Black New York girl, 10, brutally beaten, has chunks of hair pulled out on school bus by two students in rare racial 'hate crime'
The bus monitor, who is white, allegedly witnessed the assault but 'did not make an effort to stop or prevent it'
GOUVERNEUR, NEW YORK: An 11-year-old was charged after she and a 10-year-old physically assaulted an African-American middle school student, 10, while using "racially motivated language," the police said.
The police said on September 24 that they had charged two white girls with second-degree harassment and one of them with additional third-degree assault in a hate crime after the Gouverneur Middle School students attacked the black victim on a school bus.
The victim had sustained a black eye and a bruised knee after falling into the school bus seat. Some of her hair was pulled out during the fight, the Gouverneur police said. The incident was reported by the victim's parents on September 10.
"It's not very often that we charge a hate crime in the village of Gouverneur," Gouverneur police Sgt. Darren Fairbanks told CNN, adding that the charge of hate crime brought against the 11-year-old was a felony.
Tiffany Spicer, 28, the bus monitor, who is white, was also charged with three counts of endangering the welfare of a child because she allegedly witnessed the assault, but "did not make an effort to stop and/or prevent said behavior."
The superintendent of the Gouverneur Central School District, Lauren French, told 7News that she had never experienced an incident quite as "devastating."
“It is probably the most professionally devastating event since I started working at Gouverneur in 1984,” French said. “I firmly believe we are better than this, and we have to take a stand."
She added that First Student, the company which provides bus service to the Gouverneur district, had been asked to provide appropriate training to bus aides and monitors to prevent such incidents in the future.
St. Lawrence County District Attorney Gary Pasqua told CNN that his office did not prosecute anyone under the age of 13 in hate crimes and that those generally went to a family court. "The hate crime elevates the underlying offense," he said.