Cyber threat targets FilAm boy in Queens; father raises questions
By Cristina DC Pastor
On his Google.doc homework, a 12-year-old Filipino student in PS102Q in Elmhurst received the following message: “Hey go to sleep so I can go to your house and kill you…”
Shaken, the boy shared the message with his teachers and parents. In the days that followed, he has been unresponsive in class and has not been raising his hands to participate in classroom discussions. Which is unusual for a boy who has consistently remained in his school’s top class program, said his father.
The school and the NYPD are currently investigating.
“My son appears to be a victim of cyber threat,” said the boy’s father who spoke to The FilAm with the request that his family’s name remain private. “He’s OK now.”
The father is based in California where he works for the comic book industry. The mother is in New York with their children and works in a bookstore chain.
The father described the alleged bullying incident, which is the subject of an ongoing dialogue among school officials, parents of PS 102Q students, and the NYPD.
On October 20, the boy received the threatening note on his Google.doc homework. It said: “Hey go to sleep so I can go to your house and kill you so I can take the spotlight tomorrow in class good by.” Only members of the class and the teacher can access Google.doc, the protocol that makes it easy to share homework for students working in groups.
The boy was terrified at first, but appears to be returning to normalcy. According to the father, when asked how he’s doing, the boy told his ELA (English Language Arts) teacher, ‘I’m ok but kinda afraid because I know somebody is watching.’
The NYPD, according to the father dismissed the incident as “idle threat,” which indicates no immediate danger to the people targeted in the message, which includes the boy, four other classmates and two teachers.
They have identified a suspect, a young boy of about the same age who comes from a South Asian country and who has been described as “having no friends.”
The father is sharing the story hoping it will “shine some light” on what protocols are in place to help other parents in case a cyber threat is made on their children.
“I am sure this has happened at other schools, so there should by now already be a manual developed,” he said. “As far as we know, the Principal and other PS102Q officials have been interviewing students. As for the NYPD, other than showing up at the school and class the day after and requesting subpoenas for Edmodo and Google, we really do not know what exactly is being done to figure out the identity of (the suspect).”
He said the NYPD has talked to the class, and Principal William Ko has been authorized to start asking students for information. Superintendent Madeline Chan has made a visit to PS102 to talk to Grade 7 class 7-403 about the threat. Borough Safety Director Maurice Lindsey will be visiting on Wednesday, November 9, to speak with parents and address the issue of cyber threat among teens.
“Principal Ko, Superintendent Chan and Detective Kelly have spoken to me directly as well,” he added. “Ko and Chan mentioned that the situation has been escalated to the highest level.”
At the end of the day, he said, parents are there “to protect our children.”