Joe Holdenm, KYW-TV, February 21, 201
Joey Messina is soft-spoken.
A first honors student at Mastery Charter Thomas Campus, the 12-year-old loves baseball, but Joey can’t shake the troublemakers at school.
“They don’t like me, they never did,” he says.
Overnight, this seventh-grader’s schoolyard differences followed him home, spray-painted for all to see on his South Philadelphia home where he lives with his parents and two younger siblings.
The threatening racially-charged words cut deep.
Joey’s mom and dad say their son was targeted because of his race. The family is white.
They have police reports documenting a 6-on-1 school hallway attack that happened three weeks ago.
“And then they all started coming in and punching my back, I was covering my face,” the younger Messina said.
The Messinas accuse staff at Mastery Charter Thomas Campus of looking the other way.
Joey’s dad is at a loss in dealing with what has arrived at his doorstep.
The school added Joe Messina, the father, “is no longer allowed on campus because of a pattern of behavior.” They declined to provide further details.
#ONLYON3 – A 12-year-old, bullied at school, wakes up to this hateful graffiti across the front of his South Phila. home. Police have opened an investigation to determine if this is ethnic intimidation. At 6 on #CBS3 @CBSPhilly pic.twitter.com/e5r5C6ZKjh
— Joe Holden (@JoeHoldenCBS3) February 21, 2018