A Plan To Murder Bullies

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #110Whether it’s a case of school violence or about bullying, the two crimes are often connected. When bullying goes unreported it becomes he said/she said and too often the victim becomes the criminal.

In my opinion, parents and grandparents should continuously talk about bullying with children and stress it’s okay to speak up, in fact, it’s imperative.

BLOG POST #110: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving two high school boys and their plan to kill.

Two boys, a 14 and a 15-year-old made a plan to kill faculty and students at their high school.

Loose Lips Foil Plans

Thankfully, kids talk. The two boys had to have said something to someone who took their intentions seriously and told the school administration. The school administration detained the two boys and searched their backpacks.

Found in the backpacks were detailed plans and evidence showing the two had conducted surveillance of specific staff members to know where they would be at the time of the event.

Vigilance Required In The Lunchroom

Both boys’ homes were searched. The boys had gathered fireworks, gunpowder, and fuses to make pipe bombs. They had planned to hide a duffel bag at the school filled with guns, ammo, bombs, gas masks, and chloride gas to be readily available. The attack was to take place during lunch time.

It was a plan of revenge for being bullied by staff members and classmates.

From my research, attacks are often planned to take place at lunch. It’s my assumption the targeted kids are expected to be together at that time. Whereas at any other time of the school day, the kids would be in classes.

Upon entering the lunch hall, the first victim would have been the resource officer (campus security). The principal was on the list as well. Knowing the school would go into lockdown mode, they planned to bring an ax to bust into locked classrooms.

Formative Years Lost

While being transported to the law enforcement center, the older boy told an officer he was glad they were stopped before anything happened.

Both teens pleaded no contest to the charge of conspiracy to commit capital murder. No contest in juvenile court is the same as guilty in adult court.

At the sentencing hearing, the principal asked for a “very severe penalty,” contending the teen’s actions “created fear, anxiety, and disruptions for thousands of students and staff.”

The judge sentenced both boys to serve three years and nine months in juvenile custody, followed by three years of aftercare.

If you found this case interesting, you’ll also want to read, Planned Attack at the Middle School, where a 12-year-old had a similar plan.

What do you think about this case? 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 the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT

an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon

Don’t Accept Candy From A Bully

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

 

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #107When researching cases, I often reflect on situations my adult children experienced when they were in school and what my grandchildren see nowadays. Sadly, they’ve all crossed paths with a bully.

When it comes to bullying, there are too many cases. Parents are in denial. Schools are overworked and underfunded. Law enforcement has bigger fish to fry.

I’m certain if I asked each of you reading this post to share a bully incident; you’d ALL have a story to tell.

Thank you for reading and for caring about children.

BLOG POST #107: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving two middle school bullies.

Students bullying students begins as early as kindergarten

Kids who bully, start school as bullies, they gain intensity and momentum as they progress through the grades.

We’ve all heard and understand the act of bullying is more about the bully than the victim. It’s about the bully’s low self-esteem, low self-worth, or it’s learned from their dysfunctional home life. That fact doesn’t make it any easier for the victim.

Some schools do bully awareness training for students. I’m all for it! I’ve seen role play training teach students how to respond to bullying. When a victim challenges a bully, the bully typically moves on to bully someone else. Training helps kids learn how to stand up to bullies.

Middle School Sports: Who’s Watching the Spectators?

The middle school girls’ basketball team was warming up for their game. Kids like to hang out after school with friends. A sporting event provides the perfect excuse to hang out.

On this day, at this middle school, one of the students hanging out had mental disabilities. His ‘friends’ knew he was an easy mark.

A Bully Offering A Gift Is Bad News

The two bullies wiped a urinal with a candy Push Pop. Then they gave it to the boy with disabilities and encouraged him to lick it, which he did. After he had licked the candy, they told him what they had done with it.

Security cameras recorded the incident. The bullies also punched and kicked the boy. All three boys were 14 at the time.

“I think what hurts me more than anything is they did it in front of 30 of his peers and that nobody felt the need to go and tell somebody,” said the victim’s mother.

Law enforcement filed misdemeanor charges of assault and violating the Safe Schools Act against the two bullies.

Safe School Act Full Text

The defense attorney said regarding her clients’ actions, “I would categorize this incident as an incident of youthful indiscretion…. I hate to use the phrase ‘kids will be kids,’ but I think that is what happened in this instance.”

With security video evidence, the boys admitted in court to the two charges.

Two Peas In A Pod

This incident happened in early spring. The school suspended both boys for the remainder of the school year.

The judge disagreed with the boys’ attorney. He said, “You’re supposed to be on your best behavior in school. So if this is an example of your best behavior, I wonder what your worst behavior is.”

