A 12-year-old Staten Island boy has been charged with a hate crime for attacking a girl and trying to rip off her hijab. But his school apparently tried hard to get police to drop charges.
According to the Staten Island Advance, the boy (identified elsewhere as Osman Daramy) is accused of approaching a female classmate and "harassing the girl, beating her, throwing her to the ground, asking if she is Muslim and trying to pull off her scarf." The victim sustained bruises and a cut lip, though she was able to keep her headscarf on. This may not have been Daramy's first offense — police tell the Advance that he "harassed and attacked" the same girl four times over the course of the previous two months. He also apparently "went on a scissors rampage" Monday, cutting another female classmate's hair. And he's a suspect in an incident earlier this month in which a group of boys beat and robbed a pizza deliveryman who was bringing pizzas to the school.
If the allegations are true, the boy clearly has a history of bullying and violence. Which makes this part all the more upsetting: a school source tells the Advance, "The principal talked with the cops for three hours in her office, trying to get them not to make it a hate crime because it would look bad for the school." Given that Daramy specifically mentioned his classmate's religion, and attacked her public expression of it, the case for a hate crime is pretty strong. And given his past, it's pretty surprising that the school is protecting him. Then again, since they appear to have allowed five separate attacks on the same child, they may have a skewed concept of discipline. Absent all the facts — and an official statement from the school — it's hard to tell exactly what went down in the two months prior to the most recent incident. But what is clear is that schools' primary concern should be stopping bullying — not saving face.
Boy, 12, Charged With Hate Crime For Attempting To Rip Religious Head Scarf Off Head Of Classmate [NY Daily News]
Boy Charged With Hate Crime for Attacking Muslim Girl [NBC New York]
6th Grader Charged With Hate Crime For Assaulting Muslim Girl [Gothamist]
12-year-old Staten Island Student Faces Hate-Crime Charges After Alleged Headscarf Assault Inside Stapleton School [Staten Island Advance]
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