Bullying Went Too Far

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #142If you watch network news or you’re on Facebook, you probably saw the piece this week where a middle school boy’s mother recorded him talking about how being bullied makes him feel.

After the story aired the focus shifted from the bullied boy to his mother’s social media posts.

In the research I’m sharing in this post, the same thing occurred. It makes me wonder why people shift the focus—to one-up the story?

BLOG POST #142: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving two 13-year-old girls.

Tell Your Parents

The social media cyberbullying began with name calling. The anonymous online bully told the 13-year old girl she was ugly and dumb. Then the young girl did the right thing; she told her parents.

It serves no purpose to pass judgment as to why the parents didn’t have their daughter take a break from social media; they didn’t. The parents had access to their daughter’s accounts and monitored the bullying.

Bully At Large

The bully taunted the young teen and used events such as the death of her grandfather and uncle by saying everybody that she loved was dying and she was going to be next.

Bullying Turned Into Stalking

Photos of the girl were taken from the vantage point of looking through windows at her home and then posted on social media with an added threat that the bully knew everything the girl was doing.

Schools Don’t Know What To Do

After her mother spoke with the school, she felt there wasn’t enough being done to protect her daughter, so she pulled her from the school and then went to the media.

The school district released a statement after the television stories aired, assuring parents that the district has policies in place to “ensure that students receive their education in an environment free from bullying.”

I’m pretty sure all school districts have such policies. Whether or not they follow through is what matters.

Somebody Make It Stop

Afraid to go outside, the girl became a prisoner in her home.

Friends created a Facebook campaign to show support using the hashtag “#[her name]sarmy.” The bully/stalker countered with a campaign using the hashtag “#[her name]haters.”

Her parents sought help from the local law enforcement who in turn asked for assistance from the Cyber Crimes Unit of the Attorney General’s Office.

At one point the bully tried to rally the girl’s friends to join in by messaging them with comments like, “Please help me. We can end her together. It will be easy. Just get her {expletive} alone.”

Her mother shared screen shots from social media showing comments which read, “I will not stop until all of her friends hate her. Or she dies.” And, “Just die already. Wait until I get your number honey. Then I’ll get you. I will come. All in good time.”

The school district said they were ready to take appropriate action if this turned out to be bullying from students.

The End Is Near

After enduring eight months of cyberbullying from an unknown person, the Cyber Crimes Unit finally traced the IP address, and local law enforcement arrested a 13-year-old girl on charges of making false accusations and tampering with evidence.

In the state where the crimes occurred, cyberbullying usually falls under stalking, a third-degree felony.

Because the case involves a juvenile the rest of the story remains protected. I wish I had more for you. It’s a true story cliffhanger.

My ‘Take Away’ in this case: Clearly, the bully had too much unsupervised time to use social media. This child didn’t use a service where the post disappeared after being read. Her parents could have seen what she was posting had they watched her, but she was quite savvy and utilized at least six different profiles to deliver her cruel messages.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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This Teacher’s Actions Sent Her To Prison

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 Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

You’ll find nepotism in almost any business, most notably in the U.S. White House. School districts are no different. Relatives help relatives become gainfully employed.

I once managed the student services side of a school transportation department while my husband managed the vehicle maintenance side.

BLOG POST #141: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a female teacher and coach.

Nepotism

The husband and wife both worked at the school, a small co-ed PreK through 12th-grade private Christian school with approximately 250 students. In fact, the wife’s mother also taught at the school. There will be more on the husband at the end of the post.

Bad Teacher

At the time of her arrest the wife was teaching physical education, elementary school computer classes, was the head coach for girls’ basketball and volleyball.

Before she worked at the school, she attended the school as a student. When a student returns to a school as a teacher, you’d expect a higher level of respect for their Alma mater. She’d only worked there for a little more than one year when she began having sex with a male student.

It was noted that none of the crimes occurred on school grounds. The sexual relationship with the student lasted 18 months.

