It’s enough that queer school children face harassment by their peers, but now even straight little boys are being taunted. By their own teachers.
A Bronx charter school is under fire from parents who say a teacher bullied kids — and even forced one child to tell his crush, a girl, that he was gay. According to court papers filed this week, the teacher, Jared Alessandroni, 29, threatened to “out” a straight 9-year-old boy, James Pastrana, to his class at the South Bronx Charter School for International Cultures and the Arts, unless James told his crush he was gay. “I was so humiliated,” said Pastrana, who reluctantly scribbled the false confession in a note to the girl. “It started to spread around the whole class and then everyone wanted to call me gay.” A second lawsuit alleges that Alessandroni twisted an 8-year-old boy’s arm in a school stairwell in 2008 because he didn’t like the way the boy was walking.
The Department of Education reportedly investigated the charges and found no wrongdoing. And if that’s true, great! Also a possibility: There are more than just these two victims.