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School Gang Rape, Kidnappings walking home etc.


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I've been watching the news a lot this week. There was a gang rape that took place on the school campus that according to reports lasted over 2 hours and took place after the homecoming dance. The reports said around 5 boys took part while another dozen "or so" (which means possibly more I guess) stood around and watched. The spokesperson for the school was quoted as saying that the dance was still considered a success because nothing bad happened at the actual dance itself and as far as what goes on after the dance the quote was "We don't walk them home". Meaning it's not his problem. School admin attempting to wipe their hands of the incident. Is this anything new? No not at all.

 

Today Elizabeth Olten's school published a release where they assured parents that what happened to Elizabeth did not take place on the school campus and was not school related. This seems to show that the school's number one priority is making sure they are absolved from any guilt and take no responisiblity. Poor Elizabeth was murdered trying to get home from a friend's house when a 15 year old apparently convinced her to go off in the woods. Now she is dead. The school then issues this release? I think it reveals that administration has become "dead" themselves to what is going on with our kids today. The educational community is responsible to society and should be watching out and taking note of the signs. Yet even when teachers do report signs of things happening that are suspicious often times they are told by administration that nothing can be done until the student actually does something. From my own personal experience teaching middle school students, I know that admin will ignore even death threats and other things. After all if it gets out...the parents might get upset!! And we can't have that.

 

Then there is Somer Thompson dissappears walking home from school. Where I live my children are expected to walk to school alone b/c we live within 2 miles of the school. So I should pack up my 6 year old and send her to walk 2 miles past several convicted child sex offenders homes?? Ridiculous. So much news this week and all of it must make parents wonder about their choices and alternatives.

 

I am glad to be homeschooling and every time I turn on the news it cements it further in my mind . My heart absolutely breaks into pieces for the parents who are suffering through what can only be described as a total attack on the children. If it's not the bullies inside the schools, it is the predators on the street. And if you are a parent who still takes your children trick or treating...PLEASE get on familywatchdog and find out where the sex offenders live and don't go knocking on their door. I know where they live in my neighborhood. Unfortunately too close to my house and yet I see kids knocking on the door to sell girl scout cookies and wrapping paper for fundraisers.

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I really have a problem with this kind of post. I think it's because we sometimes write things like this but next time a news story breaks about an abused child and it turns out the family homeschooled we'll all be the first to say it has nothing to do with homeschooling in general.

 

Frankly, none of those things did happen at a school and there were a lot more forces working on those kids, like family and community, that may be as much or more to blame then the schools. We'd object if a story of abuse was used to vilify homeschooling so I think we should really work not to use horrible stories like these to vilify school.

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I was considering posting something similar just yesterday. I, too, have been overwhelmed with such tragedy with children lately. I've been wondering if its always been just like this and with the media we are only now *hearing* about so much more of it, or if its just an inevitable societal downfall since humans have been here so long (okay, don't judge me, just musing),or if its the rise in mental illness (but then what causes that....I suppose that's a whole 'nother thread topic) or what in the world is going on.

 

I've had to stop watching/reading the news the last 2 days because it really is eating at me. But then I feel guilty because just because *I* stop reading about it doesn't make the problem go away, kwim?

 

Its frightening and sad.

Edited by LauraGB
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I really have a problem with this kind of post. I think it's because we sometimes write things like this but next time a news story breaks about an abused child and it turns out the family homeschooled we'll all be the first to say it has nothing to do with homeschooling in general.

 

Frankly, none of those things did happen at a school and there were a lot more forces working on those kids, like family and community, that may be as much or more to blame then the schools. We'd object if a story of abuse was used to vilify homeschooling so I think we should really work not to use horrible stories like these to vilify school.

