Governor Cuomo Directs State Division of Human Rights to Investigate Alleged Hate Crime on Student in Gouverneur

September 25, 2019 

"I am appalled by the reports of the horrendous, 20-minute racist assault on a 10-year-old African American girl in the town of Gouverneur. That this was allegedly perpetrated by her own classmates, on a school bus with an adult monitor present, makes this incident even more shocking and troubling. When we put our children on the bus to school, we are entrusting others with our most precious resource and this was an egregious and inexcusable violation of that trust.

"In the face of the recent rise in hate crimes and discriminatory acts, this summer I signed legislation that expanded the authority of the New York State Division of Human Rights to investigate incidents of discrimination in public schools, including on school buses. I am directing DHR to open an investigation into this heinous act immediately, and, if applicable, to take legal action to the fullest extent of the law against the perpetrators. I am also directing the State Police Hate Crimes Task Force to provide local authorities with any resources needed to assist in their investigation.

"In New York, violence of any kind towards others based on their race or religion is not only offensive and repugnant to our values, it is illegal. We will never allow hate to win - we will defeat it and we will continue to use every tool at our disposal to help ensure all our children are safe from hate."