These Teens Learned A Hard Lesson

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Greetings from Northern California,

In addition to working on the next book in the School Marshal Series, Unknown Alliance, I’m planning a few mini stories to provide insight to traumatic moments in the lives of Maggie, Jason, and Marlene. Those eBooks will be exclusively available to club members.

Now on to this week’s news…

BLOG POST #136: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving teenage boys making threats on social media.

Hurtful Online Comments

A high school girl posted insulting comments on social media against a local 18-year-old boy. He retaliated with a barrage of threatening posts aimed at the girl.

Follow The Leader

Then the boy enlisted two 15-year-old friends to join him in his virtual feud. One of the younger boys [in messages] told the girl he was going to rape her and make her boyfriend watch. The boys threatened her with physical violence which included shooting her and others.

The boys may have received a strong warning had they not turned up the heat on the virtual assault when they posted a school shooting would happen at 1:00 pm on a specific day.

Online Posts Are Evidence Of Wrongdoing

The girl went to the police and showed them the messages.

All three boys were arrested. Two were charged with conspiracy to commit first-degree premeditated murder. All three were facing terrorism-related charges.

Plea Agreements

The oldest teen pleaded guilty to one count of false report or threat of terrorism and agreed to testify against one of the younger boys. He told the judge, “It was not serious, it was childish.” After serving close to one year in county jail, he was sentenced to five months of probation.

One of the younger boys pleaded no contest to reduced charges of attempted false report of terror and was released on a $200,000 cash bond with restrictions to await sentencing. He was to stay at the home of his parents, no cell phone use, no computer use and no contact with victims.

The other 15-year-old’s case was moved to juvenile court where the proceedings are confidential.

Don’t Cross The Judge

The judge canceled the bond and sent the younger boy straight to county jail for three weeks when he learned the boy had excessive absences and tardiness from school, had been caught with a cellphone his parents provided and was active on social media.

At sentencing, the judge showed compassion and told the young boy’s tearful parents, “Prison is life-changing. If he goes to prison, he’ll be beaten, stabbed and raped.”

He further admonished the parents and told them they were enabling their son and doing him no good. And then the judge sentenced their son to one year in the county jail with 340 days credited and five years of probation.

Worth Mentioning: During the time this case made its way through the court system the oldest teen was arrested on unrelated sexual charges. More on that next week.

Here’s my ‘Take Away’ in this case: It’s a recipe for disaster when parents allow their children to be in control. Nobody has ever said parenting was easy. As the judge said, in this case, enabling children does them no good. Sure they’ll stomp their feet, have a tantrum, say hurtful things, and then they’ll accept their parent decision. Stay strong; your children will thank you when they’re an adult.

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 AmazonMAC: A Prequel Novella

Find out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna  is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both 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

Shock and Horror Happened the Night Before a Basketball Tournament

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #105This case made me think of a Stephen King quote, “We make up horrors to help us cope with the real ones.”

Researching and writing about creepy people and disgusting behavior is worth it when someone who’s read one of my stories or blog posts notices questionable behavior connected to a school and says or does something about it.

Thank you for taking the time to read my post. Keep your eyes open and never assume children are safe at school. If something seems amiss, it probably is. Say something.

BLOG POST #105: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving high school basketball players.

A freshman went on an overnight trip to a school sponsored basketball tournament and ended up in the hospital.

Locker Room Secrets

It had been a longstanding rite of passage for freshman basketball players to receive a ‘racking in’ from the older players. In other words, they received a beating.

Players routinely had not reported the abuse because they didn’t want to be labeled a ‘snitch.’ That year, one brave boy told the coach about the older boys’ conduct.

Criminal Hazing

While out of town, the coaches left the team unchaperoned to purchase groceries. It was during that window of opportunity the older players retaliated against the brave boy for reporting them.

The older boys beat four younger ones with a pool cue. If that wasn’t bad enough, two players held down the boy who reported them while a third upperclassman sodomized him with a pool cue.

When the coaches returned, they found the boy lying in a pool of blood. They took him to a medical center where he was treated and released.