 

I did not say that the school was responsible. What I did say was that the school has a responsibility to observe and report behavior that may lead to things like this. Since we know little about the Elizabeth Olten incident we do not know yet what, if any, signs they may have overlooked OR what signs they may have reported that no one paid attention to!. We don't know what, if any, signs the parents overlooked. My point was that in general admin tends to overlook these things more often than not. I feel I have earned my right to say that because I worked in a middle school and I happen to know from personal experience just how much gets overlooked. Of course there will be examples of schools that step up. The point is not to "villify" the schools but rather to say that many things happening today with the youth are a good reason to be very careful over where you send your kids whether it be down the block or to the bus stop.

 

As far as children who live 2 miles away from a school being forced to walk...that most certainly does have to do with the school. In fact it is school policy. In my neighborhood my children ARE told to walk 1.5 miles to a local elementary school and past 5 convicted child molester's homes to get there. That is school policy.

Edited by iluvmy4blessings
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I really have a problem with this kind of post. I think it's because we sometimes write things like this but next time a news story breaks about an abused child and it turns out the family homeschooled we'll all be the first to say it has nothing to do with homeschooling in general.

 

Frankly, none of those things did happen at a school and there were a lot more forces working on those kids, like family and community, that may be as much or more to blame then the schools. We'd object if a story of abuse was used to vilify homeschooling so I think we should really work not to use horrible stories like these to vilify school.

 

I do not see why you would have a problem with the post. Frankly those things do happen at school on a fairly frequent basis. The girl who was assaulted was there because of the dance, children who walk to school are walking to school and fights on school busses (as discussed in an earlier thread) are also related to school. Yes horrible things happen with homeschoolers but I would opine that nowhere at the rate found in public schools.

 

The complete failure of public schools to help control the behavior of society’s scum and yet willingness to suspend a boy for having a pocket knife in his car are symptomatic of many of the problems in schools and yet another reason why my children will not be exposed to those particular institutions. The lunatics really have taken over the asylum.

 

In one area you are correct. The problems are not simply related to schools, but to family and society as well. The refusal to set and maintain standards in society, and in family, is a causal factor in the disaster that many segments of our society have become. When we find excuses for bad behavior, when we explain away outrageous actions then we too must bear some of the blame.

 

This is not entirely the fault of teachers as the tools of discipline have been taken away from them, but it is the fault of the administrators for not loudly trumpeting the fact that teachers can no longer discipline students.

 

I do not even know what the full solution is but I do know that today's public schools are frequently no place for children.

Edited by pqr
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As a former public school teacher, I just can not imagine what schools can do when parents are not parenting.

 

I only this year allowed my 15 year old to walk to her volunteer site which is on our street. She calls me when she gets there, and then calls me again when she is leaving. If I'm not busy, I'll walk half way to meet her.

 

My 13 year old loves to ride his bike. I told him that I will make it a priority to go with him since we have so many blind curves on our road.

 

As their parent, I have to do what I can to keep them safe. I think that is reasonable.

 

If I was still teaching, I'm not sure what I could do to keep students safe when they are off of school property. Isn't that their parents' job?

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As a former public school teacher, I just can not imagine what schools can do when parents are not parenting.

 

I only this year allowed my 15 year old to walk to her volunteer site which is on our street. She calls me when she gets there, and then calls me again when she is leaving. If I'm not busy, I'll walk half way to meet her.

 

My 13 year old loves to ride his bike. I told him that I will make it a priority to go with him since we have so many blind curves on our road.

 

As their parent, I have to do what I can to keep them safe. I think that is reasonable.

 

If I was still teaching, I'm not sure what I could do to keep students safe when they are off of school property. Isn't that their parents' job?

While I find it sad the schools have to publicaly announe, "It's not our fault" I don't think it is. I was thinking parent responsibility. I am always amazed at what my p.s. friends will let their dc do. I'm not all about stranger danger, but I do think a 2 mile walk for an elementary school kid, alone is crazy.

 

I am just at odds with understanding about the gang rape. I just can't imagine. Really. Ok. to edit this I must add, I can't believe a child could stand by and watch. Don't people raise their children better?

