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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000253.txt from 2001/02

From: "Wolman, Kenneth" <>
Subj: RE: [kl] chaos being sold for freedom...
Date: Thu, 8 Feb 2001 09:50:33 -0500

> Why not charge the boy with assault for heaven's sake. Put the
> responsibility where it belongs, on the boy and his parents. Do the
> teachers or guidance counselor have the authority to take action? They are
> in a very sticky position. When a student was threatening my older
> daughter, we reported them directly to the police. A visit to the student
> and their parents by the officer was extremely effective.
> Dee Hays
I'll state the situation and my reading of it as bluntly as possible. My S.O. sends her son to a private and very expensive Roman Catholic all-male high school in Central New Jersey. The kid takes the bus every day. He has been worked over on the bus by an upperclassman who has also beaten up other kids, and who thinks he can get away with it because he's a pretty impressive physical specimen and because his parents are RICH (daddy is an investment banker). This kid is also known--because he's been seen doing it by everyone on the bus--to set off alarms on the bus, to smoke on the bus, to drink on the bus, and to smoke and deal weed ON THE DAMN BUS. He's also known to hustle cocaine.

The driver is an incompetent moron who won't acknowledge a problem. The kids are intimidated. And y'know what? I can't say we blame them. My girlfriend's son thought about turning this kid in. We talked him out of it. Okay, we played right into the asinine American moral code of never "ratting" on someone, i.e., life is a Dead End Kids movie and everyone is Leo Gorcey or Huntz Hall. But we also reasoned--probably not unjustifiably--that this punk kid was getting his supply of the White Lady from someplace in either Red Bank or Long Branch--two fairly tough towns, and somewhere up the line were people in Elizabeth or Newark, and sooner or later my S.O.'s kid would wind up having some body parts rearranged...or worse.

What is most disturbing is that the religious order that runs the school apparently knows about this kid's behavior and doesn't hand him more than occasional trips to Detention. Because nobody seems willing to incur the wrath of the punk's parents, who write BIG checks to the school above and beyond the tuition, which could cripple a rhinoceros, and which has my S.O. dipping into her investment portfolio and bankrupting herself because the public high school the kid would go to otherwise is even worse, i.e., it's little more than a crime school with a marching band.

We could very easily go to the cops with what we know and what David (my S.O.'s son) has seen. What makes you think the the cops in small-town New Jersey can't be paid off? Or aren't intimidated by some guy with a bankroll and who has breakfast with the Mayor and Police Chief? We would be the ones to get sued, and we cannot afford the kind of lawyer it would take to fight a slander lawsuit of the kind that would be brought against us. In certain corners of society, truth sadly has very little to do with what happens, while money has far too much.


Kenneth Wolman
Merrill Lynch/DCSS
570 Washington Street, NYC

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