Schools

Bad News After Bad News

Bad News … And More Bad News

News Announcer: “There’s been another school shooting. This time at the Troutdale High School in Oregon, about 16 miles east of Portland….”

I don’t want to write about this. It feels like screaming into the wilderness with no one listening. And I feel silly now admitting that I really thought things would change after the December 2012 mass school shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

I honestly believed the senseless deaths of 26 little children and teachers (as well as one horribly misguided mother) in Connecticut was going to be a watershed event that would spur a host of new ideas to curb violence. [click to continue…]

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Another Massacre, Another Distracting Blame Game

by Diane Dimond on June 2, 2014

THIS is the Cause of the Massacre

THIS is the Cause of the Massacre

In the aftermath of a terrible tragedy we always look for someone or something to blame. In the case of the Isla Vista, California massacre in which six college students were murdered and 13 others wounded, the blame game started almost immediately. Most of the criticism was misdirected.

This mass murder was not due to the lack of strict gun laws. It was not the fault of violent video games. It wasn’t that the killer had an uncaring or inattentive family. It didn’t happen because the killer’s therapist or school counselor failed to decipher a madman’s inner turmoil. And it wasn’t because law enforcement somehow failed.

There is only one reason so many people died — 22-year-old Elliot Rodger was a young man of privileged means who was possessed by a demented, murderous and conniving mind. Period.  [click to continue…]

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Finally, Sex Abuse Crimes on the Legislative Agenda

by Diane Dimond on April 28, 2014

CapitolBuilding

Lawmakers Ponder Sex Abuse Bills, When’s the Vote?

Well, well, well. Washington seems to have finally taken notice about a problem we parents have been actively worried about — sex crimes against children, college students and those caught up in the despicable practice of human trafficking.

Lest you might think this is a subject that only affects females, please, consider this: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that nearly 1 in 5 women and one in every 71 males in the United States have been raped at some time in their lives. It may have happened on a dark street, in their own home or at a university that purports to be safe. These crimes are perpetrated against our daughters and our sons. [click to continue…]

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An Open Letter to Mr. Lanza

by Diane Dimond on March 17, 2014

Lanza Wishes He Had Done More

          “With hindsight, I know Adam would have killed me in a heartbeat, if he’d had the chance …The reason he shot Nancy four times was one for each of us: one for Nancy, one for him, one for Ryan, one for me.”                                            ~ Peter Lanza, father of mass killer Adam Lanza

Dear Mr. Lanza,

First, may I tell you how deeply sorry I am for the loss of your son, Adam? As a mother myself I cannot imagine my child committing suicide and the never-ending pain that action must bring with it.

Here’s hoping you know how many people have prayed for your family since the terrible tragedy in December 2012. [click to continue…]

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Kids and Guns and Public Safety

by Diane Dimond on January 27, 2014

In Homes With Guns, Teach Kids Gun Safety!

Uncle Jim used to herd a group of us kids into the car on a sunny Saturday morning and head to an isolated area outside town. His son, little Jim, my two cousins Sandy and Terry and I were full of anticipation.

We were going target shooting – with a real gun – guided every step of the way in gun safety by Uncle Jim. I was about ten or eleven years old, the oldest kid in the group.

“Always keep a gun pointed toward the ground until you are ready to shoot,” Uncle Jim would say as he set up soda cans on a fence post about 20 yards away. “Never, ever point a gun toward another person.”

There on the southwest mesa outside Albuquerque we would wait patiently until it was our turn to handle the pistol. Uncle Jim would stand right behind us and guide the gun into our hands, showing us the proper technique of cradling the hands around the bottom of the gun while placing an index finger on the trigger. Then he’d take a step back as we raised our arms and tell us to shoot when we were ready. [click to continue…]

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A Crime and Justice Wish List for 2014

by Diane Dimond on December 30, 2013

 

Tops on the List : Tolerance

Tops on my Crime and Justice Wish List this year is the sincere hope that America finds a way to become a better functioning and more tolerant country.

I wish for the lethargy of the electorate and the deterioration of trust and respect – in our government and in each other – to magically evaporate. 

