No Love Loss For Cyberbullies

I promised last week that I was doing some research into Cyberbullying after Melissa McCarthy made the comment that “Cyberbullies needed someone to show them some love”.  I disagreed with this comment when it was made, but after just a very little research, I completely disagree with it.

Cyberbullying:  the use of electronic communication to bully a person,                                                               typically by sending messages of an intimidating                                                                           or threatening nature.

I would be the first one to say everyone needs love and someone to make them happy, but cyberbullies are not looking for that when they go seeking their victims.  Cyberbullies are looking for the weakest of the weak.  For that reason alone, I don’t think it would matter if there was someone to show them love, they wouldn’t feel the love that is shown.  As for being happy, I don’t think they are happy and they don’t want anyone else to be happy either.

I might need to say here, Melissa McCarthy is a very educated woman.  She is educated in Fashion, film, and Production.  She is not a Psychiatrist, counselor, or doctor (and she would probably say “thank god” if she read this).  I am not a very educated person in those either, however, when I want to know answers, I research as I have this subject.  I am always asking questions.  I always want to know more than what I already know.  For example, this will not be the last blog about Cyberbullying.  I think it may be a series because there are so many tributaries to it and I want to be sure I explore all of them.  I have a meeting scheduled with the Douglas County Coroner about the suicides associated with cyberbullying.  McCarthy has me rawle’d and I am ready to explore this to the fullest.

I’m not upset because she may convince these people to give cyberbullies love, I am worried there might be more victims in the process of people trying to give these bullies love and happiness.  This type of bully isn’t what I dealt with when I was in school.   When I say they are looking for the weakest link, they truly are looking for the weakest of the weak.  They don’t want to mess with someone like me because I can care less what people say or think; they want to mess with people that are already dealing with depression on some level or have a low self-esteem.  If the person has both, even the better, they can drive that person to commit suicide.  So, here you will have these people that know what it is to feel bad and want to try to cheer someone else up and the end results could be devastating.

Now, I’m going to tell you what the crazy part of this whole argument is … I am upset about something that obviously won’t ever happen.  That’s right folks, there is no worries or fear at all that someone might try to show ANY cyberbully or electronic troll some love.

Internet Troll In internet slang, a troll is a person who sows discord on                                                            the internet by starting quarrels or upsetting people, by                                                              posting inflammatory, extraneous, or off-topic messages in                                                        an online community (such as a newsgroup, forum, chat                                                            room, or blog) with the intent of provoking readers into                                                              an emotional response or of otherwise disrupting normal,                                                          on-topic discussion, often for the troll’s amusement.

Want to know why?  Because more and more the law is catching on to these cyberbullies and they are making laws against what they do.  A couple more upcoming appointment I have is with the Douglas County Georgia District Attorney and an Investigator with the Douglas County Georgia Sheriff’s Office.  They are going to share with me the various ways in which they hunt down cyberbullies (because of the anonymity attached to them) and the various crimes in which they are arrested for.  The problem with cyberbullies is that they are anonymous.  They want to be anonymous because they can say anything they want to say in the privacy of their own space and no one can find them, see them, or point them out.  So, for them to come out and tell you that they are a cyberbully and that they need your love and happiness is probably never going to happen … and if it did, I would watch out, that is probably another one of their tricks.

I could sit here and go on and on and on about all that I have learned this week, but I am going to cut it off at this point.  Next week I am going to bring another aspect of cyberbullying to you; but I am going to leave out any further reference to what Melissa McCarthy said because as I pointed out, being able to point out a cyberbully is nearly impossible.  To walk up and show a cyberbully or internet troll love is also impossible; not only because of the anonymity, but because of the psychosis they have going on.  They can’t feel anything: for or against someone or something.  They have no sympathy or apathy.  So, I will be dropping my McCarthy attack from this blog forward.

Again, thank you for taking the time to read this.  I can’t wait to talk to you more next week.

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Coming Up Next

I wanted to let my readers know, I haven’t forgotten about you this week.  I promised I would write something every week, I am trying to hold to that regardless of how much pressure I am under at the moment.  However, today’s entry isn’t really an entry yet.

