Jefferson County in Colorado contains the most infamous school in the history of school shootings, Columbine. So it would be natural if parents became concerned about a possible shooting at the school their children attend. It might not be unfeasible for parents to be outraged when the threat of a school shooting is made at their children’s school and the parents aren’t informed of the incident.
At Governor’s Ranch School, also in Littleton where Columbine is, a student allegedly told another student he was going to go home, get his father’s shotgun and shoot the other student.
A threat assessment document, obtained by Denver7, indicates that one student was joking with other students about “being like Donald Trump,” and the other said, “I’m going to bring my Dad’s shotgun and shoot you.”
The threat was reported to a teacher who reported it to the school psychologist, however, law enforcement was not called. Why were police not called you might ask? Shouldn’t we be taking every step possible to prevent a future school shooting, especially at the Ground Zero of all modern school shootings? Normally I would say yes, but the students in question are 8-years-old and the school in question is Governor’s Ranch Elementary School. That sounds like one of the most pretentious public school names I’ve ever heard, so I’m not surprised the two parents sound like over-reactive divas who want to shield their kid from all negative emotions.
The parents of the student who made the threat were informed and the student was disciplined, but this isn’t enough for the pearl clutchers with their fainting couches, saying their family has been ruined by the event. They want the principal removed for not following the protocol set forth by the school district in the wake of Columbine.
It sounds like to me these parents are projecting their own over-emotional sensitivities onto their child. In the real world not inhabited by the pretentious and the melodramatic, the problem is solved with these four words: They’re 8-years-old.
If this had happened in a less prosperous school district, this would be a non-story.
Hell has frozen over, the Seventh Seal has been broken and grab two of each animal and head for the border because the end is nigh. Two parents in Bountiful, Utah, actually prevented their 15-year-old son from possibly shooting up Mueller Park Junior High. The suspect allegedly stole two guns from his parents’ gun safe and took them to the school. The parents not only noticed the guns were missing, but that their son was acting strangely the morning of the incident. Let’s hear it for attentive parenting for once.
The parents rushed to the school in order to locate their son when they heard a gunshot. The suspect fired a shot into the ceiling of a classroom then held the gun to his neck. His mother found him in the classroom and disarmed him before anything else could happen. Luckily no one was physically injured. The guns were said to have been secured properly in their safe, but it has not been made public how the suspect obtained the guns.
How many school shootings in the US could have been prevented just by parents being more attentive than they were? How many more people would be alive today if more people acted as parents rather than friends? Not just friends though, a lot of parents of school shooters acted even more like acquaintances being barely involved in their children’s life. Too many parents are trying to be the cool parents rather than good parents. Luckily these parents were very good.
UPDATE 12/17/2016: Local prosecutors are looking to charge the suspect as an adult. He has been charged with three felonies of two counts of theft and a count of discharging a firearm on school ground.
In my opinion that doesn’t matter. He allegedly took multiple guns to the school and fired one of the guns. It’s only by sheer luck that one was injured or killed.
UPDATE 2/13/2017:The suspect has entered a guilty plea to discharging a firearm at the school. The plea agreement means three other charges have been dropped. He could be held in juvenile detention until he is 21 when he is sentenced on February 23rd.
UPDATE 2/27/2017: Late last week the suspect was sentenced to juvenile detention for an indeterminate amount of time. According to reports, he could be held as little as six months and as much as until he’s 21. The judge left that matter in the hands of the Youth Parole Authority.
Check out this quote from US News and World Report about parenting and social networking sites…
More than four in five parents say their children use the Internet without adult supervision, but at the same time almost two-thirds are worried about online predators, a new survey has found.
Here’s an idea, if you’re that worried about your kids encountering online predators how about KEEPING A FREAKIN’ EYE ON THEM. Do not let them be without supervision while on the net. Do not let them keep a computer in their room. And for the love of all that is just and good do not let them have a webcam.
This article from CNN tries to tackle the question of how young is too young for kids to be on social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace. Well, you can read the psychobabble from CNN are you can read the straight truth I’m about to give you.
Most of the bigger sites set the minimum age of use at 13. However they have no way of verifying a user’s age so it’s up to you, the parent, to make sure they’re not on it if they’re under age. I think 13 is old enough to be on a social site however it’s not old enough for them to be on social sites unmonitored. You may have the most well-behaved children in the world. You may trust them completely. It’s not your kids that you have to worry about. It’s the other people out there that you have no control over that you have to worry about. You may have the most intelligent and sensible child in the world but that doesn’t matter to a hill of beans when it comes to predators.
A lot of sexual predators out there are the most devious and manipulative group of cretins to ever slink across the face of the planet. Your kid is not immune to their Svengali like machinations. You must monitor your kids’ activities not just in Facebook and Myspace but everywhere on the internet.
My biggest safety tips to you are to not let them keep the computer in their own room and definitely not to let them have a webcam. You are really the only line of defense between your kids and predators.
And how old should they be until you stop monitoring their activity? I tend to lead towards when they’re 18 when they’re legally responsible for themselves. Hopefully by then you’ve instilled enough sense in them.
