Assault charges filed against 4 eighth-graders at Pierre Van Cortlandt Middle School for allegedly beating a 13-year-old classmate has posters debating “school-yard fights” vs. all-out assault. Consensus among readers is that this incident as described by police and school officials definitely falls into the category of an assault.
Here’s what one reader had to say:
Two kids squabbling over a girl or boy is one thing; 4 kids chasing down 1 kid is another!
Some readers cautioned against rushing to judgement because all the details aren’t known about the incident. They wondered if maybe the child who was jumped might be a bully and the victims were fighting back. Even if that was the case, readers pointed out it doesn’t excuse them from ganging up on one student.
And some were questioning the school’s oversight in this situation, which allegedly escalated to such a degree that the 4 were chasing the other student around the premises as they were beating him up.
Where were teachers that 8th graders could do this without anyone noticing? Do the kids have free reign of the school?
From another reader:
My question is, how did this incident even progress to the level described? Where was the adult supervision? Are there no principals/teachers/aides outside with the kids during recess? If PVC does station adults outside, are they completely oblivious? … Not only are these kids in sore need of some discipline and oversight (which they probably aren’t getting at home), but the PVC admin is setting up the district for a good lawsuit. Smarten up folks!
Not everyone agrees with police being called in to investigate the matter. Here’s one reader’s take:
Can someone tell me when school yard fights became police matters? … Now it seems like every little thing is a lawsuit or a police investigation. It’s kids fighting, it happens, it’s natural, and it’s a good lesson in life.
Regardless of how readers view the dynamics, one reader summed up the situation this way:
You are right about 1 thing – there was a good lesson in life – you can’t gang assault anyone and expect to get away with it just because it happened in a school.
Read the story by reporters Robert Marchant and Shawn Cohen and then tell us what you think.