No Weapons Allowed At School

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

Robin Lyons BlogSadly, I’ve asked this question too many times before… Have your children experienced bullying in school? Even sadder, most people will answer yes or acknowledge that they were bullied when in school.

This case research is a must-read for you and a conversation starter for you to have with your children.

BLOG POST #207: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving an 18-year-old bullied high school senior.

It was an autumn morning when the senior packed his books and inhaler in his backpack and tucked a switchblade in his pocket. He’d purchased the knife online and wanted it to protect himself against the boys who he said had bullied him for years.

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Bullying And School Violence

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

Robin Lyons BlogDaily, school staff must deal with bullying, harassment, and discipline issues. These behavior-based problems make schools unsafe. Too often, the behavior problems push kids to retaliate with violence and self-destruction.

BLOG POST #206: This week, I’m sharing research on ways to make schools safer that don’t include changing gun laws.

It’s time to stop studying school violence and start doing something about eliminating it. I’m not arguing for or against gun rights. I’m pointing out that asking for gun law reform to reduce school violence isn’t working.

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BULLY-VICTIM SNAPS

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

Robin Lyons BlogOctober is Bullying Awareness Month. As with most causes, every month should be Bully Awareness Month. Reported on www.stopbullying.gov, in 2017, 20% of students ages 12-18 experienced bullying.

Bullying is rampant. Consider this—if your child hasn’t been bullied, they may be a bully, participating in bullying, or be a silent witness.

BLOG POST #205: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a high school senior.

In middle school, he had long hair. It was about the same time when the bullying began. Kids threw stuff at him and called him derogatory names. He cut classes to avoid the bullies. Three times, his mother requested a transfer and was denied all three times. He attempted suicide.

SNAPPED

The bullying continued through high school until one day in history class, he snapped.

On that day, the bully-victim said, because he feared for his safety, he brought a switchblade to school. An argument turned to violence thirty minutes into history class. One boy punched the bully-victim several times. He felt alone and believed nobody would help him.  He stabbed two boys, one 15 and the other 16. The 15-year-old died from his injuries.

REACTIVE SOLUTION

Why do schools make improvements or update emergency procedures after a tragic event?

The school administration vowed to have random bag checks performed and screen students for metals with hand-held wands beginning the next day when classes resumed.

The Chief of Detectives said, “No question, the weapon would have been picked up by a metal detector.”

Hours after the stabbing, local police installed metal detection equipment at the school.

THE TRIAL

There was never a doubt as to who had stabbed the two boys. The bully-victim waited in the principal’s office for the police to arrive.

Almost two years after the stabbing, the bully-victim was found guilty of first-degree manslaughter, first-degree assault, and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

At the trial, the District Attorney said, “The incident has forever traumatized the young students and school faculty who watched in horror the violence that unfolded that morning.”

A Supreme Court Judge sentenced the bully-victim to 14 years in prison for the manslaughter verdict and eight years for the assault verdict—sentences to run concurrently. After his release, he’ll be on probation for five years.

Worth mentioning: Both the murder victim’s family and the bully-victim’s family filed civil lawsuits against the school system. Both families felt the school did little to stop bullying.

Also worth mentioning: At the end of the school year, in which the stabbing occurred, the school closed its doors for good. During that troubling year, the school struggled with low performance, and they released the principal.

Here are some great bullying resources for parents: StopBullying.gov and Bullying Guide from DrugRehab.com.

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.

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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Source: Bronx County District Attorney, ABC7NY, AMNewYork, WNYC

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See Something – Say Something

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

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #189: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving an 18-year-old high school student who idolized school shooters.

His Childhood

His mother lived for years with undiagnosed mental illness. When he was 5, she began leaving him home alone for extended periods. They often had no running water, power, or food—he’d go to neighbors and beg for food. He missed months of school at a time.

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Shooting In First Period

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

Robin Lyons BlogBLOG POST #178: This week, I’m sharing research on a specific crime involving a 12-year-old middle school student.

I haven’t experienced a school lockdown, but I imagine it’s frightening. Even the toughest kids most likely become fearful when their classroom door is locked, the windows covered, and they’re told to huddle in a corner.

Making it even scarier is how long it takes to hear “all clear.” Kids can be held in classrooms for many hours. There may be a crime scene to process, there may be an assailant roaming the halls, key people may have been harmed causing the best emergency preparedness plans to become derailed. Meanwhile on the perimeter, parents become frantic with worry.

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