Both boys received the same sentence. And both will be under court supervision in addition to:

  1. No contact with the victim.
  2. Serve 25 hours of community service helping people with special needs.
  3. Write apology letters to the victim and school.
  4. Participate and cooperate in counseling.
  5. Pay court costs of just over $100.00.

If either boy fails to comply or is in trouble with the law again, they will serve five days in a juvenile detention center.

What do you think about this case? 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 the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in UNKNOWN THREAT,

an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon

School Violence: How Do We Make It Stop?

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #106One of the saddest experiences I’ve had in life was to attend a candlelight vigil at my hometown elementary school after the beloved principal was gunned down in his office.

There seem to be a few commonalities between school shootings. Retaliation for bullying is high on the list. A gang war isn’t a surprise. The love triangle is shocking.

BLOG POST #106: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a high school shooting.

Children are a large part of the problem and need to be  involved in the solution.

How Does a Bully Choose a Victim?

Quantifying bullying is hard. One person can respond to criticism and ridicule with a shrug of their shoulders. Another person may retreat, be fearful and become depressed.

Being a kid is tough. When you add low self-esteem, low self-worth, body image, difficult home life, or any of the myriad of challenging scenarios children must overcome, and you have a prime candidate for bullying.

Females respond to bullying differently than males because the male ego is in play. And it seems boys during the years when hormones are raging are the most volatile.

Nothing, absolutely nothing justifies responding to any event with violence.

How Not to Respond to Bullying

The 15-year-old boy had been attending the high school for one year. His relative said he’d mentioned he was being bullied. They didn’t realize it was as bad as it must have been. Another relative was unaware the young boy had searched her home and found a gun.

Upon arriving at school, the 15-year-old and the other boy, the one he claimed was a bully, met near the entrance of the school. It was a normal day for the other students until two shots rang out.

The 15-year-old shooter dropped the gun and turned himself in to the principal to await law enforcement.

The alleged bully was shot twice and taken to a hospital where he spent two months in intensive care.

The community, staff, parents, and classmates held a candlelight vigil at the school. Getting together after a tragedy is both heartbreaking and healing.

Schools Cannot Stop School Violence

The authorities arrested the shooter and charged him with assault with a deadly weapon. His case was transferred from juvenile court to adult court. The 15-year-old was sentenced to 6 years and 10 months in state prison.

During the investigation, it became known the shooter had been charged with stabbing another student at the previous high school. This made me wonder if bullying was at the core of the conflict or did the shooter have violent tendencies.

Teachers teach. Principals make sure schools run efficiently, stay within a budget, and monitor student achievement. Most schools don’t have marshals or resource officers to police the campuses. The staff whose job it is to ‘monitor’ students is often a woman or older person supplementing a retirement. There are also custodians, librarians, computer techs, classroom aides, cafeteria workers, bus drivers, etc. At most schools, nobody is trained to be aware of building tension between students, nor are they trained to derail an altercation or anticipate looming violence.

I believe students are one of the keys to ending school violence. When community leaders, law enforcement, school administration, and parents get together to brainstorm methods to end school violence they seldom include students. In my opinion, if children aren’t part of the solution, the solution will fail.

I was chatting with someone in the United Kingdom the other day; he mentioned a school massacre that happened there in 1996. Sixteen children and one adult were killed that day. In response to this shooting, tighter private ownership gun restrictions were enacted. They haven’t had a school massacre since.

Is tighter gun control the answer? One thing is certain; people are passionate about their opinions on both sides of this debate.

What do you think about this case? Do you know of a school crime you’d like to share? Email me so we can discuss the details.

 

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Find out what the students, parents, and staff at

Blackstone Academy are up to in

Link to AmazonUNKNOWN THREAT

an entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel.

Available at Amazon

Friends Today – Enemies Tomorrow

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

BLOG Post #102Thank you for taking time from your busy day or night to read my post. After you’ve read today’s research, be sure to remind your children and their children to change all social media passwords.

I have a 12-year-old granddaughter. This case made me think of her and a few of her friends. She’s experienced some bullying, but nothing like what happened in this case.

BLOG POST #102: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a 12-year-old girl and her 11-year-old accomplice.

If you have a pre-teen or a teenager, you know it’s difficult if not impossible to keep them away from social media and the Internet.

Kids and the Internet

Depending on whether your child(ren) are younger, or older, this post will either give you a ‘heads up’ on what’s on the horizon for you or make you appreciate that this (hopefully) didn’t happen to any of your kiddos.

Did you know it’s a violation of Facebook’s Terms of Service to use Facebook if you’re under 13?

Facebook’s Terms of Service are clear, yet there are many, many children under 13 using the social networking service.