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I agree with Amy. Each of the parents of the boys who took part in the rape (and the watchers were just as culpable as the "doers" in my mind) were more responsible for their childrens' behavior than the school.

 

The schools are responsible for providing a safe environment for the children. That means having chaperones at a dance, adequate lighting etc.

 

Parents should be responsible for making sure that the kids went straight home afterward. Didn't any of these parents wonder when their kids were 2 hours late?

 

Now as to the problem in general - it's just heart-breaking and sickening.

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Our children are growing up in a very violent world. It's a reminder to be watchful at every point. Teens are vulnerable; young kids are vulnerable. As one who cannot imagine the minds and hearts behind this kind of aggression, it's a sober reminder to keep hedges of protection around my children and teach them to be watchful and pro-active.

 

Lisa

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I really have a problem with this kind of post. I think it's because we sometimes write things like this but next time a news story breaks about an abused child and it turns out the family homeschooled we'll all be the first to say it has nothing to do with homeschooling in general.

 

Frankly, none of those things did happen at a school and there were a lot more forces working on those kids, like family and community, that may be as much or more to blame then the schools. We'd object if a story of abuse was used to vilify homeschooling so I think we should really work not to use horrible stories like these to vilify school.

 

 

There are plenty of homeschooling families out there who are abusing their kids. Homeschoolers can be abusers as easily as anyone else. The moment a news story comes out about one of these families, there will be a lengthy post here about how terrible it is to mention they were homeschoolers, and that homeschool had nothing to do with it. Yet every crime against a public schooled kid, whether they were even on campus or not, is posted here.

 

There is a lot of crime in the world. Bad stuff happens to kids, if they are walking home from school, how is that the school's fault?

Michelle T

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When I was teaching ps K, a little girl in the classroom next door to mine was murdered. She was taken from her bed and killed by her mother's 'friend.'

 

Even then, there was the suggestion from some that the teacher could somehow have prevented the crime. The idea seemed to be that he (the teacher) should have noticed "something" and done "something."

 

I think we want there to be a reason when something this ugly and senseless happens. There is some thin comfort in having someone to blame -- even if just a little.

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Even then, there was the suggestion from some that the teacher could somehow have prevented the crime. The idea seemed to be that he (the teacher) should have noticed "something" and done "something."

 

I think the eye is automatically directed to the person/people the child in question spends the most time with, hence looking toward the teacher.

 

You are right, though. It is terribly unfair to assume the teachers have xray vision into a child's mind, and it places a lot of misplaced guilt onto the teachers (who probably feel awful already, second guessing themselves in an instance like that).

 

In the case of the school the op mentions, though, the spokesperson really shouldn't have used the cold wording he did.

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I've been watching the news a lot this week.

 

 

......So much news this week and all of it must make parents wonder about their choices and alternatives.

 

I believe the news creates a skewed perception of risks to our children. I don't believe it's a big, bad, violent world for our children.

 

However, last year I worked *at* a public school and observed first hand the administrative contortions to protect the *school and district* taking precedence over common sense. So much so that I resigned my much needed job over it.

 

So, while I don't agree that violence in and around schools = reason to homeschool (the stats don't back that up), I do acknowledge the existence of several unhealthy, unethical and icky patterns in administrations of public schools.

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There are plenty of homeschooling families out there who are abusing their kids. Homeschoolers can be abusers as easily as anyone else. The moment a news story comes out about one of these families, there will be a lengthy post here about how terrible it is to mention they were homeschoolers, and that homeschool had nothing to do with it. Yet every crime against a public schooled kid, whether they were even on campus or not, is posted here.

 

There is a lot of crime in the world. Bad stuff happens to kids, if they are walking home from school, how is that the school's fault?

Michelle T

 

:iagree:

 

Right, why is it public school's fault - why not the parole board, city planners, the police, etc?

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As a former public school teacher, I just can not imagine what schools can do when parents are not parenting.

 

I only this year allowed my 15 year old to walk to her volunteer site which is on our street. She calls me when she gets there, and then calls me again when she is leaving. If I'm not busy, I'll walk half way to meet her.

