Back To School Safety

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

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #198: This week, because a new school year will soon begin (if yours hasn’t already), I’m sharing information on school safety.

With the new school year upon us, there has been a lot of talk on the news about bulletproof backpacks or ballistic backpacks. They also have inserts to make the pack even more impenetrable.

Some schools and businesses are installing emergency response shields near the fire extinguishers and AEDs (Defibrillators). The shields are smaller but similar to what you see law enforcement holding in front as they approach a scene when gunfire is occurring. There are also inserts that can be added to backpacks.

Until schools are safe, protecting your child with bulletproof, bullet-resistant gear may be the way you want to go. If so, be sure to do your homework, so you don’t purchase something with inferior effectiveness that gives you and your child a false sense of security.

I’m not an affiliate, but one company I’d recommend is Hardwire LLC. They’ve been making products for the military and law enforcement for 20 years—and have added products for schools and students. They’re currently running a Back-to-School sale on backpack inserts.

Conversations With The Kiddos

Internet access has provided children with news they previously might not have known about. Parents must assume their child has heard about school shootings. Here’s an excellent resource: The National Education Association asked the National Association of School Psychologists for advice on How To Talk To Students about school shootings and other traumatic events.

Violence Prevention

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has an Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence available for free. In the introduction, they wrote, “When establishing threat assessment capabilities within K-12 school, keep in mind that “there is no profile of a student attacker.” I feel certain parents of school shooters would say they had no idea their child could kill. Although I found the guide to be another excellent resource, talk is cheap. Schools must “walk-the-talk” and DO what their policies say they’ll do. Does your child’s school have a Threat Assessment Team?

Tips For Parents

Lastly, I recently published an article on Back to School Tips for Parents. Easy things you can do to help your child survive the turbulent school years.

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.

Wishing you and your students a happy school year. Stay vigilant!

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

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Sources:

KXCR FM 90.7 Florence, Oregon
Hardwire LLC
National Education Association
National Association of School Psychologists
U.S. Department of Homeland Security

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Love Struck School Teacher

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #197: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a middle school special education teacher.

As the school year ended that year, the wife (second marriage), mother, and head of the middle school special education department found herself embroiled in her husband’s arrest case.

Love Struck

He was a Brazilian native, bodybuilder, and ten years younger than his wife. Typically the difference between a husband’s and wife’s ages wouldn’t be a factor in a criminal case, but it became part of the teacher’s defense.

The local county sheriff department busted her husband as he picked up a suspicious package from China at a UPS store. Upon searching his vehicle drugs were found prompting a search warrant for the contents of the China box where they found a large quantity of fentanyl.

Homeland Security, through Customs, later confirmed the husband had received packages from China for approximately five years.

Big Trouble

Officers armed with a search for the teacher’s residence found a clandestine laboratory and mixing equipment in a secure room. They also found over 20,000 generic Xanax pills and about 16 liters or 16,000 doses of the highly addictive drug GBL (Gamma Butyrolactone), commonly found in paint stripper, nail polish remover, stain remover, and circuit board cleaner. GBL is also known as a ‘date rape’ drug. In addition to the drugs, they found more than $400,000 in cash, guns, and a drug transaction ledger.

It’s quite possible the husband began using GBL and then fell into a lucrative business. GBL is popular with bodybuilders and weightlifters. It creates a sense of euphoria, reduces soreness, and helps muscle recovery and repair.

As you can surmise, the authorities arrested the husband and wife. Shortly after her arrest, the school district fired her.

$2 Million Plan

She pleaded guilty to one federal charge of possessing illegal drugs with intent to distribute. In court, her attorney said she became obsessed with her younger husband and would do almost anything to please him. The press referred to him as her ‘trophy husband.’

The defense argued the wife didn’t know her husband dealt in drugs. Evidence presented to the court showed a note found in the home that read, “2 million and we are DONE!” Also presented as evidence were transcripts of text messages between the husband and wife that clearly showed she was involved.

The judge took into consideration the good she’d done for children during her 25-year teaching career and sentenced her to two and a half years in federal prison for drug dealing. As part of her plea agreement, she agreed to forfeit the cash found in the home and after the sale, the $100,000+ interest in their house.

Worth Mentioning: Her Social Science and Exceptional Student Education teaching certificates, although expired, are in good standing as of the date of this post.

Her husband was released on bond after he was charged with state crimes prior to the federal charges. He cleaned out his bank account and fled to Brazil. Brazil doesn’t extradite its citizens to the U.S. Their 12-year-old daughter also lives in Brazil with her grandparents.

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

Thanks for reading!

-Robin

Do you know someone who struggles with drug addiction? Here’s a great resource: DrugRehab

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ROBIN LYONS BLOG

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Source:

South Florida Sun Sentinel

U.S. District Court, Southern District of Florida

World Health Organization

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Self-Serving School Administrator

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

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #196: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving an Assistant Director of Academics at a junior-senior school.

