called the incident “devastating,” and said officials have “reached out to various resources we have access to, to provide additional training to our staff and additional training, support, recognition, conversation to our student body.”
“I firmly believe we are better than this, and we have to take a stand,” she told WWNY-TV.
The Gouverneur Central School District didn’t return requests for comment.