I am writing to let you know that I am working on something that caught my fancy a couple days ago.  Melissa McCarthy, the comedian and actress, says that cyberbullies just need someone to love them.  As usual, this one little comment got my thoughts to spinning.  Is it possible that that is all a cyberbully wants and needs, is “someone to make them happy and let them know they are loved”.

Well, I will tell ya, I haven’t done much research into it at all so far and as much as I love McCarthy, I am going to have to disagree with her on this one.  I can’t wait to share this with you in the next couple days.

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To Facebook … or Not to Facebook?: that is the question

Have you noticed all the precautions on Facebook lately?  Ughhh, they are literally driving me crazy.  I have been using Facebook for about 12 years now.  When I first signed up, I signed up as a regular, everyday citizen that wanted to keep in touch with my family and friends.  Today, I am signed up as an aspiring author and I share my crime opinions with my audience and I share my blog like this one with my family and friends.  They have been some joyful years.  I have cried with my friends during the worst parts of their lives; and they have cheered me on through some tough years of my own.   Today, I talk to people that I haven’t always gotten along with in my past.  As a matter of fact, if you ask them, they would agree that we didn’t play well in the sandbox together.  I think it is awesome that we have such an app that we can overcome our past and bring our lives full circle and make friends with people that ordinarily, we wouldn’t have given a 2nd thought to.

Well, I want those people to know, (and you know who you are), I now consider you an important part of my life.  Thank you for being a part of my life and my Facebook.

Back to what I was saying.  It aggravates me that the government is giving Mark Zuckerburg such a hard time.  When I signed up for Facebook 12 years ago, (keep in mind, I can’t remember yesterday, much less a document from 12 years ago), I can assure you, I never read the Privacy Policy.  I know this because I rarely, if ever read the privacy policy of any app that I use.  No, that probably isn’t the wisest thing I have ever done, (checking the little box stating I read and understand the privacy police on all apps without reading it), but I am sure if you ask Donald Trump if he read it, he would tell you an emphatic “NO” he didn’t read it either.  According to Michael Wolfe’s book, Fire and Fury: The Trump White House, Trump can’t read, so I know for a fact he didn’t read it if what Wolfe says is true, (I know, that was probably cheating … ok, it might have been a low blow also).  But, do you see my point.  No one reads those policies; and even if they did, could you honestly say you understood it?  NO, you couldn’t because there is so much legal jargon in there, no one can understand it except an attorney.

Every day I hear people saying they are dumping Facebook because they don’t like the privacy policies and how their info is distributed.  Really?  Have you gone freakin’ mad?  If your info is distributed, I can assure you, it has nothing to do with the privacy policies of Facebook.  It might be because you put your phone number on Facebook for all to see.  It might also be because you tell some of the most personal and private things about yourself on Facebook.  You would be amazed how easy it is for someone to follow someone’s posts on Facebook and know everything about that person.  It isn’t Facebook spreading our info.  It is us spreading our info.  I spend several hours a week “creeping” on other peoples Facebook that don’t even have me as a friend.  Then you also have the trolls out there that are only out there to fish.

CREEPING:  Following what is going on in someone’s life by watching their status messages on Instant Messengers such as MSN, and their updates to their social networking profiles on websites like Facebook or MySpace. Akin to stalking in the real world, but usually done to people who are your friends that would normally share this information with you, however you’re just too busy to keep up conversation with them.

 

TROLLING:  (verb), as it relates to internet, is the deliberate act, (by a Troll – noun or adjective), of making random unsolicited and/or controversial comments on various internet forums with the intent to provoke an emotional knee jerk reaction from unsuspecting readers to engage in a fight or argument
Trolling on-line forums as described above is actually analogous to the fishingtechnique of “trolling”, where colorful baits and lures are pulled behind a slow moving boat, often with multiple fishing lines, covering a large bodies of water, such as a large lake or the ocean. The trolling lures attract unsuspecting fish, intriguing them with the way they move through the water, thus enticing these foolish fish to “take the bait”. Not unlike unsuspecting internet victims, once hooked, the fish are reeled in for the catch before they realize they have been duped by the Troll/Fisherman

Leave Zuckerburg alone.  We are failures of our own domain.  He had nothing to do with it.  All he done was gave us a device in which it makes it easier to for us to lose control.  Now that you lost control … or rather, someone made you think you lost control, you are going to blame the app that you have enjoyed all these years?  What does that say about you?

