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Teen Hospitalized by Bullies Stays Home as School Fails to Act, Mom Says

By Meredith Hoffman | December 9, 2013 7:22am
 Frances Perkins Academy, housed inside Automotive High School, has been the scene of recent bullying incidents, a local mother said.
Frances Perkins Academy, housed inside Automotive High School, has been the scene of recent bullying incidents, a local mother said.
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DNAinfo/Meredith Hoffman

GREENPOINT — A week after two teen siblings were hospitalized following a bullying attack outside their Greenpoint school, one of the teens has switched schools and the other is staying home out of fear, their mother says.

The 17-year-old girl and 15-year-old boy were targeted in a string of bullying incidents in recent weeks at and near Frances Perkins Academy, across from McCarren Park, police and the family said. Both were beaten on Dec. 2 when they made a brief trip to a nearby deli without protection by school staff, they said.

The mom said she pulled her son out of the school but her daughter is unable to transfer since she is a senior and would have trouble graduating on time if she switched now.

The worried mother — who asked that her name and her children's names be withheld based on safety concerns — said school administrators continue to ignore her complaints.

"I went to the school this week and they just said, 'Hi, how are you?'" she said, noting her daughter has been holed up at home instead of attending classes just months before her planned graduation. "I've heard nothing from the principal. I don't know what's going on."

The bullying was so bad the siblings had each been assigned a security guard or member of the administration to walk them to and from the school and the Nassau Ave. G train stop every day since early November, the family said.

But after school last Monday, when the kids were waiting for an escort to walk them to the subway, they went to buy juice at McCarren Deli and were attacked there by a group of teens.

A 16-year-old boy, whose last name was withheld because of his age, was charged with assault and disorderly conduct for the Monday afternoon incident, police said.

The teens' mother said the arrest makes her feel no better about her children's safety, since an entire pack of teens has targeted the pair. She said the school needs to offer more protection before she'll send her daughter back to school.

"They have to get more security for her because if I don’t find a good school for her, I'm not going to leave her in my house," she said. "She has to finish her high school."

The youth who attacked the 17-year-old girl in the deli was friends with a boy who had punched her in the school cafeteria, on Nov. 4, her mother said. That boy hit the girl after she refused to be his girlfriend, and then warned her not to report the incident or he would come after her and her brother, the family said.

The bully was reprimanded for a "serious incident" this year, according to the Department of Education.  The agency's spokeswoman would not provide further details, citing privacy rules.

The principal of Frances Perkins Academy did not respond to repeated requests for comment.