It is a tall order, I know. We live in an ugly era of perpetual backbiting that serves no real purpose but to distract us from finding solutions to very real problems.

Democrats routinely ridicule Republicans and vice versa. Various ethnic groups point to those who are different and declare their problems are the other groups fault; both heterosexuals and homosexuals complain their lifestyle is under attack; the unemployed and under-employed label business people and corporations as greedy devils without acknowledging they are the very entities providing the most jobs. Our children grow up hearing our viciousness toward one another and are likely to continue the corrosive tradition of intolerance.  [click to continue…]

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Cutting, Kids and the Connection to Bullying

by Diane Dimond on October 26, 2013

Bullied to Death – Rebecca Ann Sedwick

Two young Florida teens, just 14 and 12, have been arrested for vicious cyber-stalking that led a classmate to commit suicide.

Felony charges were filed after the 14 year old posted an admission to the bullying on her Facebook account and then gloated about it.

The local sheriff in Lakeland, Florida announced he was looking for a way to arrest the older girl’s parents in connection with the cyber-caused suicide since they had done nothing to stop it.

Can I get some applause for that idea? In my book, it is parents who are responsible for keeping track of what their children do.

But it was a sentence buried in one of the first accounts of the suicide of 12-year-old Rebecca Ann Sedwick that caught my eye. Poor little thing climbed to the top of an abandoned silo and jumped because she just couldn’t take it anymore. [click to continue…]

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Kaitlyn’s Calamity – A Mess of Her Own Making

by Diane Dimond on August 26, 2013

She Got A Golden Ticket & Squandered It

Here’s a lesson everyone needs to learn. Don’t violate a court order. It will only make your problems worse. There is never an acceptable excuse for going against what a judge has ordered. Not even if you think it is unfair. Not even if it’s a matter of the heart.

Not long ago I wrote a column – actually, a rather sympathetic column – about the plight of Florida teenager Kaitlyn Hunt.  At 18, Hunt’s high school sweetheart was just 14 and female. Because Florida’s statutory rape law stipulates that no one under 16 can legally consent to sexual contact – Hunt was expelled from her high school where she had been an excellent student and athlete.

In mid-February, Hunt was charged with two felony counts of lewd and lascivious behavior with a minor. Circuit Court Judge Robert Pegg issued a no-contact order instructing Kaitlyn to have no further contact with the younger girl. [click to continue…]

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Time to Re-Think Laws on Teen Sex

by Diane Dimond on June 3, 2013

 

Can Laws Really Regulate Teen Sex?

If an adult has sexual relations with a 14 year old that’s bad, right? 

Okay, well what if that “adult” has just turned 18 and has a younger teen as a love interest? Would their actions be as serious a crime as, say, a 40-year-old with a young teen? 

The law says yes. The law calls it statutory rape when anyone who has reached adulthood has sex with a person under the age of 16. (In a few states it is age 15) It doesn’t matter if it is an older person is male or female or if the younger person is a girl or boy. It is illegal and often punishable by a hefty prison sentence. 

The case that brings this issue to the forefront is playing out now in Sebastian, Florida. [click to continue…]

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Mandatory Drug Tests – For Kids?

by Diane Dimond on February 11, 2013

Can Underage Drinking and Drugging Be Stopped?

 

There’s a community wide conversation going on in Kansas City, Missouri that should also be taking place around the country. It has to do with high school kid’s use of drugs and alcohol. The discussion revolves around the question: How can adults adequately convince a teen-ager that drinking too soon or using narcotics can, literally, cost them their lives? 

At Rockhurst High School in Kansas City the Jesuit leadership has answered that question with, “You can’t.” You can’t fully convince or trust teens not to drink or experiment with drugs. So, later this year at the all-male Rockhurst High they will begin to randomly drug test the student body by taking 60 hairs from the head of each teen. This will be repeated every 90 days. One of the Rockhurst faculty members, someone with a background in barbering, will collect the sample hairs and send them out for testing. Lab techs will look for traces of marijuana, cocaine and other illegal drugs as well as alcohol consumption. [click to continue…]

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