A 14-year-old boy from Brooklyn has been left blinded in one eye after he was allegedly attacked at school by bullies who shouted anti-gay epithets as they assaulted him.
Kardin Ulysse, 14, has undergone two surgeries on his right eye since the June 5th attack in the cafeteria at Roy H. Mann Junior High School.
“I can’t see from my right eye,” Ulysse said. “I can’t see from it at all.”
Ulysse now wears a bandage over his right eye.
Doctors are not sure if the blindness occurred as a result of the punches or by shards of glass from his eyeglasses.
“They were beating him, kicking him, punching him in the face many, many times,” Ulysse’s father, Pierre Ulysse, said at a news conference Tuesday.
The eighth-grader says he was beaten up by a pair of seventh-graders who shouted insults and slurs at him, including “transvestite” and “gay,” according to the report put out by the Department of Education.
This incident was apparently not the first of its kind, and there is evidence to suggest that Roy H. Mann Junior High School may have a history of wider bullying issues, something the family’s lawyers will no doubt argue in court.
Kardin, who now wears a bandage over his right eye, said he had informed a Roy H. Mann dean that he had been a victim of bullying at the school for some time. Last October, another thug attacked him and tried to steal his school lunch money.
The parents of another 13-year-old student filed a lawsuit against Roy H. Mann last year alleging a pattern of bullying.
A DOE survey last year stated that 63% of the students at the school reported at least some of the time classmates are harassed or threatened based on their race, religion, ethnicity, citizenship status, gender, sexual orientation or disability.
The same survey stated that 40% of the school’s students didn’t feel safe in the building and 44% said students threaten or bully other students “most of the time” or “all of the time.”
School officials have not commented directly on Ulysse’s case, though a DOE spokesperson is quoted as saying the principal of the school took the attack on Ulysse “very seriously” and noted it was the principal who notified the NYPD of the incident.
The police spokesperson is quoted as saying that assailants face internal disciplinary action from the school as well as potential criminal prosecution. Whether this alleged assault technically qualifies as a hate crime, and therefore whether the assailants could face additional charges, is something that will also have to be determined.
Ulysse will now require further operations and may need a cornea transplant if he is to regain even partial sight in the eye that was damaged during the attack.
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