The medical center, not the coaches, reported the incident to the proper authorities. State law mandated school employees report suspected child sexual abuse.

The next morning, the rape victim was taken to a hospital where surgery was performed to repair his damaged colon, prostate, and bladder. Let that sink in for a moment. The rape was so aggressive the boy’s bladder was damaged.

Short Term Consequence vs. Lifetime of Trauma

Three teens were arrested and charged with rape.

Two coaches and the director of athletics were arrested and charged with failure to report child sexual abuse.

There was a motion to move the teens’ trial to the adult court. The judge denied the motion. He stated the teens would have a better chance of rehabilitation in the juvenile system.

The County criminal judge said, “It’s hard for us to believe what a human being can do to another human being.”

The two teens that held the younger boy down were found guilty of aggravated assault and sentenced to sixty days in a juvenile facility.

The teen who committed the rape was found guilty of aggravated rape and remained in a juvenile facility for less than one year.

The judge dropped all charges against the coach and assistant coach because the language of the law stated school employees were mandated to report child sexual abuse if committed by a member of the child’s household. The law doesn’t address the moral obligation to report the crime. The law has since been updated.

The athletic director resigned from his position and agreed to 10-hours of community service working at a food bank.

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.

If you thought this case is an isolated incident, you should also read this post: High School Hazing

 

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

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

Was This 3rd Grader’s Death an Accident or Suicide?

Blog Post #97Thank you for taking a few minutes out of your busy day or night to read my post. As always, I promise to keep this somewhat short.

If you’ve read any of my posts, they’re usually about super sad stuff going on in or connected to schools. For most people, myself included, the content is concerning. The information I share is important to know so we can all be more vigil about keeping children safe.

BLOG POST #97: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific case involving a third-grade boy. And be forewarned, this one is beyond sad. I have a grandson in the third-grade, I thought about him a lot while I researched and wrote about this case.

Children can be mean and sometimes cruel. Bullying at all ages is on the rise. Schools don’t know how to stop it. Victim’s parents don’t know how to stop it, especially when you consider most bullies learn how to bully from someone in their life.

Socializing is Hard for Introverts at Any Age

He was a shy, quiet third-grade boy and a little small for his age. He didn’t have many friends. According to family members, the bullies would wait outside his home and continue to torment him at school.

At first, he tried to let the mean comments and actions slid by using clever comebacks. There were a few times when he resorted to fighting. With the new school year, he began building a clubhouse behind his home in hopes of making new friends. His unfinished clubhouse sits as a heartbreaking reminder of what happened.

At 9, Life Can Be So Unfair

He and his three siblings lived with their grandmother. His grandmother said he’d been down, and she tried everything she could think of to bring him out of it or to talk about what was bothering him.

One of his sisters noticed his change in demeanor. She found a frog outside and took it to him thinking he’d like it. What she found in his bedroom was her 9-year-old brother hanging from his belt. There was nothing anyone could do as he’d already died.

Mixed Messages

The local Sheriff Department conducted an investigation and determined it was an accidental suicide.

The boy’s family was adamant he committed suicide in response to his feeling hopeless from the relentless bullying.

A spokesperson for the Sheriff Department said, “What the public needs to know is that this bullying was completely unfounded. The school he went to is one of the finest schools that we have ever had the pleasure of interviewing.”

From everything I’ve read about this case, nothing said the family had an issue with the school. They had an issue with the bullies at the school who also lived in their neighborhood.

The Superintendent of the school district where the boy attended school said, the young boy taking his life was, ‘tragic.’ He went on to say there had been no reported incidents of bullying at the school involving the student.

We’ll never know if he reported his incidents of bullying or not.

A counselor from the school said the boy wasn’t the only one at the school who has had to battle bullies.

The Proof is in the Pudding

In a quick look at the school’s most recently posted Student Code of Conduct, dealing with bullies and/or bullying was mentioned 95 times. And there’s an entire policy on Bullying, Harassment, and Intimidation. Is that overkill or are they trying to crack down on bullying like every other school is the U.S.?

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

Book 1 in the School Marshal Series

An entertaining Mystery/Thriller novel