Mom demands consequences for son’s death
Cyril Josh Barker | 7/3/2019, 12:23 p.m.
Reports indicate that during their defense, Cedeno’s lawyers are accusing McCree of being homophobic and saying that he harassed Cedeno because he has an “effeminate gentle soul” who was trying to stay away from the school’s alleged gang culture.
“My two best friends are gay and my son would refer to them as his ‘gay parents,’” Dennis said. “He had men gay friends and female gay friends. At the end of the day if he was homophobic, he wouldn’t like any gays. It doesn’t matter if they are male or female. I have gay family members and when I say gay I mean men. My son didn’t care about that. My daughter’s Godmother’s nephew is gay and he and Matthew were very close.”
As far as being a bully, Dennis said her son was more of a protector. Being a victim of bullying herself, Dennis said that she instilled into all of her children that bullying anyone was
“When I had them I was strict on that. I told them, ‘If I ever find out you guys are bullying anyone I will kick y’all’s a--.’ No bullying. Period,” she said. “I’m against bullying because I experienced it so I know what it feels like.”
Along with bullying, Dennis said she instilled into her children that being in gangs wasn’t tolerated either. A proactive and involved parent, Dennis said she would go to the school if she received any reports of her children behaving badly and warned them about disrespecting teachers.
“We have no gang members in my family. Not saying my family is perfect, but we don’t do that. Where I come from we don’t do those things. I always taught my children don’t be a follower, you be a leader.”
Dennis’ attorney Sanford Rubenstein said she’s filed a civil suit against the department of education for their lack of handling the situation and school safety that resulted in her son’s killing and violating the state’s Dignity for All Students Act. The now closed-Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation didn’t have metal detectors and lacked supervision. Dennis also filed a wrongful death suit against Cedeno.
“[Cedeno] didn’t belong in my 15-year-old’s class. He would have been turning 19 in my 15-year-old’s class. If he kept getting left back, send him to alternative school or a GED program. He should have been out of the school. Not having metal detectors in the school knowing the school has a history of people
Aside from the justice she wants for her son, Dennis told the AmNews that she wants her son’s good name restored and for the world to know that he wasn’t a violent, homophobic gang member as he’s being portrayed as.
“My son was not a bully. My son doesn’t hate gay people. My son was very loving, affectionate and he loved to the fullest. He was just an amazing kid. Everyone he came in contact with, loved him. He’d leave a mark. Not a bad one, but a good one,” Dennis said.