Police in Massachusetts say that they plan to charge a number of Templeton middle school kids in the brutal attack of an 11-year-old autistic boy. The boy, who has a form of autism known as Asperger’s Syndrome, was beaten last month after he got off his school bus. The juvenile crime was filmed on video.
The video shows the fifth grader struggling to fight back. There is also footage of the boy being shoved into a mailbox and his hand getting cut. He was pushed, shoved, and kicked. The mother of the boy who was holding the camera claims that her son didn’t know that his friends were going to attack the fifth grader.
The three boys and two girls accused of attacking the 11-year-old are students at Narragansett Middle School. The school has suspended them. Criminal charges will be filed against them in juvenile court.
Bullying can involve indirect abuse (excluding or alienating someone socially), physical abuse, such as hitting, beating, tripping, kicking, and damaging or taking belongings away, verbal abuse, such as name calling, teasing, spreading rumors, and making threats, and cyberbullying, which is bullying that takes place over the Internet.
The Massachusetts Citizens for Children defines bullying as “behavior intended to hurt others and is repeated over time.” Bullying has also been called peer harassment or abuse. In the past, bullying has been viewed as a typical rite of passage among kids and teenagers. However, a line can be crossed that can turn an act of bullying into a juvenile or an adult crime. There also may be instances when children that are bullied may feel compelled to fight back or protect themselves with a knife or a gun.
A bully victim can be susceptible to emotional and social problems, poor attendance, poor grades, substance abuse, and physical injuries caused by bullying.
Bullying can lead to gang violence, physical assault, and murder.
More than half of boys (in grades 6-9) that were considered bullies committed at least one crime by the time they turned 24. 40% of them had at least three criminal convictions by age 24. 3 out of 10 juveniles are bullies or victims of bullying.
When bullying escalates to become a crime committed either by a bully or a bully victim, a juvenile may face criminal charges in Juvenile Court. He or she may even face criminal charges as an adult if the crime is very serious.
Attack On Autistic Boy, 11, Videotaped, WCBVBoston.com, October 8, 2007
What Effect Does Bullying Have on Children?, Massachusetts Citizens for Children
Bullying Prevent is Crime Prevention, Fightcrime.org
Related Web Resources:
Bullying and Intimidation, the National Crime Prevention Council
Student Reports of Bullying, US Department of Education
What is Cyberbullying?, Stop Cyberbullying
The outcome of your child’s case could affect the rest of his or her life. This is why it is so important that you hire an experienced criminal defense lawyer that knows how to represent minors charged with committing juvenile crimes and adult crimes.
In Massachusetts, Altman & Altman LLP is a criminal defense law firm that provides juvenile defense representation to minors charged with committing a misdemeanor or felony crime. We would be happy to offer you and your son or daughter a free consultation about your case. Our Massachusetts juvenile crimes lawyers stand ready to help you. Contact Altman & Altman LLP today.