PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — 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.
“I turned around and just went, ‘Oh my God.’ I called him and said, ‘Hurry up, get out here and look at this,'” Margaux Messina, Joey’s mom, said.
#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
“He walked outside and saw that, he came right in, said, ‘Dad, I am scared now,'” said Joey’s dad, Joe Messina.
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.
“They let them run that school. It’s a shame to say, they really do,” Margaux Messina said. “They don’t care about the gangs in there, they deny that when there really is.” full story