 

My 13 year old loves to ride his bike. I told him that I will make it a priority to go with him since we have so many blind curves on our road.

 

As their parent, I have to do what I can to keep them safe. I think that is reasonable.

 

If I was still teaching, I'm not sure what I could do to keep students safe when they are off of school property. Isn't that their parents' job?

 

I have often wondered why the "they call me when they get there" line has always bothered me. I finally figured it out.

 

It is because it is a false sense of safety. If they are grabbed off the street in between the safety of your arms and the place where they are going, you won't know when it happens. The abductor is not going to say "call your Mom and tell her I got you and come rescue you"

 

You won't know they are gone until it is too late.

Walk your kids to their destinations. 1% is too high a number because someone has to be that 1% and you don't know if it is you, and by then you can't change it.

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If I dispute the school's authority to control how my child gets to and from school (as I did in an earlier thread about schools that wanted to prohibit children from walking and riding bikes to school), then I can't turn around and say that a school was responsible for an evil thing done by evil people, who happened to be on their way to or from a school event.

 

It is easy to say that the school teachers should have seen that there were signs of problems with these evil young men. And maybe, in fact, they did. But this is a school system where a teacher who gives a low grade faces combative responses from defensive parents, who frequently don't want to hear anything bad about their kids. I don't think it would be a stretch to suggest that several teachers in this school have themselves probably been threatened by students (based solely on the % of teachers who report being threatened in a school year).

 

Do I think that schools are a victim here? Not at all. They have been a major factor in destabilizing the family through a steady undermining of parental authority. But many parents have been complicit in abdicating their responsibilities.

 

But I don't think that the school is directly responsible for every evil thing done by students, any more than I think they can claim responsibility for the good, thoughtful and selfish things that students do.

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I have often wondered why the "they call me when they get there" line has always bothered me. I finally figured it out.

 

It is because it is a false sense of safety. If they are grabbed off the street in between the safety of your arms and the place where they are going, you won't know when it happens. The abductor is not going to say "call your Mom and tell her I got you and come rescue you"

 

You won't know they are gone until it is too late.

Walk your kids to their destinations. 1% is too high a number because someone has to be that 1% and you don't know if it is you, and by then you can't change it.

 

No, but I think it's more about a faster response to someone going missing. If your kid hasn't called 30 minutes after they're supposed to have finished a 10-minute walk somewhere, you can start following up immediately, instead of the 4-5-however many hours later that they should have been home. I don't disagree with you, but I think there also comes a point where you have to start letting go a bit, and the child in that example was 15. (And this is coming from an overprotective mom, trust me. I have a hard time letting my DD7 go to the next aisle in Target without me!)

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So much for blaming the parents too...

 

"Gagan said the girl left the dance and was walking to meet her father for a ride home when a classmate invited her to join a group drinking in the courtyard. The girl had consumed a large amount of alcohol by the time the assault began, police said. Gagan said the girl's father tried to call her cell phone, but no one answered."

 

 

Sounds like a horrible tragedy in a horribly violent city in which no one is safe. A student was shot outside the school and died in the hands of the principal previously. Again, no point blaming the PS for the incident.

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I did not say that the school was responsible. What I did say was that the school has a responsibility to observe and report behavior that may lead to things like this. Since we know little about the Elizabeth Olten incident we do not know yet what, if any, signs they may have overlooked OR what signs they may have reported that no one paid attention to!. We don't know what, if any, signs the parents overlooked. My point was that in general admin tends to overlook these things more often than not. I feel I have earned my right to say that because I worked in a middle school and I happen to know from personal experience just how much gets overlooked. Of course there will be examples of schools that step up. The point is not to "villify" the schools but rather to say that many things happening today with the youth are a good reason to be very careful over where you send your kids whether it be down the block or to the bus stop.