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How Many Times Can We Fail Our School System?

On Valentine’s Day, Nikolas Cruz went into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and killed 17 and wounded 14 with an AK-15 Rifle.  I have listen to so many reports and the one thread that seems to weave in out of all the stories is FAILURE.  This department failed for this reason and that department failed for that reason.  Is there any reason for failure when it comes to our kids?  If we as parents had failed as many times as these agencies did, someone would be in jail.  If anything could have went wrong in this school shooting, it did; and the one that should have had the failure, was the successful one. Here is a timeline of all the failures, all the way up to the moment of the shooting.

In 2016 – Someone calls the Family and Children Services and reports that Cruz is on social media cutting himself and making threats to kill.  They do their due diligence (or one would think they did), they come out and investigate … and they declare that “he is not a threat to himself or others”.

My first question about their investigation would be, did they even look at the social media pages the reporter referred to?  In that social media post, was he in fact cutting himself?  Did you see blood?  I personally have looked for such a post, but let’s face it, there are a whole lot of post about Nikolas Cruz after his escapade inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.  But I am sure, the reporter not only reported that he was on social media, I am sure they gave the exact website that he could be found.  They probably even sent pictures of what they have seen and witnessed.  If the Family and Children Services seen the video of him cutting himself, why would they not think that he was a threat to harm himself?  Grant it, most cutters only harm themselves, but nonetheless, they declared he wasn’t a harm to himself and this was obviously not true.

In November – Police are called to Nikolas Cruz’s first host’s house because the rule of the house is there is to be no guns in the house and they have reason to believe that there is one hidden in the back yard (could this very well be how he brought the gun to Marjory Stoneman?).  The caller also reports that Cruz has a violent and explosive behavior.  I understand that his mother had just died, but this caller went on to say that this was the type of behavior that his widowed mother had to put up with from him when she was alive.  The police said that they wrote it up as an “Unsubstantiated domestic”.  Really?  In the past 7 years, the police have been called to Cruz’s place of living 39 times and you mean to tell me no one thought this guy was a threat of any sort?  Did the police even look around the back yard to see if there was a gun?  Did they talk to Cruz to find out why someone would say such a thing about him?  How did Cruz act when talking to the officers?  Did the officers even run his name to find out if there had ever been other reports about him?

January 5th, 2018 – the FBI is warned that Nikolas Cruz has threaten to become a “professional school shooter”.  They are also informed about his erratic behaviors and disturbing social media presence.  Hmmm, now where have we heard this report before … oh, that’s right, back in 2016 to the Family and Children Services.  Well, the FBI now says, that they may have needed to look into those allegations a little more.  That’s right folks, they admit these claims were never investigated at all.  They didn’t call the local police and ask them to look into it.  They didn’t call the local FBI office and ask them if they would check it out.  They merely filed it in the “circular file” or whatever the trash can is called in the FBI’s office.   The social media presence that people keep reporting is talking about him being a “professional school shooter”.  How careless can these organizations get?  We are talking about the lives of our kids.  No wander the teens took it upon themselves to go to the Florida State Capital to march for more gun control.  It appears that no one in their county was taking their lives serious and if they didn’t speak for themselves, it was very clear no one else would either.  They were clearly sitting ducks.

Then we have the UBER driver.   UBER is working with the police in their investigation.  Well, I should hope so.  We are talking about a boy that had a strong social media presence, in where he bragged about wanting to become a “professional school shooter”; and this driver wants me to believe Cruz never mentioned why he was going to the school?   Am I subjective, yes, I am.  These poor students have been let down by every police organization known to Florida and now this driver wants me to believe, that he didn’t hear anything, or see anything from this rider to indicate why he was going to the school (if this is true, I now know how so many drivers get robbed and killed)?

This is the kicker, one would think that the police are aware of the cameras that are in a school system.  One would assume that they can tell us what viewpoints the school system has; if the time and date on the system is correct; and what areas of the school are not on camera at any given point and time.  Apparently, that isn’t true of this police department and school system.  The police thought they were looking at the school shooter in “real time” on the cameras and all the commands were going out as if they are in “real time”; they weren’t.  There was a 20 minute delay from the time the event happens in real life to when it is viewed on camera.  So, when they thought they were following the suspect through the school, he was actually long gone.  Now the police want us to believe that this had no affect on their orders or anything that they could have done to protect these students … I tend to disagree in that opinion.  How are you going to tell me, that while viewing the suspect 20 minutes after he has left the building, and you think he is still in the building on the 3rd floor, that it didn’t affect how you gave out orders to the approaching officers?

