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Family of slain New Rochelle teen calls on district to do more to protect students

Valaree Schwab's aunt says her niece filed complaints to the school about bullies before she was stabbed to death

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NEW ROCHELLE — Heightened security is still in place at New Rochelle High School after three violent incidents involving students rocked the community. But the family of Valaree Schwab, the teen who was allegedly murdered by her classmate at a Dunkin’ Donuts, believes it's not enough.

Schwab’s aunt, Monica Furrelle, is calling on the school district to do more to address bullying by identifying and working with students who have disciplinary issues.

Furrelle says her niece was bullied at school and had made written complaints to school officials. She believes she may have been a target because of her piercings and black makeup.

On Jan. 10, police say five to six teens got into a series of fights with Schwab down North Avenue beginning at the McDonalds. Then, surveillance video obtained by FiOS1 News shows Schwab and her friend inside a Subway while a group of teens waited outside. Furrelle believes Valaree hid there in fear of the group. A Subway manager said he didn't let the group into the store, but after about 30 minutes, Schwab and her friend left. Then, police say 16-year-old Z'inah Brown stabbed Schwab with a steak knife, once in the heart and once in the lung.

Brown is being charged as an adult with murder. A date has not been set for Brown to go before a grand jury.

As for the other teens involved, Furelle doesn't believe the school district suspended them until pressure came from parents last week.

School officials say a number of programs are in place to help prevent bullying in their schools and there will soon be a new app where students and parents can report bullying or other incidents anonymously.

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