Kardin Ulysse, a fourteen-year-old Brooklyn boy, has lost the sight in one of his eyes as a result of an assault by a group of bullies in his school cafeteria. He's undergone two surgeries on his right eye since the June 5 beating at Roy H. Mann Junior High School in Bergen Beach.
“The doctor says he needs a transplant,” Kardin's father, Pierre Ulysse said. “For me to send him to school with two eyes and come back with one eye is really absurd....I want the world to know about this.”
Kardin was the victim of a pair of seventh-graders who began shouting "faggot, faggot" at him. One of the boys held Kardin down while the other repeatedly punched him in the face, head and neck. It is unclear whether the bullies’ fists or pieces of Kardin's shattered eyeglasses caused the damage to his cornea. it is clear, however, that while Kardin was able to get free, the bullies chased him into the cafeteria where the beating continued until school safety officers and school aides finally intervened.
Kardin’s family has hired Sanford Rubenstein, and they say they will sure the city for failing to properly supervise the students. Rubenstein has called for law enforcement to investigate whether the attack is a hate crime and, if so, upgrade the criminal charges to felonies. But, because they’re minors, the two bullies were charged with misdemeanors in Family Court, and, again, because they're minors, these two thugs will not have their names released.
Kardin says he had spoken to the dean at his school, complaining about being bullied, for some time. In fact, he was attacked and robbed last October, but, as if all of this isn't sick enough, let's toss some more into the mix with the news that the parents of another 13-year-old student filed a lawsuit against Roy H. Mann Junior High last year alleging a pattern of bullying.
And, at the same time, a Department of Education [DOE] survey found that 63% of the students at Roy H. Mann Junior High reported at least some of the time classmates are harassed or threatened based on their race, religion, ethnicity, citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation or disability. And the survey also found that 40% of the school’s students didn’t feel safe in the building and 44% said students threaten or bully other students “most of the time” or “all of the time.”
Nearly half of all students are bullied, or are witness to bullying, and yet the school seems to have done nothing. A DOE spokesman did say the attack on Ulysse is being taken “very seriously” by the principal, and added that Kardin's assailants face disciplinary action in addition to the criminal prosecution.
Just words. hollow words.
The school principal and the administrators need to be removed form their jobs; the bullies need to be removed from the school and punished to the fullest extent of the law.
This isn't just kids being kids and acting out. This is assault. This is a crime and it seems a lot of the schools in this country, as well as the officials in schools and school districts, are not doing enough, or anything, to stem the tide of bullying. Are we going to finally wake up to this epidemic when a child is murdered at school? Is that what it will take to make everyone pay attention?