This wasn’t Columbine people.  The one aspect that made Columbine the worst school massacre was the fact that they had no way to prepare for it.  No one had ever gone into a school and started killing everyone they seen.  As a matter of fact, at the time, society wanted to blame Eric Harris’s and Dylan Klebold’s parents for them shooting up the school.  Today, I don’t think society blames the parents as much as they blame the shooter themselves.  Columbine had never practiced a shooter entering the school.  They had never heard news reports of what to do if someone entered their school with intents on harming them.  They were our learning curve.  They are who taught the nation as a whole, what not to do and what to do when faced with a shooter.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school had practiced what to do in the event of a shooter.  What else could they have done to prevent this massacre?  When I see the parents on the news crying and screaming out in anger, I get it.  This school system and the governing agencies surrounding them, failed them on many levels.  What more could the students and parents do?  Their fears of this happening again are founded.  No one seems to care about the children in Florida.  I know, because I use to live there and I seen the how the children were overlooked in Florida.  I think Florida needs a major overhaul on all their governing agencies.  I think someone needs to start at the very top and just work all the way down to the lowest on the pole and fire everyone.  If I was the voters in Florida, I would make sure no one on the next ballot gets re-elected because there is not one person in position down there doing their job.

It is a shame to think this can happen in America today.

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NEWTOWN SHOOTING vs PARKLAND SHOOTING: Adam Lanza vs Nikolas Cruz

I don’t like to compare tragedies like these because I feel every experience deserves its own coverage without all the fluff of other stories.  However, I would like to talk about mental illness for a moment.  It always amazes me how mental illness is treated and how the sick respond to that treatment.

Nikolas Cruz went into a school in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday, February 14, 2018 and shot up a school that he used to attend.  He killed 17 and wounded 14 others.  He rode in an Uber to the school and went into the school; pulled the fire alarm so that the students would start rushing out into the hall; and started firing.  The Mayor of Broward County Florida said that Cruz was dealing with mental health issues, but he wouldn’t elaborate any further, except to say he received treatment and stopped.  The family he lived with was under the impression that the only issues he was dealing with was depression because he never showed any anger.  However, he had been in trouble at school on numerous occasions for fighting.

Adam Lanza went into a school where his mother worked in Newtown on December 14,2012 and killed 26 and wounded 2 (counting only students and staff … not counting his mother at home that he killed before leaving the house and his suicide after the shooting).  In the aftermath, they learned that Lanza suffered from Depression, Anxiety, Asperger’s syndrome, and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (all of which are controllable with proper medication).

The problem in the nation today is not gun control … it is how we deal with mental illness.  Trump, right out of the gate on this last shooting starting preaching (every speech he gives sounds more like preaching to me) that it wasn’t guns, it was mental illness.  To a point, he is right, but what has he done to help this situation?  Obama would also speak about mental illness in the midst of tragedies such as this … again, what did he do about it?  Please understand, I am not saying we need more background checks on mental illness to purchase guns … as a matter of fact, I am not even referring to gun control or any aspect of it.  My focus is on mental illness and that solitary aspect of one’s life.

We all must deal with mental illness today.  We have war vets coming home with PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder); we have family members and friends that are addicted to drugs and alcohol; and we have older loved ones being diagnosed with dementia.  It’s out there people and whether you admit you are dealing with it or not, you are … or you’re not, and in that case, you are one of the ones in the tragedies merely waiting for the next catastrophe.

Let me give you a small history lesson.  Mary Ann Todd Lincoln, wife to President Abraham Lincoln, suffered from a mental illness all her life that was diagnosed as a cerebral palsy after her death (but this was back between 1818-1882, medical knowledge wasn’t that advanced yet).  She was a very unpopular first lady; but I imagine that was because of the mental illness (which was really Cerebral Palsy) she suffered from.  People also probably shunned her because of her use of over the counter drugs that contained opioids and alcohol (which is a very common form of treating mental illness in the 19th century).  How quick people back then were to judge.

