Gunslinger At The Middle School

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

School violence, when it takes a deadly turn, is hard to comprehend. For as long as there have been schools, there have been fights between students. But school violence now happens far too frequent.

BLOG POST #121: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving middle school students.

Because it was an intensely cold winter morning, the middle school started two hours late.

Better To Have Stayed Home

The 14-year-old student skipped his morning classes to prepare for his afternoon assault.

Before leaving for school, he armed himself with his father’s fully loaded weapons; rifle, revolver and semiautomatic pistol. He strapped to his chest and waist three belts of additional ammunition and packed a speed loader for the revolver.

He removed the inside pocket on a long black trench coat to conceal the rifle as he walked to school. The news reported he looked like a gunslinger.

Armed and ready, he entered his fifth-period algebra class and shot his intended target, a classmate who did not survive. It’s unknown why he targeted this boy.

The next two victims, two more classmates, were shot as they dropped to the floor to crawl under their desks, one survived with extensive injuries.

When the teacher cried out, “No, no,” he shot her as well, she also did not survive.

That Which Does Not Kill Us Makes Us Stronger – Friedrich Nietzsche

Upon hearing the gunshots, a P.E. Teacher ran into the classroom. He dove toward the injured teacher. The shooter told the P.E. Teacher to stand up, or he would shoot another student. He did and then talked the shooter into allowing a few students to assist the injured teacher out of the classroom along with a diabetic student.

The student who survived went on to become involved in Students Against Violence Everywhere (SAVE).

Nowhere To Run

Police tried to hostage negotiate with the shooter which resulted in escalating his agitation.

Deciding he needed coverage in case there were snipers he told the P.E. Teacher to stand near him and put the end of the rifle in his mouth. When the heroic teacher appeared to comply, the shooter wasn’t expecting the teacher to grab the gun and pin him against the wall. He then told the students to run.

The police stormed the classroom and handcuffed the shooter.

Juvenile Or Adult?

The shooter’s case was sent to adult court, where he pleaded insanity.

At the trial, the defense team had an expert testify the shooter suffered from depression and bipolar disorder. The prosecution also had an expert testify he suffered from dysthymic disorder, hyperactivity, and clinical depression. He was taking Ritalin at the time of the shooting.

The 14-year-old troubled boy was found guilty on two counts of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree murder, one count of first-degree attempted murder, and 16 counts of aggravated kidnapping.

Without Parole: With Parole

He was sentenced to serve two life sentences plus an additional 205 years without the possibility of parole.

However, in 2012, a U.S. Supreme Court ruled people younger than 16 could not receive life sentences without parole. Twenty-one years after the shooting, a judge resentenced him to 189 years.

Worth mentioning: Juvenile court makes a decision to keep a case or move a case to adult court based on the best interest of the juvenile or the public, and taking into account eight standards set out in Kent v. the United States also known as the ‘Kent Factors.’

(1) The seriousness of the charged offense and whether protection of the community requires prosecution in adult court.

(2) Whether the offense was committed in an aggressive, violent, premeditated or willful manner.

(3) Whether the offense was against persons or property.

(4) The prosecutive merit of the case.

(5) Whether the defendant had an adult accomplice.

(6) The defendant’s sophistication and maturity.

(7) The defendant’s prior record.

(8) The prospects for adequate protection of the public and rehabilitation of the juvenile in the juvenile system.

My heart goes out to all families who have suffered because of school violence. And my sincere condolences go to those who have lost a loved one.

What do you think about this case? Your relevant comments about this post or any of the other posts are always welcome on the website.

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

Thank you for reading and caring about children!

-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

Attack In The High School Girls’ Restroom

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #118Social media, electronic devices, and constant contact have become a necessity to many. To those who aren’t addicted or dependent on social media and their electronic devices, the allure is baffling.

In the recent news, a 17-year-old girl was on trial and found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for encouraging her boyfriend to commit suicide—all through texting.

The amazing, lightning-speed internet can be a blessing and a curse. Parents should regularly monitor what their children are doing and saying on the internet.

BLOG POST #118: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving four high school girls.

Everyone Watched—Nobody Helped

Three teenage girls left the high school cafeteria in search of another who presumably had posted something on social media that angered the girls on the hunt.

The three girls found who they were looking for in a school restroom. One of the angry teens posted a photo on social media and wrote “bouta fight her,” followed by several emojis indicating the person was laughing so hard she was crying.

The victim was punched numerous times by one assailant and kicked by another. The third attempted to pull the primary aggressor away from the victim.

Electronic Evidence

Dozens of girls watched the fight, and at least two recorded parts of it with their cell phones.

It seems cruel for anyone to have recorded the fight. Turned out to be a good thing, the recordings were used as evidence in the case. Plausible deniability goes out the window when there’s a video of the crime.

