BRONX, N.Y. — The mother of a boy who was stabbed to death in his classroom, alongside another student who was critically injured, spoke out alongside an attorney Tuesday about "serious issues" her son's death brings light to in NYC schools.
Louna Dennis thought Tuesday would be the day she would see her son's accused killer, Abel Cedeno, 18, for the first time, but the teen waved his appearance. His next court date is in two weeks.
The mother of Matthew McCree, 15, still gathered outside the courthouse with an attorney and a group of some two dozen people, many of whom wore shirts emblazoned with the boy's face.
"Justice for Matthew," the group chanted, as attorney Sanford Rubenstein spoke about three issues he thinks the boy's death addresses.
"This case goes far beyond this court room in terms of its importance to the people of this city,” Rubenstein said, speaking about metal detectors in NYC schools, classroom supervision and bullying.
Metal detectors were installed at Urban Assembly for Wildlife Conservation, where McCree was killed, a day after the stabbing.
This safety measure should have been taken earlier, Rubenstein said, claiming 81 percent of teachers and 45 percent of students previously indicated they felt unsafe in the school, there were two incidents of harassment involving a weapon last year, and in the school system overall, more than 2,000 weapons were confiscated in the 2016-2017 school year.
Rubsenstein then questioned the quality of classroom supervision, and if the school had adequately investigated complaints of bullying, if such complaints were in fact made before the deadly altercation.
McCree was killed 30 minutes into his third-period history class last Wednesday when investigators say Cedeno lashed out with a 3-inch blade, fatally stabbing the younger teen and injuring another, after they allegedly flung papers and pencils at him.
While investigators say Cedeno was repeatedly bullied by other students in the school, this is the first known incident between the three students.
McCree’s mother said her son was happy the morning he was killed, and urged he "was not a bully.”
Dennis plans to attend every court appearance, and see Cedeno, who she tells PIX11 she had never heard of until her son was killed.
Until then, she will continue to prepare for her son’s funeral.
McCree’s funeral arrangements are as follows:
- Friday, Oct. 13 5 - 7 p.m.: Viewing of the body
- Friday, Oct. 13 7 - 9 p.m.: Religious service
- Saturday, Oct. 14 8 - 9 a.m.: Funeral service followed by burial at the Canarsie Cemetery
Viewing and funeral service will take place at Castle Hill Funeral Parlor, 528 Castle Hill Ave., the Bronx.