I have another one for you, what about Albert Einstein?  He was an absolutely genius … but everyone around him thought he was mental retarded.  He too was shunned (which is probably good, because he had plenty of time to come up with the theory of relativity and focus on philosophical science).

My point is this, they shunned Mary Ann Todd Lincoln in the 1800’s and they shunned Einstein in the early 1900’s.  Still today, in the 21st century, we are afraid to deal with people who are mentally ill.  It is almost like we are going to catch what is wrong with them if we get to close to them.  How we deal with them is so vitally important to the outcome.  Lincoln went on to marry a President.  Einstein went on to discover the Theory of Relativity.  What was the difference?  Could it be that they had more support than the mentally ill today?  Maybe the 18th and 19th Centuries weren’t “throw-a-way societies”, where everything and everyone is disposable.

Rosalyn Carter is the only First Lady that has every tried to get something done about mental illness while her husband, Jimmy Carter, was in office and beyond.  We need more people to stand up and change how we deal with them.  This is one part of the system that needs a major overhaul of reform.  We need more beds available.  We need the police to be willing to haul people to the hospital when a loved one calls the police and says, “Please take them to the hospital, they are sick, they need help”.  Instead, right now, if you call the police on a loved one that is acting “crazy”, most likely, that person will spend that night and possibly more in jail.  The police will charge them with unruly conduct or whatever; just to get them out of everyone’s way at that particular moment.  Why not take them to the hospital first and have a 10-13 done on them?  Why not find out what the problem is and search for a solution?  Because, that would take too long and no one has any time for that.

One thing I thought was interesting when comparing Newtown and Parkland, was how the shooter carried out his rampage.  Adam Lanza in Newtown started at home with his mother, the only person he lived with.  Nikolas Cruz started and finished at the school, and he saw everyone he lived with that day: his host Mom, host Dad, and host brother.  Lanza was in mental health treatment since he was a young child; whereas, Cruz only dabbled in mental health treatment.  Adam Lanza committed suicide after the attacks; whereas, Cruz was caught an hour later and confessed to the shootings.

Could it be, Lanza felt like his mother was judging him?  Were there things that she done or said to him that made him kill her first?  His mother worked at the school where the shooting took place, is it possible she showed more love and concern for those kids to Lanza, than her own son who needed her?  I’m not victim blaming, but I don’t think all crime is a crime of evil … sometimes, I think a person is pushed to their wits end and society as a whole must suffer the consequences.  Is it possible, that he wanted to save her from all the heartache of what he was about to do?  Unfortunately, we will never know, but there might be things we can carry away from this.

Nikolas Cruz went straight to the school to start shooting people.  Witnesses say that he kept asking people where his host brother was or had anyone seen him.  The law community believes that it was because he wanted to make sure he didn’t get caught up in the cross fire.  That is how much Cruz cared about the people that took him in when no one else could handle him.  What did they do differently?  Was it the fact that he felt accepted for who he was when he was at home?  He didn’t feel judged and was given free reign to feel the way he was feeling at any given time.  There has to be a difference here and I have to believe that that difference is what will prevent future catastrophes from happening.  Cruz stayed in trouble at school.  He was getting into fights and getting suspended and expelled.  The student body thought he was a “odd”.  In a lot of the news reports, you can see where someone in this environment might have felt judged … almost bullied.

Have we became a society that doesn’t have any time for anyone else? We don’t care how you are feeling today … “speak your business and please move politely to the left or right out of my way.”   How many more mass shootings, school shootings, will we have if this kind of attitude keeps up?  The song group 4HIM sings a song called, Back to The Basics Of Life.  In that song, they talk about getting back to God and getting closer to HIM.  Personally, I am agnostic, but I can see the message they have.  Years ago people didn’t fire guns unless they felt threatened or harmed.  Today, we live in a society where the only one we are concerned about is ourselves.  No one in life matters any more.  We have mothers walking through grocery stores with earphones in, music blasting, and a kid pulling on their pant leg trying to get their attention.  We have teens, and adults in some cases, that need someone to be there for them, and when they look around, there is no one there.  I am a tough person and I have said many times, I don’t need anyone … but what if one day I did.  Oh, I have plenty of people around me that would in a heartbeat be there for me … I really don’t know what I would be capable of doing if I felt all alone … and then judged for how I was feeling.  If you are honest with yourself, you too know what I am talking about.

