Yesterday, a second-grade boy was removed from PS 63 in Ozone Park by cops after his teacher discovered he was packing an unloaded .38-caliber pistol. It seems many of Christopher Clarke’s classmates were already aware of the gun, as he had done a little show and tell earlier that day. Christopher and his mom, Andrea Clarke, were taken to the 106th Precinct station house for questioning, where they played a game of pass the blame. Officers eventually determined that Christopher’s 14-year-old brother had given him the gun, allegedly with his mother’s knowledge; she says that it belonged to her boyfriend. Clarke, 35, and her elder son were hit with endangerment charges. As for Christopher, the Department of Education’s discipline code calls for a one-year suspension for any student found with a gun at school.
Also yesterday, at a high school in Queens, two Pakistani students were arrested after cutting the hair of a Sikh student during a brawl. The kid who provided the weapon did not take part in the attack, but was arrested as well for scissor-packing. Nobody was hurt. According to police, the 15-year-old victim and the Pakistani teens began insulting each other’s mothers—Oh no they didn’t!—until they became so enraged that someone had to get a haircut. The Pakistani boys, Umair Ahmed, 17, and a 15-year-old, allegedly tore off the victim’s headdress and came at him with the scissors. They face charges of unlawful imprisonment, coercion, menacing and aggravated harassment. A DOE spokeswoman said Newtown High School would seek to suspend the two students for at least 30 days.
All this and U.S. Census figures released yesterday show that New York is at the head of the country’s class in per-pupil spending. Still, the state will be devoting another $1.76 billion to its schools over the next fiscal year.