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Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Update: Comment: Where does county exec candidate Gerron Levi stand on school violence?

Update: Post Crime Scene, 16 Jun 2010

Two charged in videotaped beating

Police have charged two juveniles in connection with the attack on a 17-year-old Bowie High School student Friday that was captured on video and posted to the Internet, authorities said Wednesday.

The two are in the custody of their parents and are facing charges of second-degree assault, theft under $500 and other related counts, said Sgt. Yakeisha Hines, a spokeswoman for the Prince George's County Sheriff's Office. She said she did not know how old the boys were and could not release their names because they were charged as juveniles. The Washington Post generally does not name juveniles charged in crimes unless they are charged as adults.

Hines said the victim was able to identify the suspects from a yearbook.

Footage of the beating, which apparently occurred shortly after 2 p.m. Friday, shows a young attacker from behind who is weaving through a crowded hallway. It was posted on YouTube and linked on the WTOP radio Web site, which first reported the incident, but it has since been taken down.

On the video, the attacker swerved, knocked the 17-year-old victim onto his back then repeatedly punched his head and upper body.

After the attack, the victim's father said, someone stole his iPod and backpack. Hines confirmed that Wednesday.

Only one teenager is seen throwing punches in the video, but other students were identified as participants in the planning and execution of the assault, Prince George's schools spokesman Darrell Pressley said Tuesday.

All face possible expulsion, he said.

Iqbal Alami, the teenage victim's father, said on Sunday his son was sore and has a couple of bumps on his head. "God only knows how this is affecting him," he said. He said his son, a rising 12th-grader, does not want to return to the school.

-- Matt Zapotosky

On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 8:52 AM, Diane C. Russell <dcrussell@gmail.com> wrote:
In my opinion, if these students can't behave like civilized people they belong in jail, not in school bullying teachers or other students, and not out on the streets victimizing others. 

You say "Students are too old for a babysitter while in many cases parents are at work," but your answer is essentially to make the schools the babysitter.  I think that the parents, not the schools, should bear the primary responsibility for ensuring that thise juveniles behave.  If the parents do not or cannot fulfill that responsibility and the taxpayers are forced to pay to deal with the problem--to pay someone to babysit--we ought to spend out money putting them in real jails where they can't harm innocents, rather than spending our education money to make the schools less secure jails.

It would be nice to keep people out of jails, but far too often our elected officials, and many of our citizens, work harder to protect the criminals than to protect the potential victims.

On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 8:18 AM, Foskey, Denise <dfoskey@crowell.com> wrote:
Students are too old for a babysitter while in many cases parents are at work so, with all due respect Ms. Russell, what do you think students do while suspended or expelled:

A) hang out all day long which increases the chance of juvenile criminal activity
B) sit on computers all day long and create internet beefs via facebook and other internet venues
C) students visit other schools and attempt to start trouble
D) All of the above

While I do not agree a child should be bullied or beaten while in school, the answer is not to place these individuals on the street.  What they do in school is twice as bad when they are not.  Then, they are not only a school system issue but also community issue.

Intervention, and alternative learning programs, supported by parents, community, and school system, seems to be long term and viable solution.

The goal must be to focus on creating contributing Prince George's County citizens and not increasing the population of the juvenile/adult incarceration system.


From: PrinceGeorges_Discussion@yahoogroups.com on behalf of Diane C. Russell
Sent: Wed 6/16/2010 7:44 AM
To: pg-politics@googlegroups.com; pg-politics@yahoogroups.com; PrinceGeorges_Discussion@yahoogroups.com; pgpubliced@yahoogroups.com
Cc: levi@votelevi.com
Subject: [PrinceGeorges_Discussion] Comment: Where does county exec candidate Gerron Levi stand on school violence?

A Bowie High School student was savagely beaten in the school a few days ago.  The attacker has been in trouble in the past, but has been allowed to remain in school.  A June 15 news report <http://bit.ly/c6lMfp>  says:

       Sources tell ABC 7 News the boy who attacked the victim, a 10th grader, has been in trouble before and he and another student face expulsion.

       But the head of the Parent Teacher Student Organization told us penalties for fighting were lightened this year and troublemakers, even violent kids, are allowed to stay in school.

       Bowie High School PTSO President Mary Nusser told us, "There's this effort to decrease the number of suspensions and decrease the number of expulsions...and it's a phony number because all they do is revolve these kids around."

       Nusser says it's a real problem trying to expel the bullies. She says bullies' parents hire lawyers and then the school board overturns it. She says before you know it, the attackers are right back in school looking for their next target.

The PTSO seems very concerned that violent and disruptive students are allowed to remain in school and endanger other students.

Gerron Levi, candidate for County Executive, appears to support the policy of keeping violent and disruptive students in school.  Later the same day as the news report quoted above, the Levi campaign sent out a message calling for fewer school suspensions: [Full text of message <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/PG-Politics/message/11405> ]

       Step 1: Cut School Suspensions in Half

       As County Executive, I will lead a public education campaign to reduce high school suspensions in public schools. High school suspensions are eroding classroom learning time, undermining student achievement and driving the best teachers and education talent from the classroom. If we want better county schools, parents, families and communities must understand and be accountable for their respective roles to help their principals, teachers and the school system drive those suspension numbers lower countywide. I will lead the campaign with education leaders and community members across the region and we together will reduce suspensions and make the leap ahead! See more at: http://www.votelevi.com/issues/step1.shtml <http://click.icptrack.com/icp/relay.php?r=14406241&msgid=224301&act=0XWR&c=621515&destination=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.votelevi.com%2Fissues%2Fstep1.shtml> .

So, if Ms. Levi plans to reduce suspensions, what does she propose, if anything, to protect the victims--the other, innocent students who are in school to learn, not prey upon their classmates?  Whose side is she on?

PG-Politics <http://pg-politics.blogspot.com/2010/06/comment-where-does-county-exec.html>  http://bit.ly/dz9nRy <http://bit.ly/dz9nRy>
dcrussell@gmail.com <mailto:dcrussell@gmail.com>  | Facebook <http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1388018245>  | Twitter: dcrussell <http://twitter.com/dcrussell>  | pgpolitics <http://twitter.com/pgpolitics>


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