2007-11-16 / Community

Judge 'ACD's'PS 225 Dad

By Howard Schwach

The father of a PS 225 student who was arrested on October 19 on charges that ranged from trespassing to resisting arrest when he tried to stop a gang of students from beating up his son got some relief from a Queens Supreme Court judge on November 2.

Michael Hennessey stood before the court on charges that could have forced him to spend a year in jail - trespass on school property, resisting arrest and disorderly conduct. Instead, the judge adjourned the charges in contemplation of dismissal, a move called ACD by court officials and that insures all charges would be dropped should Hennessey stay out of trouble for six months, something that his wife, Margaret, says he plans to do.

"We're really happy about the decision," she told The Wave on Monday. "We're happy that it's over. It's been like a nightmare."

Hennessey's "nightmare" started on October 19, when he and his wife went to PS 225 to get a safety transfer to another school for his son, Michael Jr., 11. He said at the time that his son was being harassed and called names such as "Whitey" and "Casper" at the Beach 110 Street school. He added that his son was being bullied by a group of older black students.

He said that he and his wife saw their son being attacked by a large group of boys in the schoolyard, and that he ran in to stop them from beating his son.

He said that he grabbed his son from the crowd and was walking away when a school security agent grabbed him from behind and arrested him.

The security agent said in court papers that she observed Hennessey running after a young boy, threatening to attack him.

That security agent, identified in court papers as Shimequa Goodman, went to court for an order of protection against Hennessey, his wife said.

Hennessey said that her son would soon be transferred out of PS 225, and that he is presently being evaluated by school officials to decide where to send him.

"One evaluator said he belongs in a gifted program, another that he belongs in a special education program," she said.

Meanwhile, the couple's younger son remains in the school.

"He's happy there, he likes his teacher and he's doing well," she said. "We'll let him stay there."

The controversy over the treatment of white students at the mostly minority school has heated up, however. On November 5, flyers were found all around the school charging that white students are regularly mistreated by black students at the school.

Police sources are treating those flyers as a possible bias crime because they call for "white people to unite and demand change by any means necessary." Police say they have no suspects in that case.

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