New York City Schools Chancellor Joel I. Klein vowed that he “won’t tolerate any harassment based on race, religion, or gender in our schools,” following last week’s arrest of a 15-year-old Asian student for assault on an 18-year-old Sikh classmate at Richmond Hill High School.
The assailant allegedly punched his classmate with a key held between his knuckles during class on Tuesday, June 3 according to reports.
The 15-year-old was arrested by the hate crimes division of the New York Police Department (NYPD) and charged with assault in the second degree and harassment, according NYPD officials.
Before the attack, he apparently tried to untie the patka (small turban) of the 18-year-old Sikh student, Jagmohan Singh Premi, according to the Sikh Coalition.
When Premi tried to fix his patka, the suspect reportedly punched him in the face. Premi suffered a facial contusion and a possible orbital fracture of his left eye as a result of the attack.
“I have spoken with the student and his father and assured them that this incident will be investigated and that I am committed to providing him a safe learning environment,” Klein said at a press conference on Friday, June 6, attended by the victim and the outraged Sikh community. [Link]
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