Investigation: Stabbing at New York City School

Read this piece at Manhattan Institute

In New York City school where a teenager was killed, students and educators say lax discipline led to bullying, chaos, and death

By Max Eden

An unnamed boy stands in the stairwell of his New York City high school. He secures one end of his sweater to the rail, ties the other around his neck, and tries to hang himself.

The boy had been bullied mercilessly for being gay, and nothing changed no matter how many times he or his grandmother asked administrators for help. He just wanted it to end. But just then, according to The New York Times, “a vice principal and two students happened by” and saved him.

Teachers and students say the Times story was inaccurate and incomplete. The assistant principal was not there, they say, and the two students who intervened deserve to be named: Ariane Laboy, 16, and Matthew McCree, 15.

But the public was not introduced to Laboy and McCree for the life they saved that day. We know their names because six months later, on Sept. 27, 2017, someone in history class threw a paper ball at Abel Cedeno, an 18-year-old sophomore who, like the unnamed student in the stairwell, had been bullied for his sexuality. The profanity-laced challenge and invitation to violence that followed were par for the course at the school. The one thing different that day: Cedeno pulled out a switchblade. He stabbed McCree, and when Laboy came to McCree’s aid, Cedeno turned the blade on him. Laboy fell into a coma for two days. When he awoke, he asked for an egg roll and news of his best friend.

Read the full piece at The 74, originally appearing on June 13, 2018.


Max Eden is a senior fellow at the Manhattan Institute.  Eden’s work has appeared in scholarly and popular outlets, such as the Journal of School ChoiceEncyclopedia of Education Economics and FinanceWashington PostU.S. News and World ReportNational ReviewClaremont Review of Books, and The Weekly Standard.  He holds a B.A. in History from Yale University. Follow him on Twitter here.