A Statement on the Kingston High School Cafeteria Attack

Last Wednesday, a 15-year old Kingston High School student was attacked and beaten by two other students. This assault was perpetrated in front of 300 other students and captured on video. The victim was rendered unconscious and suffered seizures from a traumatic brain injury. He was airlifted to Westchester Medical Center where he, according to reports, underwent brain surgery to relieve bleeding and pressure on his brain.

More than 24 hours after the incident, when the Ulster County District Attorney’s office finally responded, the DA stated, “We hear, and it’s hopeful, that the victim wasn’t terribly harmed,” but had suffered a “serious head injury of some sort,”  adding, “We have to determine where the case is going.” The DA’s Office was also unable to predict when the suspects might be arrested.

As a parent with a child in high school, this response from the DA’s office is deeply concerning. It is hard to imagine the degree of disconnect between the current office and the concerns of the citizens of Ulster County.  

This situation demands strong leadership and decisive action. There is no excuse, based upon the information available to the public, why charges have not been authorized by the DA’s Office. The public must be instilled with confidence in the criminal justice system.  My heart goes out to that student, his family, and every parent who has a child in school.  They deserve better.

– Mike Kavanagh, Candidate for Ulster County District Attorney