Have you ever donated money to a school fundraiser? Maybe you’ve volunteered to help raise funds for a particular school project or activity. If so, this greedy person’s dirty deed will make you angry.

Schools don’t have a lot of fluff in the budget. In this case, there was a generous budget that was partly funded through donations.

Unchecked Responsibilities

A 40-something ex-middle school principal was the new Assistant Director of Academics at a school with approximately 1,000 students in grades 7-12.

One of her assignments was to coordinate an academic trip in December of her second school year to Finland for 18 staff members. She had a budget of $150,000.

A few months before the Finland trip, the School Director asked the Assistant Director of Academics about some irregularities in the budget. She resigned after being confronted with the disparities. The Director called the local authorities and then arranged for an audit.

Criminal Acts

After an accounting audit determined she’d embezzled more than $100,000 from the school, the authorities arrested her four months after she’d submitted her resignation.

She was charged with numerous counts of dealing in stolen property, passing forged documents, credit card fraud, money laundering, and grand theft.

The Finland trip had come in under budget by $55,000. She opened several PayPal type accounts in different names to funnel money from the school to her personal banking account.

Bank records showed she’d purchased home furnishings and paid off her debt with the school’s money. She used school credit cards to buy luxury items and travel while carefully submitting false invoices from fictitious businesses to match her expenditures.

No Trial

With plenty of evidence against her, she pleaded guilty to one count of first-degree grand theft, one count of money laundering, and one count of scheme to defraud.

A circuit court judge sentenced her to four years in prison and required her to pay more than $105,000 in restitution to the school. Plus she must serve three years of probation after her release.

What are your thoughts 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

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Robin Lyons Books

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Source:

The Ledger

The Daily Ridge

Polk County Sheriff’s Office Arrest Affidavit

Florida State Attorney Press Release

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The Boy Who Gave Up

***READER DISCRETION IS ADVISED***

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

Robin Lyons' BlogBLOG POST #195: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific case involving a 13-year-old boy who’d been relentlessly bullied.

Summer is the perfect time to have conversations with your children or grandchildren about bullying. Kids need to understand what to do and what not to do if they are a victim of bullying.

Bullies

It doesn’t take much to hurt a child’s feelings and breakdown their self-esteem. Bullies know this all too well. As a grandmother, when I learn of my grandchildren being bullied, it’s hard not to charge into the school and demand action. Unfortunately, it’s a delicate situation—it shouldn’t be delicate—but politics come into play.

Parents are fearful if they say something, the bullying will get worse. Often times, the bullied child begs the parent not to say anything or keeps the bullying a secret.

What about this scenario: The sports coach, who’s a bully, tells the kids if they have a problem with her/him—don’t run and tattle to their parents—talk to the coach themselves? How’s a child supposed to know what to do in that scenario (true story)?!

It was reported by Danny’s family that after he went to school officials to ask for help, all the boys, including Danny, were gathered in one room to discuss the behavior.

Danny’s mother was quoted to have said kids threw balls at her son in gym class; called him names, and often told him he was weird. He felt humiliated. That type of ridicule and torment wears you down. Kids start to believe it and feel the harassment will never end.

Danny Decision

One of Danny’s sisters found him deceased in the attic. He’d written a final letter and wrote that he’d reached out to school staff but felt they did nothing, his frustration is felt in the suicide letter he left behind. Read for yourself: I Gave Up

Since Danny’s Death

Danny’s Law Legislation is working its way through Congress. The Bill requires an Anti-Bullying Roundtable to be established to study bullying at elementary and secondary schools in the USA. Danny’s Law

Danny’s Angel Network Nurturing Youth (D.A.N.N.Y.) was formed to educate and protect youths against shades of bullying.  Danny’s Angels

Danny’s family has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the Catholic School Danny attended prior to his death. The case has not been settled.

Worth mentioning: Three years after the suicide, both the school principal at the time and the teacher whom the boy felt was helpful are no longer on the staff roster at the school Danny attended.

Must See TV: If you haven’t seen the 2015 documentary, “A Girl Like Her” available free through Amazon Prime Video (if you’re a member), watch it with your kids or by yourself. It’ll give you a glimpse of what unfiltered bullying looks like from the view of a hidden camera. The film will help start the conversation about what not to do.

Here are two great resources for parents: StopBullying.gov

DrugRehab.com/guide/bullying

What are your thoughts 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

Source:

People.com

Goodhousekeeping.com

NewYorkPost.com

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Extracurricular Sex Crime

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

Robin Lyons BlogDo you have children or grandchildren in a martial arts school? If you do, you’ll be especially interested in the case research shared below. Cases like this can and do happen where you live. Thankfully, most extracurricular athletic programs are run by decent, upstanding people.

BLOG POST #194: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving an elementary school teacher.

Karate Lessons

Before receiving his K-6 Teaching Certificate, the twenty-something young man worked as an assistant instructor at a karate academy—the type of program where children go after school and on weekends.

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