Family to sue Yonkers education system after video shows daughter being attacked outside school

Sonia Rincón Image
Monday, April 29, 2024
Family to sue Yonkers school after video shows teen being attacked
Sonia Rincon spoke to the mother of the 13-year-old girl.

YONKERS, NEW YORK (WABC) -- Video from three separate cellphones shows angry parents confronting a 13-year-old on school grounds, challenging her to fight their daughters.

They watch as another student does attack her and they yell at her about something posted on social media, as the girl tries to explain that it came from someone else who isn't there.

"There were no teachers' aides. There were no monitors. They were no adults outside to prevent this from happening," said Alenna Merritt, the victim's mother.

Merritt says that is what's at the heart of the notice of claim to sue Yonkers and its school system for $40 million as her traumatized daughter spends the rest of the school year being taught at home.

Kids are supposed to be safe on school grounds from other kids, but especially from adults. In this case, Merritt believes parents planned this confrontation early that morning at Yonkers Montessori Academy.

"These are five adults who premeditated going to a school to intimidate, to attack, to approach children regarding some nonsense between girls," Merritt said.

At one point, one mom even tosses the girl's phone. It would take several minutes for an arriving teacher to step in.

One person, 55-year-old Nancy Rosa, has been arrested so far in connection to the April 18 incident.

The grandmother is charged with assault, endangering the welfare of a child and harassment. Eyewitness News has reached out to Rosa for her side of the story.

Yonkers police and schools say they continue to investigate, but that they can't comment further now because of the potential lawsuit.

"We hope that this notice of claim and the action that we intend to take will prevent this from happening to any other student in the future," said attorney Mark Shirian.

Merritt says no matter what it was about, she says you just can't confront a child that way, and that she would have gladly had a conversation, but had no indication there was trouble.

"Parents should never approach a child under any circumstances. This is not the way you handle this," Merritt said.

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