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Abel Cedeño School Bullying Incident

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Abel Cedeño School Bullying Incident
DateSeptember 27, 2017
Timeapproximately 10:50am
LocationUrban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation (fifth floor) The Bronx, New York, United States

The Abel Cedeño School Bullying Incident took place on the fifth floor of the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation on Mohegan Avenue in East Tremont The Bronx, New York, on September 27, 2017 around 10:50am, during a third period history class. High school student Abel Cedeño, 18, stabbed and killed student Matthew McCree, 15, and injured Matthew McCree’s friend, Ariane Laboy, 16, who tried to step in on behalf of Matthew McCree.[1] Cedeño was initially charged with second degree murder, but due to information uncovered during the investigation, the charge was reduced by the grand jury investigating the incident to manslaughter, in addition to assault with a deadly weapon (non-firearm) and criminal possession of a weapon on school grounds.[2] Cedeño maintains that he acted in self-defense during the attack by Matthew McCree. Cedeño had suffered years of verbal abuse, physical attacks and sexual harassment by students at the school because of his LGBT identity. However McCree or Laboy never bothered Cedeño in anyway prior to this incident and neither had any history of anti-LGBT behavior. Abel's mother had visited the school on over 30 occasions regarding the ongoing abuse but nothing was done by the school to stop the attacks.[3]

The incident sparked several major controversies and discussions. Urban Assembly School was closed shortly after the incident along with 13 other schools where the Department of Education determined it could not maintain minimal safety and educational standards for students and staff. Both the city and the state of New York have major ongoing investigations into conditions in New York City schools as a result of the incident.[4] The incident also increased tensions between the Hispanic, black and LGBT communities around New York. There is no evidence that McCree or Ariane Laboy had participated in acts of violence or harassment against Cedeno prior to the September 27 incident. McCree, Laboy and Cedeño have no previous criminal history. The incident was also the catalyst for community discussions about homophobia and violence in public schools and contributed to the discussion about dangerous and violent school environments some students have to endure and the responsibilities of teachers and administrators in stopping and preventing violence and harassment in schools.

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Coordinates: 40°50′38″N 73°53′04″W / 40.8438°N 73.8845°W / 40.8438; -73.8845


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