However, it is disheartening that nobody tried to stop the fight or help the victim.

When A Fight Turned Deadly

Unbeknownst to the three aggressors, the victim had a pre-existing heart condition. Her heart couldn’t handle the level of stress associated with her attack, and she did not survive.

The Medical Examiner determined that she died from a cardiac incident that she was vulnerable to because of a pre-existing heart condition, but the cardiac incident would not have occurred if she had not been assaulted.

Consequence Of The Unlawful Act

The primary aggressor was charged with Criminally Negligent Homicide and Conspiracy 3rd Degree in the death of the classmate. The two other girls were charged with Conspiracy 3rd Degree. All cases remained in juvenile court.

For there to be Criminally Negligent Homicide, the death must be the natural and probable consequence of the unlawful act and not the result of intervening causes.

The defense argued a reasonable person of the Respondent’s age and experience would not expect injury much less death to result from a fight. The judge disagreed and found her guilty on both counts.

The judge found one of the other two girls guilty of Conspiracy 3rd Degree.

The judge said, “While it may be true that [the victim], due to her condition would have died from a multitude of stressors, until such an event occurred, if at all, she had a right to live one more day, one more week, one more month or year, until her time, without a contributing cause of another.”

The judge also said this was not a fight between two teenagers squaring off to settle some mutual grievance, but rather, an act of violence initiated and carried out by the Respondent over a perceived slight on social media.

The judge sentenced the primary aggressor to six months in a secure residential program for female youths. She was banned from social media, community supervision until she’s 19, and ordered to perform 500 hours of community service with an emphasis on serving young people who have been abused or bullied.

The girl who kicked the victim was sentenced to 18 months of community supervision and 300 hours of community service.

My heart goes out to all families who have suffered because of a school crime. And my sincere condolences go to those who have lost a loved one.

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 and caring about children!

-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

Summer Is A Great Time To Discuss School Threats

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #117Schools are out for the summer, but there has never been a better time to talk with your children about making a threat toward their school. During the summer children are away from outside influence, they’re relaxed, not under any pressure, and seem more willing to ‘talk.’

BLOG POST #117: This week, I’m sharing research on specific criminal cases involving students ages 11-18.

Recently, there was a report on the news about a young man calling in a bomb threat to his girlfriend’s employer so she could get off early. Here are a few examples of the real news children are hearing about, it’s no wonder they might try something similar:

*Market employee and friend cook up bomb hoax to leave work early

*Man accused of making bomb threat to stop girlfriend from seeing ex

*Man Calls in Fake Bomb Threat to Get Out of Work

Acting Out Is Acting Out

Idiotic Adults aren’t alone in making threats; Students make as many if not more threats as adults do.

The common thread between adults and children making threats is they think they’ll get away with it. Some even use disposable cell phones. In the end, they ALL get caught.

The Ohio Juvenile Court Judge said it best, “Good grief, what in the world is going on?”

Some of the students referenced in this post are from one small county in Ohio and were mentioned in an earlier post. Idle Threats

A Threat Is A Threat

A threat can be a written note, text to a friend, a phone call, or a message using any social media platform.

If a person says or writes words that in any way express harm to another regardless of the intent, “I want to blow that place up” or “I’d like to kill (teacher),” even made in the heat of the moment, IT IS STILL A THREAT.

Threats can be disguised in clever antics as in this yearbook sentiment. The full quote referenced from ‘The Office’: “No, I am not going to be proposed to in the break room. That is not going to be our story. Should have burned this place down when I had a chance.

Orange Is The New School Uniform Color

During a two-week period at the end of the school year in 2016, schools in one small county in Ohio dealt with close to ten threats. Schools were in lock-down; schools were evacuated. Thankfully, none were credible.

Nonetheless, each threat requires a significant amount of law enforcement resources to investigate the seriousness of the threat.

Several of the underage students in the small Ohio County spent more than one week in a juvenile detention center while a threat assessment was conducted. For their crimes, students were sentenced to between 20-25 days of community service, required to write letters of apology, their parents were required to pay restitution, and most were expelled from school.

Help Your Child Before It’s Too Late

Often, 16-year-old’s and 17-year-old’s cases are moved to adult court, receiving lengthy jail sentences and occasionally prison.

Before the new school year arrives, talk with your children, nieces, nephews, or grandchildren about what constitutes a threat and the possible consequences associated.

No parent wants to believe their child is capable of committing an act of violence against their school. Here’s an excellent resource every parent should read. Children also display the warning signs reference in this article but act out in ways other than shootings, such as making a threat. School Shooters :Warning Signs

Why do you think students make threats against schools and staff? 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

Two Troubled Teens’ Mass Shooting Plot

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #114Before the Internet and social media, teenage girls wrote their deepest and darkest thoughts in a private diary or a journal.

