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Bullies Ain't Kool

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Kid bullied to leave school because he wasn't 'black enough'

The Ryan Rodriguez Story

ANSONIA -- The student stabbed Ryan in the back with a mechanical pencil and walked away. There was no explanation, no words exchanged at all. But Ryan knew why it happened. Scared to tell the teacher, all Ryan could do was to go to the bathroom to wash off the blood.

It was all because of the color of his skin, his mom, Gail Rodriguez said. He was often the only light-skinned student in his classes, which were predominantly black. Ryan, who is half white and half Puerto Rican, was called names like "stupid white cracker."

Minority students around the region told Hearst Connecticut Newspapers they have been called n-----, or terrorist, or told to go back to the other side of the border.

A 2011 U.S. Department of Justice survey shows that 54 percent of Asian-American teenagers, 38.4 percent of black students and 34.3 percent of Hispanics reported being bullied in the classroom. The survey found that 31.3 percent of white students reported being bullied.

For minorities, the bullying can often center around their race, said Michelle Pincince, who directs school programs on bullying for the Connecticut Anti-Defamation League.