It is all in how we make the mentally ill feel that could be all the difference.  For the ones that truly need help, we need to get them a hospital where they and people around them can be safe.  There are not enough beds for the mentally ill today … no funding to put them in those beds … and the ones that are available, are to expensive (let’s face it, not a lot of mentally ill people are able to work … why, because they feel judged … thus the phrase, “going postal”).  So, you sit there on your social media, on your phone to your congressmen and senators, and you just yell it from the roof tops if you want to that these guns are killing people … in the meantime, I will be sitting here on my social media, on my phone with my congressmen and senators, and yelling it from the roof tops we need reform.  Let’s see who gets what done first.  Most likely, to pacify your request they will make another small minute change to the gun control and within a very short few months, another catastrophe is bound to happen.  Why?  Because we will still have people treating people the wrong way and people feeling cornered with no where else to turn.  Whereas, if they were to pacify me and my rantings, we might squelch one attempt at a mass shooting by nipping it in the bud.

Thank you for taking the time to read this blog.  It has taken me longer to write this one than anything I have written so far, but then again, I feel very compassionate about this subject.

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Teen Legal Trouble

My son is 21-years-old, but when he was 14-years-old he got into some trouble with 3 other boys.  Yesterday, we went to the Douglas County Juvenile Court to get his record sealed because today he is trying to become a EMT and we don’t need anything from his youth to pop up on a background check.  While we were waiting, there were all these other boys coming in with their parents because of trouble they had gotten into.  Every time a new parent came in I wanted to reach out to them and let them know this didn’t have to be the beginning of a life filled with trouble.

Matt was actually a good kid growing up.  Starting at the age of 9-years-old until the age of 11-years-old, he had 9 brain surgeries.  Due to all the surgeries and pain he was in, he developed an addiction to pain killers.  By the time he was 16-years-old, he had kicked his addiction, basically quit high school and went to work.  Overall, he might sound like a problem child, but he wasn’t.  His demeanor was very laid back and he never questioned why he had to go through all the things he had to go through.  He did hang-out with some bad influences, but who doesn’t.  Eventually, he saw those influences for what they were … weights to his goals.  The point is, he turned all that around.  In 2016 he went to night school and got his GED while working a full-time job installing windows.  Then last August, he started West Georgia Technical College in their EMT program.  Today, he is about half way through and he has a grade point average of 4.0.

He isn’t the only one who has done this.  Look at Jose Bias.  He was a high school drop out also, but he got his GED and then went to Law school to become a Lawyer.  Today, he is hailed as one of the greatest lawyers for winning one of the biggest death penalty cases in the State of Florida for his Criminal Defense of Casey Anthony.

It can be done.  I was looking at these parents and teens in that court waiting room yesterday and the feeling was: “this is it”.  I wanted to stand up and start explaining to them, parents and teens, this don’t have to be it.  This is one mistake.  Sit up (because most of them were leaned over and had their shirt pulled over their heads sleeping while waiting for their name to be called), you hold your head high and when your name is called, you march in there and let that Judge know, “yes, you were young and you made a dumb mistake, but sentence me as you will because I am going to march back in here in 6 years and ask you to seal it from everyone because I am not going to let this mistake determine who I become”.

Often, we as parents don’t realize how important our job is.  Or we don’t understand how we handle problems is how our children will handle problems.  I never allowed either of my boys to think that a problem should determine what you do or who you become.  No matter how many problems popped up in my life while I was raising my boys, I always held a job and I always overcame whatever we faced.  These parents in this room seemed like they too had given up.  We can’t give up.  We must continue to fight for our child and push them to do what they need to do.  If school is dragging them down for one reason or another, then let them quit and get their GED and/or get a job.  Sometimes, it is the institutions of education that bring our children down and it is up to us to show them another route.  No, dropping out of high school isn’t one of the goals in life we have for our children … but if the school is hindering them from becoming something, then maybe we need to show our teens how to look outside the box.  Those boys in that room were giving up because their parents had given up.