Felonious Behavior

She was arrested and charged with 11 counts of engaging in a sex act with a student under the age of 19.

Having been charged with a Class B felony, the former teacher was faced with the possibility of a 20-year prison sentence—she accepted a plea agreement.

Hail Mary

Before entering a guilty plea, her attorney attempted to get the action postponed based on a court’s recent finding that the state’s teacher-student sex law was unconstitutional as it was applied in two other cases.

The court did not find the same was true in this case. So she pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

From The Classroom To The Prison Cell

She’ll only be required to serve three years and upon release receive probation for five years. Also under the plea agreement, she must follow the state’s sex offender laws and cannot have any contact with the victim.

Consequences for teachers who engage in sex with students (minors) vary widely between states. Read the post The Kind Of Teacher You Don’t Want Teaching Your Son, to see the length of sentence that female teacher received.

Worth Mentioning: The husband of seven years was arrested the day after his wife. He was also charged with a sex act with a (female) student under the age of 19. His case will be the subject of a future post as it’s still working its way through the court system.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what Mac MacKenna is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

MAC is FREE when you join the School News Reader Club

The Tormented Turned Killer

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Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

School violence is so sad and can have a lasting impact on all involved. My heart aches for anyone who has lost a loved one or friend to school violence.

BLOG POST #140: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving two high school boys.

Not My Son

According to one family, their 15-year-old son had been bullied, and they told him to stand up for himself. The other family said their 16-year-old son and only child was not a bully. A female student told her father she witnessed the 15-year-old boy constantly being picked on by the 16-year-old.

It was December, between 12 and 20 students in grades kindergarten through high school were on the school bus headed for school.

Premeditated

There was an argument between the two boys. Something said made the 15-year-old snap. He reached over the bus seat and used a kitchen knife to fatally stab the 16-year-old he felt was bullying him. He had obviously planned to use the knife in some manner or for protection.

And then the 15-year-old jumped out the bus’ emergency door and fled the area.

Deputies found the 15-year-old about four hours later hiding near a pond three miles from where the stabbing had occurred. The boy cooperated and showed the deputies where he’d thrown the knife in some weeds.

Adult Court: Youthful Offender

The boy was initially ordered to stand trial as an adult, but the [state] Court of Criminal Appeals overturned the ruling and said he should be prosecuted as a youthful offender.

He pleaded no contest to killing the classmate and was assigned to a facility where he’d be required to complete a five-step rehabilitation program.

Good Behavior

The [state] Office of Juvenile Affairs was required to relinquish supervision of the youthful offender by his 20th birthday unless he was bridged into an adult prison. After almost five years of incarceration, he was released the day before he turned 20.

Worth Mentioning: While in custody he was charged with two counts of assault and battery for allegedly stabbing another inmate with a pencil and assaulting and threatening to stab and kill a staff member. All charges were later dismissed.

My ‘Take Away’ in this case: It’s heartbreaking to see the hurtful ways young people deal with bullies. Somehow, someway, adults need to figure out how to stop bullying. I believe the shift has to start at the top—school officials, parents, local authorities, etc.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to Amazon

Find out what Mac MacKenna  is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

MAC is FREE when you join the School News Reader Club

Fear Of Missing Out

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

I hope all who celebrated Thanksgiving this week had a wonderful holiday.

My husband and I always go to his mother’s for a fabulous feast. Spending time with my family makes my heart happy.

Thanksgiving to me is a time to reflect on the good things happening in my life. Thank you from my grateful heart for reading my research each week and for caring about children.

I’m the first to acknowledge my weekly news is dark. Focusing on the important topic of crimes happening at schools, in my opinion, is sad but necessary.

Just like the #MeToo movement which is a sensitive subject so are crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Neither of these offenses affects everyone but everyone should care and want to see fewer occurrences.

BLOG POST #139: This week, I’m sharing positive news about a program to limit social media usage for young children.