Nowadays when a teenager writes their deepest and darkest thoughts on social media platforms, they seem to forget their words are open to the world.

In this case, both methods of expression backfired for the two girls involved.

Thank you for your continued support, for your interest in my research, and most importantly for caring about children.

BLOG POST #114: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving two 16-year-old high school girls.

After the mass killing at Columbine, many law enforcement agencies and schools implemented a system for anonymous crime tips called Text-A-Tip.

Someone used the Text-A-Tip system to notify authorities about the claims of death and destruction two girls were spouting.

Close to the same time the tip was received, a peer told authorities what they received from a friend (one of the girls named in the Text-A-Tip) via the social media platform, SnapChat. Messages like; “I’m gonna kill everyone here lol” and “I’m gonna shoot up the school.”

A Troubled Teen’s Pain

A Children’s Hospital evaluated the girl who sent the SnapChat messages. A few days later, her mother called authorities after discovering journals detailing a planned attack at her daughter’s high school.

Dear God, maybe if you’d made me pretty inside and out I’d be like sugar and spice…”

Here’s a page from one of the girl’s journal. The troubled teen’s pain screams from the page. Journal Page

The Plot Develops

During the investigation, a Tumblr account and Weebly page were found featuring the girls’ journal writings, poetry and a mini-biography with references to school shootings.

The girls had researched female gunmen, how to buy a gun, how to make a bomb, and made a crude explosive device that failed to explode.

The girls had drawn maps of the school showing student movement and the schedule of a police officer assigned to the facility.

One girl’s plot included killing her mother and sister. Both girls planned to kill themselves after they had killed others.

A Threat Is A Crime

Both girls were arrested and charged as adults with felony counts of conspiracy to commit first-degree murder.

One of the girls pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit first-degree murder in adult court, and guilty to solicitation to commit murder in juvenile court. The judge sentenced her to three years in a youth incarceration facility, and four years supervised probation. If she completes the sentence, her adult felony conviction could be sealed.

At the sentencing, the judge said, “It is a serious matter when someone puts down in writing that they want to die, that they want to kill others.”

On her behalf, the other girl’s attorney has filed a reverse-transfer of her criminal case from adult trial court to juvenile court. The outcome for her is still to be determined.

Marital troubles in both homes playing a role in the girls’ depression. One girl’s parents were divorced, the other girl’s parent are still together. An unhappy home isn’t to blame, but is often linked to children who act out.

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 found this case interesting, you’ll also want to read this post: When A Teenager Makes Threats On Social Media

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

The Bully And The Hero

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' Blog Post #113Hello. Thank you for continuing to read my research. I believe it’s important for people to understand that danger lurks at most schools.

You might be surprised by this post as I’m spotlighting the hero rather than the villain.

BLOG POST #113: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a high school bully, a visually impaired classmate, and a hero.

The Law Is The Law, Right?

Or is the law subjective? Where I live, there’s a case in the mainstream news about a person who threw a cream pie into the face of a mayor. Was it assault? The jury couldn’t reach a verdict. What if it had been acid thrown in the face instead of pie?

In the bullying case referenced in this post, a bully was punching a visually impaired boy at school. Fighting was a clear violation of the school district’s administrative regulation on conduct.

To display proper conduct to and from school, on school grounds and school buses. Specific prohibitions listed in the State Education Code include:

(a) Caused, attempted to cause, or threatened to cause physical injury to another person.

Would you say there should have been consequences for the bully? Perhaps a suspension or an expulsion would have been appropriate.

Would your opinion be different if you knew the hostility between the bully and the disabled boy was mutual and had been building for some time? Did it make the crime worse because of the one boy’s disability?

An Eye For An Eye (pun not intended)

Another boy happened upon the fight scene which was being recorded by many. Nobody had attempted to stop the fight.

With one hard punch, the newcomer to the fight scene knocked the bully to the ground. As he stood over the bully, he was heard saying, “You trying to jump a f—— blind kid, bro. What the f— is your problem?”

His peers quickly hailed the boy a hero on social media. (The same peers who did nothing to stop the fight)

Should the hero’s actions have warranted a consequence? After all, he technically used violence to stop the violent outbreak.

The Law Is The Law: Consequences Can Be Subjective

The bully was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery.

For confidentiality reasons, the school didn’t release information regarding consequences for the bully. And due to the boy’s age, it’s unknown if the battery charge was dismissed or not.

Rumors circulated about the hero being suspended from school and kicked off the football team.

Through a public statement and because the boy’s parents granted permission, the school district quashed the rumors. They had not suspended the hero for coming to the aid of his classmate. And he wasn’t on the football team that school year.

The hero had his moment of fame and went back to being a teenager who did the right thing.

Why don’t more kids do the right thing?

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