Welcome to THEJNSREPORT’S: The Cost Of School Bullying
In recent headlines we heard about a student Abel Cedeno from the Bronx who stabbed and killed a fellow student Matthew McCree and critically stabbed another student Ariane Laboy over alleged bullying. The family of the victim Matthew McCree is seeking justice in a city and world that values life (in particular Black life) less and less everyday.
What I heard on the evening news compelled me to write on this because the family of the alleged killer acted as if he was an innocent victim. I heard a man standing with the killer’s mother say on camera that they believe he will be “acquitted” as if he was wrongly charged with the crimes he’s been charged with.
Astonishment overtook my mind hearing those words uttered. We all as children at one point or other in our lives have gone through bullying. However, killing fellow schoolmate (3 years younger mind you) and attempting to kill another can’t be condoned as the answer to bullying.
Growing up in the Bronx and going to High School there, metal detectors was an tacit way of life. I didn’t know what it was like to attend High School and there not be any metal detectors and body search before I even made it to first period. There were warning signs prior to this tragic turn of events. What disturbs me even more was the killer’s sexuality was brought up as a valid justification for his willful act of committing murder and attempted murder.
If we as a society can use the excuse that one’s sexuality ought to be justification for the taking of another’s life then anyone can use that as a defense. For example what if the family of this 18 year old were on the other side of this and their son’s life would have been taken by a “heterosexual” student? Would we be saying that this killing was acceptable? Would they be happy to hear someone say they believe their son’s killer would be “acquitted” of all charges? Sexual orientation was a part of this tragic tale but shouldn’t be the main focal point. Bullying and it’s repercussions should be the focus as well as accountability. Our choices as human beings matter.
Another point worth mentioning is that students who attended school with both the killer and his victims have said he was bullied by other students not necessarily the victim Matthew McCree who was also 3 years younger than his killer Abel Cedeno. The local news reported that Abel Cedeno’s lawyer said this was a case of self defense. I’m wondering what scenario (or lie) they’ll tell to try and justify this case of murder and attempted murder.
What message does this send to the rest of the kids in school if he’s not held accountable for his choices and actions? Reducing the charges of murder against Abel Cedeno is just the latest slap in the face of black people across the country. This should be a slap in the face of all America when we say kids killing kids is not okay nor should it be justified away. I wonder now what Matthew McCree would say in his own defense if he were alive to tell us what Abel did to him.
We’re still looking to the sky for answers and strength but at some point if things don’t change, and if people aren’t held accountable for their actions, we won’t see heads bowed or eyes looking to the sky any more. We’ll see blank stares and hearts of solid ice acting in retribution because their voices aren’t heard and/or don’t seem to matter to this world. Their lives are being taken for granted.
Self defense has become the defacto code word for “hey he was just a N….. or some black guy/kid, what’s the big deal?” Then comes the character assassination to add insult to injury and devastation. This is a case of ultimately one kid killing another younger kid in perhaps misplaced anger and frustration but does that mean we excuse it simply due to age or sexual orientation?