A report issued by the Internet Safety Technical Task Force, led by Harvard University’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society and ordered from 49 state attorneys general says what I’ve been saying for years. There is no software solution to protect your kids from online predators on MySpace among other threats. The report also says that parental oversight combined with technology and education are the best protection for you children. Parental involvement? What a concept. Why hasn’t someone said that before? Oh wait, that’s right, I did.
Now let’s hear from two of the most outspoken attorneys general on the matter. First up is North Carolina AG Roy Cooper.
Attorney General Roy Cooper of North Carolina said in an interview Tuesday: “Clearly, the main responsibility is on parents.” But he added that “because technology companies are providing this gathering space and encouraging children to come, they have a duty to put in place technologies that can help protect kids.”
I don’t remember AG Cooper saying anything about the main responsibility being om parents leading up to the election. Now that he’s been re-elected he’s putting the onus on the parents. Funny how that works. By the way I did not vote for him.
Now Connecticut AG Richard Blumenthal…
Mr. Blumenthal said these measures are a step in the right direction.
“We see in our police work, in the trenches, that young people continue to be lured and enticed to very dangerous situations, sometimes resulting in criminal assaults as a result of contacts on social-networking sites,” he said.
Notice that he didn’t say anything about parenting.
My advice to parents has always been don’t expect the government or MySpace to have your children’s best interest at heart. You are the first and last line of defense when it comes to your children on the internet.
This is an incredible article that every parent with a MySpace age kid needs to read. It give 10 very simple common sense tips on how to deal kids’ behavior on MySpace or any other social networking site.
Even if you think you’re pretty advanced in your net knowledge I still recommend reading it.
This is a great article from the Philadelphia Inquirer about how MySpace’s ‘pact’ with the Attorneys General is pretty much useless. Who says so? Why Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett says so.
That’s because the safety barriers it prescribes depend largely on MySpace subscribers’ truthfully reporting their ages when creating online profiles. And it offers no reliable means of identifying or policing the suspected millions who do not.
“I’ve been arguing this point for more than a year now,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett, who considers the agreement more blueprint than panacea. “Age verification has been the number-one issue for us from the very beginning.”
Until that nut is cracked, no set of guidelines can keep 12-year-olds from registering their virtual selves as adults, or stop 60-year-old creeps from masquerading online as high school cheerleaders.
Yet none of the Attorneys General have come up with a realistic way on how to verify age on the internet.
The article also at the very end prescribes to common sense.
But police say the best security of all is a vigilant parent – one who knows a child’s passwords, monitors his online friends and activities, and keeps the computer in a public area of the home. Some even buy spyware that can record their kids’ online conversations and Web visits.
“A lot of parents don’t want to do that because they don’t want to invade their kids’ privacy,” said Montgomery County Detective Ray Kuter, an Internet-crime expert. “I say, ‘You are the parent. You need to decide what to do.’ ”
“Parents,” Kuter said, “are the best monitoring program we know of.”
The police know this why don’t the Attorneys General?
First let me hit you with the just the first paragraph from the AP article that’s making the rounds about MySpace’s proposed new safety measures.
Under mounting pressure from law enforcement and parents, MySpace agreed Monday to take steps to protect youngsters from online sexual predators and bullies, including searching for ways to better verify users’ ages.
The fact that parents are pressuring MySpace is a joke. If parents were actually parenting I would say more than half the stories on this site wouldn’t have happened.
Here’s some of the things MySpace said they will do for lax parents. Ok, I made up the lax parents part.
Under the agreement, profiles for users under age 16 will be set to private so no strangers can get information from their profile; users can block anyone over 18 from contacting them; and people over 18 cannot add anyone under 16 as a friend in their network unless they have their last name or their e-mail address.
All of these can be circumvented by the underage user if the parents aren’t paying attention.
Another new feature will be the following…
MySpace said it is in the process of creating a database where parents can submit children’s e-mail addresses to prevent their children from setting up profiles.
And it only takes your kid about a minute to set up another e-mail address that you don’t know about.
In my opinion age verification won’t work either even if you need a credit card to sign up with MySpace. First of all MySpace will never do that because their userbase will plummet. Secondly it wouldn’t take much for a kid to slide the credit card out of mom or dad’s wallet, use it to sign up on MySpace, then slide back unnoticed.
There is no greater security measure than good parenting.
Now this is a story about how responsible parents act.
After a Naperville father noticed his daughter spending more time than usual on the Internet, he installed parental monitoring software to keep a closer eye on her.
His action last summer may have kept the 13-year-old girl out of a convicted sex offender’s clutches.
A Salt Lake City man was sentenced Tuesday to 17¨ years in federal prison in Utah for persuading the girl to send him sexually explicit photos of herself during three months of cyberspace chats and phone calls.
Gerald Lee Wheeler, 41, was arrested last year in Utah after a multi-agency investigation. He pleaded guilty March 26 to one count of production of child pornography, which carries a mandatory 15-year minimum sentence.
Prosecutors said Wheeler was trying to get the teen to meet him in New York for sex in exchange for a modeling contract. Fortunately, her father intervened before the girl was physically harmed.
Of course Wheeler is a registered sex offender in Utah.
Anyway, do you see how easy it is to protect your kids? If not you shouldn’t be operating a computer in the first place.