Out sprang members of the violent street gang MS-13, armed with baseball bats.
They attacked three 16-year-old students they suspected of being rivals before driving off. When police spotted the van in the same neighborhood the following afternoon and surrounded it at gunpoint, the MS-13 members were in the midst of trying to abduct a fourth.
“We were going to take him somewhere private and beat him to death,” said Miguel Rivera, 20, according to a Suffolk County indictment.
The Dec. 6 arrests of Rivera and four others thwarted what police say would have been the sixth murder of a Brentwood High School student by MS-13 in less than two years.
But the incident also shook the school for another reason.
All but one of those arrested attended Brentwood, according to Suffolk County police. Three were unaccompanied minors who had been caught at the border and then placed in the community by a federal refugee program.
From New York to Virginia to Texas, schools in areas racked by MS-13 violence are now struggling with a sobering question. What to do when the gang isn’t just in your community, but in your classrooms?[MS-13 is 'taking over the school," one teen warned before she was killed, by Michael Miller, March 9, 2018]
Starting in 2013, thousands of unaccompanied minors — most from Central America — began entering the United States illegally from Mexico each month, many turning themselves in to authorities. More than 200,000 have been detained, screened and then placed with relatives by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. Nearly 5,000 have been sent to Suffolk County.
Schools are required by law to enroll and educate these students. At Brentwood High, the student population soared to 4,500, making it one of the largest high schools in the state.The story chronicles the gruesome murders of Kayla Cuevas and Nisa Mickens, beaten to death with baseball bats by MS-13. School administrators had done nothing despite repeated warnings about MS-13. After all, it's far more damaging to your career to be accused of racism than to let American children under your care be murdered on the streets. Indeed, this article chronicling nationwide violence at the hands of MS-13 comes only a few days after The New York Times scoffed President Trump was "inflating" the threat. Joy Reid contemptuously tells us only "Fox News viewers" even know what MS-13 is [MSNBC star Joy Reid downplays MS-13, says only Fox News viewers have heard of dangerous gang, by Brian Flood, Fox News, January 31, 2018]