We decided to create this post as compilation piece on the climate of depraved indifference ever present at Isaac E. Young Middle School. This culture is ignored and tolerated and by default fostered and promoted by the Board of Education of the City School District of New Rochelle. The culture at Isaac E. Young is such that it endangers the moral, physical, emotional and psychological safety of children and other members of its community. We decided to utilize the institutional history and perspective recorded on Talk of the Sound to discuss and highlight this point. Our approach is simply a layperson’s approach to this legal concept.
To constitute depraved indifference, the defendant's conduct must be 'so wanton, so deficient in a moral sense of concern, so lacking in regard for the life or lives of others, and so blameworthy as to warrant the same criminal liability as that which the law imposes upon a person who intentionally causes a crime. Depraved indifference focuses on the risk created by the defendant’s conduct, not the injuries actually resulting (source: USLegal.com
These are the “isolated incidents” we thought were of interest:
This case was about Rob Johnson and the attitudes towards the violation of his civil rights.
Robert Cox wrote about this incident on 09/13/2010:
The New Rochelle Board of Education has a history of tolerating racist behavior by district employees.
Back in 2007 and 2008, administrators working for the New Rochelle Board of Education laughed off repeated complaints of racist behavior by Phil Carino, a white supervisor at Isaac Young Middle School, whose special brand of "humor" included placing a stuffed monkey on a noose to mock black district employees.
In the monkey-noose case, when Robert Johnson, a black staffer at Isaac E. Young Middle School complained repeatedly to building principal Anthony Bongo about Carino's "noose humor", he was ignored. Bongo's jocular replies further emboldened Carino who proceeded to display even more stuffed animals hung on nooses where black workers like Johnson would encounter them within the school. All of the actions by Carino described in the Johnson lawsuit occurred around the time when the Jena 6 case took place. In Jena, there were major Black civil rights demonstrations over a matter that began when white students at a school in Louisiana hung nooses to intimidate black students.
It was only after the New Rochelle NAACP took up the case, filed compliant filed with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and began to garner media attention that the Board of Education belatedly took action -- briefly suspending Carino who was then allowed to retire with his full pension. Because of the behavior of Carino and Bongo, and the failure of their supervisors and the Board to take Johnson's complaints seriously, all district employees were required to undergo a full day of "sensitivity" training. The district ultimately settled the case with Johnson after claiming that Carino's behavior was an "isolated incident" while ignoring a culture in the building created by Anthony Bongo that tolerated and even encouraged such overtly racist behavior. Bongo remains as Principal of Isaac E. Young Middle School.
Sources in this case stated that the parent may have gone directly to police because they believed that the school would not act
This post describes the Rodriguez Family treatment and behavior of staff after the injury of each their two boys. This case actually another lawsuit in progress. The family has moved out of New Rochelle.
This case is exemplifies the City School District’s amazing ability and power to cover up situations