B.H. v. City of New York - Statement of D.Y.

Document Date: January 20, 2010
Affiliate: New York Civil Liberties Union

Thirteen-year-old D.Y., an eighth grader, was illegally handcuffed on October 7, 2009 at the Lou Gehrig School in the Bronx.

I’m a good student, my favorite class is science, and I want to be a veterinarian when I grow up. I have always liked school. But earlier this school year, I was handcuffed and inappropriately handled by school safety officers.

My mom had just dropped me off at school when two women I didn’t know came up to me and my two friends outside the school. They were acting all rowdy and yelling. I was scared of them so I texted my mom. But the School Safety Officer who responded to the ruckus told the women to go into the school and told me to go inside also. My friend was crying and I didn’t want to go into school with the women because I was afraid and wanted to wait for my mother.

So the officer started grabbing my arm and pulling on me to drag me into school. Then two more officers came and they started pulling on me, too. One pushed me in the chest and handcuffed me. When we got into the building, that same officer tripped me and I fell face down on the ground. The officer put her knees on my back and taunted me, telling me to get up while she was pinning me on the ground. She finally pulled me up and took me into the school safety room and pushed me into a desk. I sat there handcuffed and scared until they finally let me see my mom. They let me go.

Since that time, I’ve had to go to the doctor for stomach and back problems. And I’m scared a lot of the time. I feel unsafe at school. I’m afraid that that School Safety Officers could attack me again for no reason. I just want the school year to be over so I can be a normal kid again. I shouldn’t have to be scared of school.”

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