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

The School Teacher Who Couldn’t Cope

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' blog post #125As you read this, it’s likely your children, grandchild, nieces, or nephews may be back in school. It’s hard to keep up with the varying school start/stop dates across the US.

My grandchildren are back in school. And I’m back on the lookout for anyone suspicious who’s lurking near, working at, or attending schools, hopefully, you are too.

BLOG POST #125: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a high school teacher.

Monday Morning Dread

It was Monday morning when a local 911 call center received a call from someone who said there would be a shooting and explosion at three area schools. Law enforcement was dispatched to the schools. All three were evacuated and searched finding nothing suspicious.

The 911 call center attempted a call back to the number from where the original call was made, but nobody answered the phone.

You Can’t Outsmart Law Enforcement

The exigent circumstances allowed law enforcement to request AT&T to do a trace on the number. The phone had been turned off, so no information was available.

Investigators searched businesses in the area that had received a call from the number and traced the phone use to a school teacher who worked for the district receiving the threat.

Later, the teacher confessed to making the call on his way to work and tossed the phone in a trash receptacle. You probably thought only children make fake threat calls.

Serious Repercussions

He pleaded guilty to one charge of communicating information about a false bomb threat on school property. And he relinquished his teaching credential.

Court documents showed the teacher used illegal drugs and suffered from emotional issues such as depression. He was sleep deprived, having marital issues and difficulty with his newborn child.

Before sentencing, the state district judge said, “bizarre and probably out of character. I don’t find you’re a violent person by nature.”

The judge ordered him to serve 65 months in prison with all but 20 months suspended. And he was likely eligible for parole after four months.

The judge also sentenced the former school teacher to three years supervised probation and 100 hours of community service following his release.

Here’s my ‘Take Away’ in this case: The teacher had to have shown signs of exhaustion, depression, maybe even drug use. And I’d bet money he told one of his colleagues he was having marital troubles. I’m not blaming school staff, but in their best interest, they need to pay attention to coworkers’, students’, parents’ behavior, and when they see a negative change, no matter how small, it could be a clue to something bigger down the road, offer help. If the behavior is troubling, tell a supervisor. Luckily, in this case, no physical harm was done. Although there was a significant cost of time and support services from law enforcement.

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 my post and for caring about children!

-Robin

Link to AmazonMAC: A Prequel NovellaFind out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna  is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both 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

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

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

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 AmazonMAC: A Prequel NovellaFind out what Cole ‘Mac’ MacKenna is up to in

UNKNOWN THREAT and MAC

Both Available at Amazon

SCARY CLOWN: This 19-Year-Old Was Just Joking

BLOG POST #99Hello. I appreciate you taking the time to read my post. Life is busy, so I’ll keep this short.

Do you know what happens during the day while children are at school? Schools teach English, Math, Science, and… students eat lunch… they play and socialize…

Every Saturday, I post about the seedier side of what happens at and related to school. Through knowledge and awareness, parents can make schools safer. See something – Say something goes for parents and communities too.

BLOG POST #99: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific criminal case involving a high school graduate.

Do you know what you post on social media could get you arrested – and sent to prison?

When You Post on Social Media, You Can’t Take it Back

You may remember around Halloween in 2016 the news reported a scary clown phenomenon? People wore clown masks and went on crime sprees. If you use social media, you may have seen #CLOWNPOCALYPSE2016.

The specific teenager I’m writing about made threats  against his alma mater on Facebook and Instagram. His Facebook page had photos and videos of menacing looking clowns wielding weapons. He posted statements like “skool gonna get hit (tomorrow) say your blessing” and “bout to kill.”

These types of threats are taken seriously by law enforcement, and if you make a threat against somebody, there’s a good chance you’re going to get arrested,” the police chief said.

Three Pranks That May Send You to Jail

An 18-year-old can make legal decisions without a parent’s consent or join the military without parent’s consent.

And when they commit crimes thought to be fun or jokes, they’re also subject to adult consequences.

In most states, as legal adults, young people don’t realize dressing up in costume and chasing someone with a weapon, even to just scare them, can constitute a criminal threat.

Or that toilet papering and egging someone’s home can result in criminal charges.

They also aren’t aware if they enter someone else’s property with intent to damage that property (i.e., throw eggs, toilet paper) they may also face criminal trespass charges.

There’s More to Social Media Than Socializing

People seem to feel empowered when anonymously sharing on social media, whether it’s a post, a product review, or a comment.

Children and young adults are oblivious to the possibility their parent may see what they’ve shared.

Young adults have no concept that law enforcement might be perusing social media and see something they consider a viable threat or a possible witness to a crime. I’m fairly certain the young man in this post never thought he’d be arrested for his social media ‘joke’.

The 19-year-old subject of this post was arrested on suspicion of making threats against his former high school.

He said he was just joking.

He pleaded no contest to one felony count of making criminal threats and was immediately sentenced to 16-months in prison.

One day he was a cocky young adult spouting off on social media and the next he was a convicted felon on his way to a state prison.

If you found this post interesting, you’ll want to read this one also “What happens when a teenager makes threats on social media?”

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