Friday, July 31, 2009


Tuesday night, or in all actuality, Wednesday morning, just after midnight, I was awakened by the sound of speeding cars, the flashing of blue and red lights, and a low-flying helicopter. With the sounds fading off into the distance, and not being in the habit of chasing ambulance/fire trucks/speeding policemen, I tugged the blankets off of my stingy blanket burdened husband telling him that something bad must have happened down the bayou (everything is down the bayou where we live). He muttered something about cold feet and went back to sleep. I spent the night listening to a circling helicopter and hoping that someone's child was not missing.

The next morning found me struggling to get out of bed at 7:30 in the morning and dragging my protesting rear end out of bed in order to bring the teens to band camp. No fun for any of us. Before we could leave our small town and drive to their high school, we were stopped by a giant sized road block of police men and their cars. Of course my fluttering mind and harebrained mentality immediately thought of the missing insurance ID and out of date brake tag. Crap. No way out of it, I'm sure they would see if I'd take an alternate route (yeah, our town is that small...not even a stop light). They stopped us, rolled down window, and to my charign, asked me if I knew the man in the picture. He shot a police officer, and had run off into the swamps. No, I didn't know him. I knew his parents. He attended our school five years ago. He's just a kid.

He was just a kid. He came from a broken home, if you could have called it a home to begin with. At school, he was classified as EBD (emotionally behaviorally disturbed), attended a self contained setting, didn't get along well socially with others, and had a behavior plan. Behavior plans target specific behaviors...such as stealing from others...if it's a target have a plan put in place to try and fix the targeted behavior. Among other things, many students tend to use these as a get out jail free card. Poor kid just wasn't right in his head. Now added to his own personal challenges, rumor mill has it going on that his know...the one that is suppose to make sure they grow up into a decent upstanding person...was having the step mom drop him and his son at houses undergoing construction in order to help him steal copper that could be stripped and sold. Nice role model there.

He was arrested later that day. The helicopter pinned down his position in a nearby swamp, and some twenty odd officers surrounded him, and fortunately, peacefully arrested him. The police officer that had been shot is now in stable condition, suffering from gunshots to the shoulder, leg, and buttocks.

When asked if the 18 year old had any regrets, he responded simply by saying, "Yeah, I shouldn't have shot him. That's it."

Sometimes I wonder, as a teacher, as a mom, as a citizen, if we are doing justice to the youth of today. I see so many of yesterday's behavior problems, the ones with behavior plans that gave warnings, allowances, this and thats becoming today's crime offenders. What can we do? Honestly? There is only so much that can be done in the classroom and in schools, and even then, without parental involvement and support AND carrying out their part of the plan, what good can it do?

My heart goes out to a kid who has committed a mansize crime and has absolutely NO idea what he is in for now.


  1. I'm with you. I agree. I concur. Uh-huh. Amen, and holla.
    Poor kid [slash] son of a...
    cuz even when it's rooted in a bad family or lack of family, it's eventually HIS decision to pave his road to ruin.
    What to do?
    When you find out lemme know and I'll lend a hand (or a boot in the a**).

  2. That is a sad story on so many levels. I'm glad the officer is going to be ok. I wish I could say the same for the kid.

    Man! You're full of sad/scary stories this week!

  3. Doesn't sound like the kid had a chance. Sad story.

  4. It is tragic and all to common in society today.



  5. I think it usually comes down to their upbringing in the end. Unfortunately. Unless they start therapy early and are able to override engrained behaviors.

  6. I'm with HS. That is so sad. Teachers sometimes feel like they "could have done more" but really? Parents people. Parents, home, family. It's important. It should be mandatory. I don't get it. So sad.

  7. I have to agree with Housewife, everyone is responsible for their own behaviors and choices. Unfortunately, some people do have the deck stacked against them. I'm glad the police officer is going to be ok and that they caught this kid. Maybe he will beat the odds, get the help he needs and turn his life around. But, first, I do think he needs to be punished. He needs to suffer the consequences of his actions.

  8. I am so grateful there are people like you in the world, Alex. People who care so deeply, who think beyond the surface. Ever see the movie Dead Man Walking? Seems to me we can't ever really say what the future holds for such troubled people. There may be a Sister Prejean in his future. I pray there is.

  9. I agree with others, we each make choices and have to live with consequences and punishments. Some people, however, do have a propensity or a higher risk of running into trouble, based on the rotten parenting they receive. That's just one cause.
    I'm glad the office will recover, and maybe this young man can start over again.
    These are some heavy blog posts this week ms Alex.

  10. Oh, I am a firm believe in once they are old enough to distinguish right from wrong, then the choices they make are definitely their own. The one thing being in the school system has shown me is that some kids, no matter what kind of family background they have, will do what they want to do no matter what. I do hope he learns from this...I hope it's not to late...and I hope the time he spends in prison isn't going to further the damage already done.

  11. Don't tell anybody, but I knew which kid in my classroom would end up in jail every year!
    One, whose mother always made excuses for him and said he was just bored and that's why he misbehaved, SHOT and killed said mother later when he was 22.

  12. that is so sad! its easy to feel helpless when you hear stories like that. What can u do, ya know?