Local News

Some Boston students have found a new use for city-issued laptops — as a dangerous weapon

There’s a whole range of sometimes-violent encounters that principals decided to handle internally, even though people involved feel like they were crime victims.

Karen Pham (left) with her daughter, across the street from the Murphy School in Dorchester, where her daughter was allegedly assaulted by a student with a Chromebook. SUZANNE KREITER/GLOBE STAFF

They were supposed to be powerful educational tools, but in some Boston Public School students’ hands, Chromebooks have become something else: powerful weapons.

Over less than a week — between April 28 and May 3 — three students at three different schools were struck in the head by Chromebook-wielding assailants. One victim, a seventh-grader at the Richard Murphy School in Dorchester, required five stitches, while an eighth-grader at the Joyce Kilmer School in West Roxbury said she still has headaches after being struck on the head at least six times on May 2.

But the school department did not report the incidents to the police, police reports show, leaving that job to the victims’ parents, and raising concerns that Boston schools are not doing enough to protect students. The parents of all three victims said that the schools’ response was inadequate and that their children’s assailants were still at the same school.


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