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Assault result of NT Middle School’s “culture of violence”; parents, residents want a solution
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Assault result of NT Middle School’s “culture of violence”; parents, residents want a solution

by Joseph KisselMay 24, 2017

There’s a gang of teens assaulting, harassing and bullying students, parents and other residents around North Tonawanda Middle School.

The recent assault of a 13-year-old boy in front of his mother outside Dollar General at 1385 Nash Road prompted a gathering Wednesday evening at the NT Library regarding a group of 10 to 15 teenagers who gather daily behind the nearby Jamie’s Ice Cream/Wurlitzer Pizza Co.

There, they “heckle” and otherwise bully the students heading home. Recently it went beyond that, and participants at the meeting say there are dozens of other reports of intimidation, assaults and other baffling behaviors.

“They are always in large numbers,” said Will Crago (above), who is the father of the boy that was punched in the face by the “leader” of this group.

Because the aggressor is a minor and the incident took place just off school grounds, little could be done by police and school officials to an individual who has already been expelled from the middle school and is being tutored off-site.

In the distance is NT Middle School.

“There’s a culture of violence at the middle school,” said Crago.

Compared to other suburban school districts, NT’s middle school has a much higher level of fighting and bullying than other districts like Amherst and Starpoint, said Crago based on his gathered anecdotal evidence. He said he’s in the process of getting official numbers from the school district.

“These kids are super confident,” he said. “And I think a lot of people are just accepting it.”

The residents are looking for help from city officials as well as the police department or any one who has a solution for them.

One answer could be placing a resource officer at the middle school. Crago, who is an educator, said these police officers that patrol the halls and school grounds make a difference in deterring student misconduct.

Others suggested a police patrol simply visit the area between 2:15 and 2:45 p.m., which is when the gang is said to gather.

The group is hoping that more exposure and “more eyes on the situation” could lead to a positive resolution.

There will be another meeting from 6-8 p.m. June 21st at the library, and speakers said they are hopeful city officials will attend.

About The Author
Joseph Kissel
Joseph Kissel is a journalist, editor and photographer.
11 Comments
  • Marsha Gifford
    May 25, 2017 at 4:07 am

    Have the parent’s of this little gang been contacted? Bullying is a crime. The parents of the “gang” members are responsible for their kids. The businesses should also get involved. They are trespassing. Put a cop at the site at the times these kids are there, and officers at the school who will usually hear about trouble brewing, and hit the parents of the kids who are causing the problem in the pocket book. Find out who they are and drag them into court. Nip this problem in the bud, before a child, or anyone gets seriously hurt.

    • Ron Harms
      May 25, 2017 at 2:24 pm

      I agree with Marsha. By law the parents are responsible for their kids. Fine the parents!

  • Jim Mroz
    May 25, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Great job Joe

  • Pissed off resident
    May 25, 2017 at 9:07 am

    Sounds like some of these kids need a good old ass kicking. If they think it’s funny to beat up and mess with innocent kids then maybe it’s time they got a taste of their own medicine. These kids are all punks and need to be taught a lesson. Typical scum kids with scum parents that go through NT middle school. The parents and students need a punch in the head. Get them out of my city before someone (like me) forcibly removes them

    • Jackie
      May 25, 2017 at 7:47 pm

      Part of your statement is not fair. I went to North Tonawanda my whole life. I have friends who’s children go to North Tonawanda and are not “scum”. It’s not fair to lump everyone into a group because of a few unruly kids.

  • Andrew Wahl
    May 25, 2017 at 12:36 pm

    This “problem” of kids bullying is the product of a culture where these kids think it is somehow okay or acceptable to do so. Sadly, expelling a kid who could care less about school from having to go is not going to resolve the issue. Likewise, if this “leader” has a following it is because the other kids are easily impressed. They need to be shown the consequences of their actions. An example needs to be made of the head of this group one way or another. Hold the parents accountable for the actions of their child! If they are fined or otherwise reprimanded in a REAL way, then I suspect they will find a way to control their child. If not, lock the kid up in Juvi or send him to Wyndham Lawn. To the community I propose this: Attend your council meetings and demand legislation that holds the parents of bullies accountable. A $100 fine is enough to wake a parent up, but not so much that it permanently damages their livelihood. If you can dethrone this leader then his little circle will fall apart. Child Psychology is not hard to crack. They are doing it because they get a rush out of it. Replace the rush with worry/fear and they’ll lose their addiction to it.

  • Laurie G
    May 25, 2017 at 12:46 pm

    I had not known of this. It is a shame kids cannot be kids these days. Where are the parents of the bullies?

  • RIN
    May 25, 2017 at 3:37 pm

    i Agree!!!! i am going to the Middle school now and i have seen many fights happen…. its a shame….. Teach your child if they are Ass holes then they are going to get it back…i Agree with Andrew!!!! that will teach a kid that would definitly teach me….Im worried now because My Boyfriend and i always walk past Jamies but i dont see anything… PUT AN END TO THIS!!!!!!!

  • Truth
    May 25, 2017 at 7:41 pm

    The principal is a spineless weasle. The vice is way better. Police say they will patrol but will really only do it for a day. They probably had speeding tickets to give out. This happens every year. I hope Mr Crago continues the fight against this crap. He has a great family and don’t need this crap.

  • Kristina
    May 26, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    There’s another local school in nt with reported problems and nobody checking into it… I’ve contacted lawyers and channel 2

  • Esther Salasavage
    June 15, 2017 at 9:51 am

    My grandson also attends NT Middle School and was assaulted by a student in the hallway was knocked to the ground. We went to the police department and filed an assault charge and found out the kid has a probation officer. Not sure what happened to the student I think he was suspended for a week but he’s back in school harassing other children. My grandson went to Payne Park after this incident and was attacked by friends of this child. Luckily a neighbor saw the incident and contacted us which we called the police but no one could find the kids. My grandson is leaving Middle School this year thank goodness as he’s been bullied all through Elementary School and Middle School.

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