Friday, October 12, 2007

Classroom quiet contest put S.I. kid in hospital

Posted at NY Daily News.

A harmless classroom game spun out of control and left a Staten Island eighth-grader severely injured and his classmate under arrest, police said Thursday.

When the "Quiet Game" was played in a math class at Intermediate School 49 on Oct. 3, students were told they would be punished if they made a noise.

Chaz Carvalho, 13, lost. He sighed and said, "Okay" - and was promptly hit in the side by a 400-page, hardcover math textbook allegedly thrown across the room by a student.

Chaz crumpled to the ground and writhed in agony, but the substitute teacher forbade any classmates from helping him, he said.

"I dropped to the floor, and it really did hurt," Chaz said yesterday, displaying the long scar on his stomach from the surgery to remove his spleen, which was ruptured by the book.

"The teacher told everybody to, 'Sit back down, he's fine,'" Chaz said. "I said, 'I'm in pain.'"

Chaz said substitute teacher Kuang Wei Li - a 26-year-old instructor who had never worked for the city - allowed the kids to play a game for the last 15 minutes of the 80-minute class.

Several students requested that they be permitted to play an extreme version of the game, in which students who make a noise are not just expelled from the game but become targets of books thrown from all directions.

There should be assault and battery charges filed and the teacher should be charged with aiding and abetting and fired as well.

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