With a heavy heart I am writing to warn our youth that making school threats is not a joke!
In the past 10 days I have spoken with two parents whose children made threats to their school. Before I continue, let me say I am not writing to disclose who they are but more to expose the serious ramifications this can have on a student and why parents need to talk with their children. We need to have a talk about the safety around school shooting and, yes, the importance of reaching out for help if you feel like you want to hurt yourself or anyone else.
Threats are not taken lightly. Students have been known to make threats because they don’t want to take a test. Because they don’t like a teacher. Because they don’t want to go to school. And yes, because they thought it was funny.
Funny? How is it funny that you could possibly end up on a terrorist list? Is missing school important enough that you show up to school the next day and police are there to arrest you for a joke? Do students not think this could derail their acceptance to college? Did they not know that no other school district would allow you to enroll in school because your record will follow you?
One young boy is now put on close watch and if he so much as sneezes too many times at school he will be kicked out. He got off lightly because his past was immaculate. He thought it would be cool to send a text message to a girl stating he was not afraid of another boy who liked her and would “shoot that bitch up if the boy came talking junk to him.” The young lady did just as she was supposed to and told a staff member.
Your peers are afraid! Ever think about that as you allow your male ego to challenge your intellect?
Young man number two, near and dear to my heart. He has had a hard life. He is an IEP student (no judgment amd no excuse) who has been repeatedly bullied in school. He attended one of our best schools and was a student intern at the local meijers. At 14 he stole some candy, a video game, and condoms. He was on probation for 6 months and told by the school, “it’s best if you attend another school.”
No one thought about the fact that his mother at that time was clinging to life for 6 months. His brother who protected him was murdered. His relationship with his stepfather, for lack of better words, is deplorable.
He poured his heart into music and found a safe place at a new school 45 minutes away from home. His mind is preoccupied with music and making it to college soon. He is active in his church, encouraging other youth to write and produce music, willing to help anyone. This kid made a school threat.
My heart is heavy!
He made a threat!
I am not sure what to think
I want to cry
His friends want to cry
The dean of students who also attends the church with him is shaken up. “He’s not that type of kid. I don’t know what he was thinking. I arrived to work this morning and there were police everywhere. I told them, he’s not that type of kid.”
I am hurting for our youth!
What is it that causes them to just follow suit as if life is a joke?
What are we missing?
All I have are questions right now!
Our cities suffer from crime all day, every day. Youth are killing one another and take it as another social media opportunity to post whatever they want without thinking of backlash.
How do we reach them before it gets this far?
Again, I have no answers!
I have no excuses for these two young boys.
What I do know is that something has to change. The culture of our young people and their mindsets have to change.
While at the juvenile facility today there were three different students who made threats to their schools. Talking to each parent all you heard was confusion and disbelief that their children would do this.
God help us!