Don’t Like Mondays

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

With every school shooting, you can expect long lasting heartache. And the tentacles of pain can be far reaching, beyond the families directly affected by the cruel act.

BLOG POST #143: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a 16-year-old female.

Not Your Typical California Day

On what appeared to be a typical California day in January, shots rang out as an elementary school principal was opening the gates to the school.

A 16-year-old girl used a 22 long rifle with little to no recoil, a Christmas gift from her father, to shoot toward the elementary school from her home across the street.

Infamous Intention

A few days before the shooting she had told another teen something big was going to happen on Monday, it would be on TV and radio.

Monday morning she told her father she didn’t feel well. He went to work and she stayed home.

The school principal attempted to rush children away from the gunshots when he was hit and killed. A school custodian ran to help the principal when he too was shot and killed. Eight children and a police officer sustained nonlife-threatening injuries.

A Standoff Ensued

A quick-thinking police officer risked his life to drive a trash truck in front of the teen’s home to block her field of fire.

She barricaded herself inside her home.

During the standoff, while on the phone with negotiators, she was asked why she had committed the shootings to which she indicated, “for the fun of it” and “I don’t like Mondays.” She also had said, she had no reason for it, and in regards to the children, “it was just like shooting ducks in a pond.”

After a seven-hour standoff, she laid her gun down and surrendered.

The Aftermath

Test results showed there were no drugs or alcohol found in her system the day of the shooting.

The court charged her as an adult. She pleaded guilty to two counts of murder and assault with a deadly weapon. Thirty-eight years ago she was sentenced to 25 years to life.

Life After 25 Years

She’s been before the parole board four times but remains incarcerated. As to why she committed the shooting, she now states, at the time, she no longer wanted to live and hoped for death by cop. She knew if she shot at a school the police would show up and shoot her. Her next parole hearing will be in 2019.

Were there warning signs? You decide. Her parents divorced when she was young, and custody was awarded to her father. Because of truancy, she had been transferred to a facility for troubled youths. The facility informed her parents she was suicidal. She had a prior arrest for using a bb gun to shoot out windows at the elementary school and for burglary. The month before the deadly shooting she was given a psychiatric evaluation. It was recommended she be admitted to a mental hospital for depression, but her father didn’t give permission.

Worth mentioning: Due to declining enrollment, the school was closed four years after the shooting. The teen’s father continues to reside in the house across the street from the school.

If you’re interested, here’s a documentary on the event.

I Don’t Like Mondays

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

This Teacher’s Actions Sent Her To Prison

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

 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 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

3 Men Guilty Of School Hate Crime

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

 

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #132Bullying and racism need to stop. In my opinion, adults teach children to bully and be prejudice. We can’t change the past, but we can control the future. October is National Bullying Prevention Month; I’ll be sharing research on bullying cases each week in October.

Children can be relentlessly mean. Sadly, bullying happens to adults as well. Whether you’re a child or an adult, when you’re on the receiving end of bullying it’s hard to think logically about the fact that bullies bully because they have issues. Bullying and racism wounds cut deep. You may not see the damage, but it’s there.

BLOG POST #132: This week, I’m sharing research on three specific and connected criminal cases involving three men.

More Than A Prank

It was 2007. The community was engaged in a racially charged debate over busing a substantial number of black students, ages approximately 11-14 years, to a different junior high school to have a more diverse study body at the school.

One evening while next door to the school, three men, ages 21, 25, and 30, complained about the busing program. They believed the program was ruining the community and lowering the standards of the school.

They devised a plan to hang a dead raccoon, that one man happened to have in his truck, from the school’s flagpole to “scare the little [ethnic slur], kids.”

Targeting Innocent Children

The man who tied the knot chose to tie a noose because of the historical significance of a noose used for lynching black people. The two co-conspirators agree.

The men were also aware of the significance of a raccoon as a derogatory reference to blacks.

Before the staff could remove the vulgar display from in front of the school, one teacher estimated as many as 40 students saw the raccoon hanging by a noose.

After the incident, the sheriff’s office provided 24-hour security at the school until the school could install security cameras.

Hate Is Not A Defense

The three men were identified and arrested. All three pleaded guilty to a federal hate crime—intentionally attempting to intimidate and interfere with African-American students who were attending the junior high school.

The 25-year-old man was sentenced to eight months in prison. The 30-year-old man was sentenced to six months in prison. And the 21-year-old man to five months in prison. All three also received one year of supervised release that included a course on cultural diversity and sensitivity.

Racially-motivated intimidation and violence is contrary to the American ideal of freedom, and it is particularly deplorable when it targets children,” said the Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Rights Division.

Here’s my ‘Take Away’ on this case: This case is ten years old, but I think those who are prejudice have the same twisted mindset today. I don’t get it, so I find myself tongue-tied on the subject. What I can say is this mentality makes me sick.

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

Breaking Up Can Be Deadly

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #131When you’re in high school, being popular doesn’t necessarily make life easier. It can be just as difficult as being the lowest kid in the pecking order.

Like everyone, popular kids have the negative voice in their head telling them they’re fat or worthless, etc. Popular kids can come from turbulent homes.

BLOG POST #131: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a popular high school student.

You’d think the popular football player, recently crowned Homecoming Prince, would be on top of the world. Instead, like so many teenagers, he kept his troubles inside.

Kids Will Be Kids – Right?

His parents didn’t understand the depth of their son’s depression. They knew he and his longtime girlfriend had broken up after Homecoming. And they knew he’d gotten into an altercation with another football player and was suspended for a few days.

Before school, his pleading texts to his ex-girlfriend went unanswered.

Not A Normal Day

To his mother, it was a normal day when she dropped her son off at school the same as she had done every day.

She didn’t know the day was far from normal. She had no clue her son had taken his father’s guns and ammunition with him that day.

Keep Your Friends Close

He asked friends to meet him in the cafeteria for first lunch. The friends joined him at a lunch table.

When he texted a photo of a gun to his ex-girlfriend, she called him, and they talked briefly.

And Then He Snapped

After the phone call with his ex-girlfriend, he bolted from his seat and shot his friends one by one—five friends.

He reloaded, and then shot himself.

Including the shooter, four kids died that day, and two were critically wounded.

Minutes before shooting anyone, he had texted a group of family members and apologized to the families of his victims. He said he needed to take his crew with him; he didn’t want to go alone.

Here’s my ‘Take Away’ on this case: Case after case, I read about parents who never thought their child would do what they did. And I’m not implying this tragedy wouldn’t have happened had the boy’s parents paid more attention to their son’s depression. At some point parents need to consider if their child is “down” about something they very well may be capable of suicide or murder-suicide.

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