In my opinion, the under-age users primarily use the service to keep up with their small circle of friends. It becomes a problem when the friends turn into enemies, which when you’re young, can happen as often as the weather changes.

Young children although they’re pretty savvy with technology, they’re still quite naïve about security.

Bullying Can Constitute a Crime

I’m sure you’ve used a different computer or device to access social media or a website where you needed a password to access. You get a pop-up window asking if you want the login information saved for the computer you’re using.

One afternoon, the two young girls logged-in to Facebook using the 12-year-old victim’s profile and password. The victim had previously logged in using her ex-friend’s computer.

The two girls posted sexually explicit content, defaced the victim’s photos, wrote slut under her photos, and then sent out messages to random people inviting them to the victim’s home for sex.

According to the Cyberbullying Research Center, in a nationally survey representative of 12-17-year-old middle school and high school students conducted in 2016,

10.3% have been impersonated online, and 33.8% have been cyberbullied.

Both young girls were arrested and charged with cyberstalking and first-degree computer trespassing. Remember they’re 11 and 12.

The County Sheriff’s Captain, a national expert on bullying and electronic harassment, said, “I think the biggest part of it is education and information, letting parents and students know what cyberbullying is,” the officer went on to say, “The Internet is a tool, just like a pencil. Are you poking someone in the eye or are you looking at it with a purpose?”

Lesson Learned

The 12-year-old girl pleaded guilty to the charges and received a deferred sentence. She was ordered to stay out of trouble for six months, attend counseling, and perform 20 hours of community service. The judge gave her permission to use a computer with adult supervision.

The 11-year-old girl received a diverted sentence. Her case will be dismissed and expunged from her record if she abides by the requirements set out by probation.

It’s important to remind young people to change their password often and especially if they’ve accessed the Internet from a foreign computer or device.

What do you think about this case? 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 the students, parents, and staff

are up to at Blackstone Academy in

UNKNOWN THREAT a Mystery/Thriller novel

Available at AMAZON

Planned Attack at the Middle School

 

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #101Because you’re reading this post, I’m certain you care about children. If you’ve read other posts you know my blog posts are not your typical feel-good post where you’ll receive recipes or DIY tips. If this is your first one, the information I share is sad and infuriating as it’s the dark side of what’s happening at or connected to schools.

We all want school violence to end. Schools alone don’t seem to be able to turn it around. I believe if parents and the communities work with schools, we will see positive results.

Thank you for caring about children and for reading my post.

BLOG POST #101: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a 12-year-old middle school student.

What drives a nice, quiet, and kind of awkward 12-year-old kid, who likes music, and plays on the middle school football team to shoot his classmates?

Plotting a Murder

It happens more often these days, a frustrated victim of bullying decides to take matters into their hands.

Four days before the shooting, he wrote in his journal that by the time someone reads the entry he’d likely be in jail. A 12-year-old mind can’t understand what it means to be in jail because of his actions. And if he did, would he still follow through with his plan to seek revenge?

The day before his planned attack, the boy posted on social media, “tomorrow will be the first Monday that will be fun for me lol never thought I’d say that.” And then there was a mechanical issue at school and classes were canceled. On Tuesday, he carried out what he’d had planned for Monday.

Collateral Damage

The Governor of the state said, “The children who return to school tomorrow are not the same who went to school on Tuesday. They’re different.”

A witness said the boy didn’t have his backpack and he wasn’t wearing a school uniform. Instead, he had a duffle bag with a sawed-off shotgun and three shells. It seemed odd at the time but not something that made you think he was going to shoot people.

Exit Strategy

Neither of the two children injured, an 11-year-old boy and a 13-year-old girl, were his intended target when he opened fire in the gymnasium. The young shooter told an investigating officer one round of ammunition was for himself.

He may have taken his life or hurt another person had it not been for a heroic teacher who stepped in front of the gun and talked the boy into placing the gun on the floor.

All injuries sustained directly or by shrapnel were not life threatening.

Robbed of Joy and Happiness

Everyone injured in the shooting will recover from their physical wounds. It’s the emotional and mental wounds that may last a life time.

In juvenile court, the young boy pleaded no contest to three counts of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and carrying a firearm into a school, the same as a guilty plea in the adult court system.

At the young boy’s sentencing, his 16-year-old brother said to him, “I’m not that good of an older brother. I hardly ever listen to your problems. I should have been there for you when you needed me.”

The young boy was sentenced to a state juvenile incarceration facility until he turns 21. He may be released sooner if he successfully completes the required therapy, counseling, and rehabilitation.

What do you think about this case? 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

Available at AMAZON

Unknown Threat

Mystery/Thriller novel