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Report Cites Key Failure By Assistant Principal In Abel Cedeno Stabbing Case

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) -- A new report recommends the firing of a Bronx assistant principal following a deadly school stabbing nearly two years ago.

The investigation cites a key failure to act by Assistant Principal Caridad Caro, who investigators say was alerted to a report by his mother that Abel Cedeno was bringing a knife to school, CBS2's Dick Brennan reported Thursday.

"She needs to be fired. The board of ed needs to starting making an example out of these people that keep covering up things," Louna Dennis said.

MORE: Read The Special Commissioner of Investigation's Report

Dennis was infuriated to learn about the failure to act by Caro, years before her son, Matthew McCree, was stabbed to death in school.

"This is craziness. This is crazy. I would have my son here now. I wouldn't be standing here had Caro done her job," Dennis said.

Louna Dennis
Louna Dennis, the mother of 15-year-old slain student Matthew McCree, speaks after a judge found 19-year-old Abel Cedeno guilty in the stabbing death of her son. (credit: CBS2)

Cedeno was just sentenced to 14 years in prison, after fatally stabbing 15-year-old McCree and wounding another in late September of 2017. The report from Special Commissioner of Investigation Anastasia Coleman said the assistant principal at the Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation, "failed to act on a report by [Cedeno's mother] that he had threatened family members with an knife and had brought the knife to school in his backpack."

"She decided to go into the student's backpack and do a search, rather than having the NYPD Student Safety conduct a search like that, which was the proper way, rather than telling the principal what had happened," Coleman said.

Since the assistant principal found nothing in the backpack, she reported nothing, not even in the department's online system. Cedeno, who is gay, had repeatedly complained that he had been bullied at the school, sometimes in front of Department of Education staff.

But the report found no evidence of it.

"We didn't find any corroboration that the student had reported any bullying to anybody at Wildlife, or any of the prior schools," Coleman said.

Now, McCree's family wants everyone at the Department of Education be held accountable.

"Our children's life is not a joke. They need to take our children's life seriously. They need to protect our children inside the board of ed system," Dennis said.

The families have filed civil suit against the DOE. The report recommends that the assistant principal be fired. Now, the decision will be made by the DOE.

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