Hundreds of parents met with school leaders in an overflowing auditorium at New Rochelle High School Tuesday night, two weeks after three violent incidents began to rock the community.
WABC reports Monica Furrelle Schwab, the aunt of Valaree Schwab, the New Rochelle junior stabbed to death two weeks ago said, “Valaree’s not here tonight to have a voice but I am here for her.”
“She was bullied, stalked, assaulted, robbed, and ultimately stabbed and murdered by her own class,” she said.
School Superintendent Brian Osborne announced that he has directed that students not be allowed to leave at lunch and free periods during lunch until further notice. The school has allowed an “open campus” policy where students were free to leave the campus when they did not have class.
Meanwhile, an Iona student has created an online petition calling for the removal of Principal Reginald Richardson and New Rochelle School Board members following the three violent assaults. Nearly 400 people have signed the petition already, News 12 reports.
Iona College freshman Brendan Eckstein says it’s not about the number of people who sign, it’s about the message he’s trying to send. “This community’s gone through so much tragedy and so much of an image problem and kids don’t feel safe. You can’t fix a totaled car, you have to replace it.”
The violence started on January 10 when a student stabbed 16-year-old Valeree Schwab to death. A week later, a suspect, whose name has not been released, stabbed his classmate in the torso inside a classroom. Police are still searching for the suspect, who they say has a violent past.
Police say the suspect was himself attacked by a group of teens at Gemelli’s Pizza restaurant on North Avenue the day before. Police have issued a warrant for his arrest.