An 11-year-old white girl has been charged with a felony hate crime, after police say she assaulted a 10-year-old black girl and used “racially motivated language” toward the victim while the two were on a school bus.
What are the details?
Police in Gouverneur, New York, say the African-American child came home from school September 10 with a black eye, a bruised knee, and some of her hair missing. The girls parents reported the incident to authorities, and after an investigation, two white girls — ages 10 and 11 — were each charged with second-degree aggravated harassment in connection with the incident, CNN reported.
The 11-year-old was hit with additional charges of assault, and a third-degree hate crime — a felony. Gouverneur police Sgt. Darren Fairbanks told CNN, “It’s not very often that we charge a hate crime in the village of Gouverneur.”
The accused juveniles have been referred to St. Lawrence County Probation, and their cases will be heard in family court.
But children weren’t the only ones charged with crimes stemming from the alleged attack. WTVC-TV reported that the bus monitor, 28-year-old Tiffany Spicer, was charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child for allegedly seeing the incident but doing nothing to stop it.
Gouverneur Central School District superintendent Lauren French told WWNY-TV on Monday that the hate crime “is probably the most professionally devastating event since I started working at Gouverneur in 1984.”
“How do we become better out of this? How do we treat everyone better?” French asked, saying the district has taken action by reaching “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.”