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 AmazonMAC: A Prequel Novella

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

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

Teenagers In A Motel Room Spells Trouble

Last week, I shared research on three teens that made online threats to shoot up a school. Two of the three boys served time in jail for their actions.

While awaiting sentencing for the online threat charges, the older of the two boys was arrested on child pornography charges.

BLOG POST #137: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving teenagers and child pornography.

Party Tonight

Nothing good can happen when a group of teenagers party in a motel room. Two teens, a 15-year-old male, and a 13-year-old female were engaging in sex on one of the two beds in the room when the 18-year-old teen began recording them.

According to her testimony, the female said she told the older teen to stop recording. She continued having sex even though the boy had not stopped recording. Although the boy did say, he’d delete the video.

Pornography is Pornography

Not only did he not delete the video he shared it with friends via the Internet.

Because the victim was a minor, recording the video qualifies as producing, distributing and possessing child pornography in the state where the crime occurred.

Compounding Charges

The video may have gone unnoticed had it not been for the school shooting threat case. Law enforcement searched the older teen’s phone for information on the threat case when they found the video.

Originally charged with five counts, the oldest teen pleaded guilty to Possession of Child Sexually Abusive Material, a four-year felony charge. And he’ll be on the sex offender registry for 15 years.

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

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

Bullying Prevention

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

When I was a school bus driver, I learned that when the kids were amped up or treating someone mean it was more effective to pull the bus over and park.

When the kids finally noticed we were no longer moving and wondered why—I would tell them what was going on, who was involved and that I’d wait until they were able to settle down or stop bullying (whatever the situation was).

I’d unfasten my seat belt, turn around and look at several dozen sets of eyes looking at me. #PeerPressure

After a minute or so, I’d let them know I’d continue if the behavior didn’t and that every time the shenanigans happened, I would park the bus. They tested me. And I followed through. We settled in, they behaved and got home on time while I was able to drive safely.

BLOG POST #135: For the last Saturday post in National Bullying Prevention Month, I’m sharing research on Restorative Justice.

Per the U.S. Department of Education: States and districts are increasingly in support of policies and practices that shift school discipline away from zero tolerance, such as suspension and expulsion, to discipline that is focused on teaching and engagement.

What is Restorative Justice?

Restorative Justice is shifting how discipline is handled from punitive to repairing the harm that has been done.

This philosophy isn’t new. It stems from centuries of peacemaking systems in indigenous cultures.

Students develop empathy for their peers, build trust and understanding.

What A Wonderful World It Could Be

When done correctly, Restorative Justice can change the school culture; students can be more respectful, responsible and engaged. Changing old and outdated processes requires commitment and effort. Staff, parents, students, and the community must be in agreement, or the shift may never get off the starting block.

Here’s an example:

A female high school student leaves her cell phone out during class. A male friend uses the phone and sends out some rude texts to people; one was the girl’s parent. The girl was in trouble at home and tried to explain it was the boy.

The girl submitted her friend’s cell phone prank to the school’s Justice Committee, made up of students, for consideration to mediate. The committee sits in a circle and includes the two who have a dispute (sitting across from each other). The committee has rules, pre-determined questions and only one person speaks at a time.

The girl told the group how much trouble she got into because of the prank. The boy was asked what he thought would happen when he texted hurtful comments on her phone, how did he feel about what’s happened since, etc. He admitted he felt like ‘crap’ after he learned the girl had gotten into trouble. He thought his prank would be funny. And he understood that he’d gone too far with the prank.

The committee determined the boy needed to make amends for his actions and apologize to the girl’s parent. They also decided the girl needed to accept responsibility for having violated a school rule when she had her phone accessible during class time.

Total Commitment Required

Once students understand the new process and what will happen when they act out, behaviors change. An outcome similarly to what I experienced as a bus driver.

To be successful with Restorative Justice, it must be implemented and run correctly. All parties (staff, parent, students, and the community) need to have clear objectives, consistent protocols, and the student committee must remain non-judgmental.

More information on Restorative Justice is available on the U.S. Department of Education website.

What do you think about Restorative Justice? 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

Sixth-Grade Girls Tormented This Classmate

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

As I research crimes occurring at or connected to schools I’ve seen more and more events involving pre-teens.

It saddens me to read about the negative side of public education, but at the same time, I believe it’s vital for everyone who cares about children to be armed with knowledge.

Times are changing. Because schools can no longer be considered safe havens, parents need to be advocates for their children. Schools can’t do everything that is needed; they’re simply underfunded, understaffed and overworked.

BLOG POST #134: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving sixth-grade girls.

Senseless Cruelty

She had everything going for her and everything that makes kids jealous. It was said this 12-year-old was sweet, smart, kind and quiet. And she was a cheerleader.

The bullying began in October—teasing, dirty looks from classmates, name-calling, exclusion and shooing her away from their lunch table.

Then the cyber-bullying began. There were texts, Snapchats, and Instagram posts. They told her she was a loser, said she had no friends.

Her grades began to drop. She suffered from chronic headaches and stomach pain. She begged to stay home from school.

The American Academy of Pediatrics stated in a report on bullying: girls make more suicide attempts, but boys die from suicide at a rate three times higher than girls because they tend to choose more lethal methods, such as firearms.

Make The Bullying Stop

Requests for assistance from teachers, counselors, school administrators and the students’ parents didn’t make the torment stop.

Bullying has always been a major issue for adolescents, but there is now greater recognition of the connection between bullying and suicide,” said Benjamin Shain, MD, Ph.D. in an American Academy of Pediatrics report.

Gone Girl

The ugliness ended the next year in June. After the bullies told her, “Why don’t you kill yourself?” She killed herself.

Did you know in 2007, suicide was the third-leading cause of death for adolescents age 15 to 19 years old? In 2016, suicide rose to the second-leading cause of death.

There is a lot of helpful information available on the StopBullying.gov website.

Worth Mentioning: The young girl’s parents have filed a lawsuit against the school district and its administrators for alleged gross negligence for not responding to their pleas to make the bullying stop.

Here’s my ‘Take Away’ on this case: Bullying is hard to stop without parent cooperation on both sides. Too often a child who bullies learned how at home. And schools are caught in the middle. Parents want the school to intervene but do they have the authority to act on behavior that occurred off campus and not during school hours. The evidence is critical; parents need to have their kids take screenshots of bullying messages and save bullying emails. If the school is unable to remedy the situation—law enforcement will want evidence.

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 and caring about children!

-Robin

MAC: A Prequel NovellaLink to Amazon

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

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon