Kathleen Lucadamo, New York Daily News, Oct. 10
City education officials are investigating the claims of a pair of boys from Oklahoma who moved to Brooklyn to experience diversity, and instead say they got schooled in racism and violence.
Mom Lisa Brown, 33, told the Daily News she relocated her family from their small Oklahoma town so her husband, a Brooklyn native and social worker, could more easily find work and her sons could experience different people and ways of life.
Brown enrolled her sons, Sloan, 12, and J.T., 13, at Ebbets Field Middle School in Crown Heights. But when the boys, who are white, showed up, their mom said, they got a chilling indication of what was to come.
“Oh my gosh, we are going to have fun this year,” a security guard muttered, according to Brown.
Things quickly got worse.
Sloan was beaten mercilessly, called “cracker” and “white boy,” and chased into traffic by his new classmates, his family said.
When Brown tried to alert Principal Marge Baker to the abuse, “the principal refused to take the calls,” she charged.
Brown filed several police reports at the 71st Precinct stationhouse about the alleged abuse, but said she was ignored.
Eventually, the fedup mom went to nearby Elijah Stroud Middle School to transfer her sons there, but said the principal told her: “They’ll have the same problem here.”
The Browns said their ethnically and racially diverse neighbors in Prospect Heights have embraced them, and they thought New York was “the greatest place on Earth” — until they started battling the school system.
“I was excited to expose my children to a complete variety of people,” Lisa Brown said. “I thought it would be an advantage. I always told my children that children could be cruel — but not to this extent.”
(Posted on October 11, 2005)