Today, my oldest is 23-years-old and he is an Advanced EMT with a little family of his own.  My youngest is 21-years-old and he is in school to become a EMT (although he has his sights on Paramedic).  I couldn’t be prouder of either of them.  The troubles they got into as teens have been sealed away and they have nothing but the sky to reach.  We as parents are to show them how to do that.

 

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Justice … does Justice have a color … a age … a job title?  Martin Luther King once said, Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.  We have so often claimed that this kid or that kid “fell through the cracks” … the “cracks” of what?  The cracks of society?  The cracks in education?  The cracks in family?  By now, you probably have a pretty good idea where I am headed with this … or not.

On October 20, 2017, Jashaun Matthews and Jordan Wilson, both 15-years-old and a unnamed 13-year-old were 3 of the 5 people that beat a 56-year-old pizza delivery driver to the point that he was in a coma for 3 days and was in the hospital a little longer due to his injuries.   This took place on Baltimore Avenue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  Matthews and Wilson are both charged as adults and the 13-year-old went to Juvenile court.

pizza beater

On October 18, 2017, Kyle Anger 17-year-old, Alexander Miller and Trevor Gray both 15-years-old, Mark Sekelsky and Mikadyn Payne both 16-years-old were throwing rocks off an overpass in Genesee County Michigan when one of the rocks hit and killed a 32-year-old man that was in one of the passing vehicles.  They have been arrested and charged as adults for this act.  They are charged with 2nd degree murder and they were denied bond.

Rock throwing

I could go on and on with stories just like these.  Try Google searching:  Teen shoots another teen in blah blah town … it will pull up several listings of such.  My question is this … Do they know what they are doing is going to put them in prison for life?  By the way, it will never be the death penalty because teens can’t get the death penalty.  Another fact to keep in mind, a 13-year-old cannot be charged as an adult, they are sent to the juvenile courts while their friends that are only older by one year can be charged as adults and sent to prison for LIFE.

Something is wrong with our teens.  Either they truly are “falling between the cracks” or we as adults have given up on them entirely too soon.  If they have “fallen between the cracks” or we gave up on them too soon … have we taught them all they needed to know about the law before we cut the strings to the apron?  Do they realize that the crimes they are committing is going to put them in prison for LIFE?  Do they even understand what LIFE is?  My heart is breaking tonight for the teens that are literally facing LIFE in prison and they can’t even tell you how it feels to stay a month in their rooms with no friends … no phones … no game systems.

Please don’t mistaken my broken heart as victim blaming … and I am not trying to say that these victims don’t deserve justice … because they do.  That is just what I am saying … everyone deserves justice.  The 8th Amendment to the United States Constitution prohibits the federal government from imposing cruel and unusual punishment for federal crimes.  The Amendment states, “excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishment inflicted”.  Most of these teens have never had a job … as a matter of fact, most of them can’t get a job because companies can’t hire people under a certain age (I think in Georgia it is 15-years-old).  Any bail or fines that we impose on them is already above what they can afford.  Locking them up for lightyears … and that is what it feels like to them … is cruel and excessive.

I know not everyone agrees with me … dang, I wonder how much I actually agree with myself when thinking about all this.  We have let our teens down.  We gave them way too much responsibility way too soon and now they are in a lot of hot water for it.  Who is the one that we should be shaming … is it the school system for not holding their interest and giving them a reason to want to go to school?  Should be shaming the parents for being at their wits end and not knowing what to do or where to go to get help?  Should we blame the police for not being more kind to our kids when they lock them up?  Surely there is someone we can blame.  I don’t want to blame anyone.  I want to find a solution.  Has anyone ever thought if we do find a solution for this problem … we might also find a solution the jail overcrowding because most of the adults that are in prison started their crimes as teens.  I can’t help feeling that there is something that can be done.

One thing I do feel for sure is that we are punishing these teens with entirely too much.  Most of them never knew what it was to be punished at home and now the prison is doing more to them than they have ever had done.  I had to blog about this tonight because this has been keeping me up at night for the past couple of weeks.  I want to know what it is that we can do to stop this problem and help these teens.  Please join in a discussion and in the comments, let me know how you feel.  What do you think about this?  Have I got my heart in the wrong place?  Should I feel more sympathy for the victims than the suspects?  Let me know what you think.