Need To Know Now

Almost everyone has heard of ‘FOMO.’ The fear of missing out on something, it could be news, gossip, events, etc.

In today’s world where information is readily accessible and updates every nanosecond, our attention span is getting shorter, and our desire to be ‘in the know’ is getting greater.

Everyone Is Doing It

Can kids voluntarily stay off social media until mature enough to handle it? Close to impossible when their friends are all on social media.

Have you ever restricted your child from using social media and then found out they’ve been sneakily using their devices during the night to access social media?

You may think ‘not my child’ or ‘never happening in my home.’ I have a friend who took her son’s device away, plugged in to charge next to her bed. As she rose to use the restroom in the middle of the night she stepped on the child slyly playing on the device. #TrueStory

The Pledge

I recently read about a Social Media Pledge, and I’m hopeful it’ll catch on. Students sign a pledge to stay off social media until 8th grade when they’re better prepared to handle a sometimes violent and often bullying world.

An attorney/mom was inspired to present the pledge concept after hearing a detective speak about the emotional and physical dangers children face on social media.

Parents can see success with a Social Media Pledge when they band together.

Power In Numbers

One parent telling their child they can’t use social media when all the friends are using it is a tough position to hold. The pledge concept forms an alliance between parents in a community who agree to enforce the pledge. When none of the friends are on social media, the restriction is no longer an issue for dispute.

I see the SM Pledge as success on two fronts. It keeps younger children off social media, and it opens a dialogue between parents and children about the potentially harmful or hurtful content on social media.

Check it out: Social Media Pledge

What do you think about the Social Media Pledge? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to AmazonFind out what Mac MacKenna  is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

MAC is FREE when you join the School News Reader Club

The Downfall Of A Greedy Chief Executive Officer

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

Posts about real school tragedy, crime and/or events can be upsetting.

Greetings from Northern California,

Sadly, there was another senseless shooting this week, in a small Northern California community about three hours from where I live.

When shots were heard the school staff reacted quickly and placed the school into lock down seconds before the shooter arrived at the school. A local law enforcement spokesperson said to reporters, he believed the fast-acting staff saved lives.

As horrific as this type of event is for all who were touched by the tragedy, it also triggers memories for many others who were connected to other school crime events. My heart hurts for all who have suffered from this cruel act.

BLOG POST #138: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a school district’s Chief Executive Officer.

Building a Legacy

Before becoming the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the nation’s third-largest, financially strapped, metropolitan school district, she began her career in public education as a school teacher. She went on to become a prominent figure in urban education and served as the head of another large metropolitan school district as the chief academic and accountability officer.

To say she was highly respected would be an understatement.

She stepped out of public education briefly to work as a consultant with a firm that offered professional development training for school administrators, consulting services and school diagnostic review and turnaround programs.

Money Talks

While working as the CEO for the large metropolitan school district, she orchestrated the approval of no-bid contracts worth more than $23 million for services with her prior employer where she had worked as a consultant in exchange for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bribes and kickbacks.

Adding Fraud to the Resume

By agreement, she pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and assisted in the case against the consulting firm. The judge sentenced her to a 54-month prison sentence, fined her $15,000 and ordered that she and her co-defendants jointly share in a $254,000 restitution payment to the school district.

At the time of this posting, she’s currently serving time in a minimum security prison. Her scheduled release date is in 2021; she’ll be 72.

My ‘Take Away’ in this case: Her annual salary was more than $250,000 at the time of her arrest. I can’t fathom circumstances so dire you see no other option but to steal large sums of money from your employer. Nor can I understand someone who is so arrogant they think they can steal large sums of money from their employer AND get away with it.

What do you think about this case? Join the conversation on the website. We talk about the sensitive subject of crimes occurring at or connected to schools. Your relevant comments are always welcome on the Research Blog.

Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Link to AmazonFind out what Mac MacKenna  is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

MAC is FREE when you join the School News Reader Club