 

As far as children who live 2 miles away from a school being forced to walk...that most certainly does have to do with the school. In fact it is school policy. In my neighborhood my children ARE told to walk 1.5 miles to a local elementary school and past 5 convicted child molester's homes to get there. That is school policy.

 

Actually the school policy is usually that they won't pay for busing students that live within a certain radius....apparently in your area that's 2 miles. It's not that they are telling you the child has to walk alone, it's basically telling you they won't provide busing.

 

BUT....that most certainly does not mean that a parent has to send their child walking ALONE that distance and/or past whatever households. I didn't start walking to school without a parent until I was in Junior High....before that the mothers in my neighborhood took turns walking all of us to school each morning and home in the afternoon....on rainy days they drove. There were 4 of us girls that hung out together through most of elementary school and therefore 4 families taking responsibility for our safety. And this was in the 70's. By Jr. High we were allowed to walk together as a group without the parent. While we didn't have addresses to offenders like is available now, there were certain households that we all knew were creepy people and we would cross the street to avoid walking near their house.....obviously silly in terms of safety, but the point was that everyone in the neighborhood knew which houses were strange.

 

I do realize that a large majority of parents work so while dropping the child off is probably do-able, picking them up at 2 or 3 in the afternoon doesn't work as well for a working parent who doesn't get home until 5 or 6. But of course, then you have the issue of latchkey kids. And honestly, I still believe it's the parents responsiblity to ensure their childrens safety, if they can't provide it then they should find an alternative. Most schools have some sort of afterschool program just to help combat the latchkey kid.....or they need to hire someone to pick up their child. I don't think being dropped off by the bus at an empty house is really all that much more safe....offenders know the routine and frankly, don't always offend right in front of their house. How many of them cruise the neighborhood around bus time to see which kids routinely go into an empty house?

 

The news scares me and adds reason 1,374,285 for my happiness that I homeschool. But, it still only lessens my childs risk, it does not eliminate it. Unless you keep your child within eyesight 100% of the time, a determined offender can get them. I hate to compare children to material things, but it's like the old adage, make your house difficult to rob and the thief will move on.....have bushes for a thief to hide in, leave windows or doors unlocked, keys under the mat, etc. and you're inviting the thief in. If they can't get in your house easily, they're likely to move to another house down the street who has made it easy. Homeschooling offers us an extra level of protection against our child being victimized, but just a thief that has a purpose for wanting in OUR house no matter how protected, they'll come in....or an offender who truly wants OUR child will likely find a way to do so. Most offenders are opportunists, they take the easier to get, but some become obsessed with a particular child and that's scarier.

 

I don't think that the incidents of violence against children has risen in the past decade....I do think that the news media reports on them more, and the internet is definitely taking a larger part in the word spreading.

 

Oh, and having grown up in the San Francisco Bay Area, yes, I can tell you that the homescoming incident took place in a notoriously high crime area. It doesn't surprise me what happened. It sickens me however to know that people were watching and not doing anything...but it doesn't surprise me. I predict that they're going to find out that the 5 boys were joining a gang and this was an initiation of some kind....and the onlookers were gang members. That would be quite typical for Richmond. A very scary town, day or night.

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The responsiblities of the public school in regards to supervision are spelled out by law. The court has decided and continues to decide the finer points.

 

IMHO soon our alternative high school will be more populated than our reg. high school. There are way too many who teach their children that violence is the way to settle differences. We have allowed barbarianism to creep in.

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Yes, the perpetrators of the crime and the bystanders were troubled teens. Yes, the 15 year old girl was drunk.

 

and yes,

 

the school is absolutely culpable here.

 

The 15 year old girl did her drinking on school grounds. The perpetrators assaulted her over a 2 hour period on school grounds!

 

Where were the police? Where were the chaperones? Don't tell me that school didn't have security personnel. I know they did.

 

We have schools in our area with large numbers of kids who absolutely will commit violent crimes if left to their own devices. (That's the biggest reason we started to home school.) The supervision of the students is inadequate here too, but the Richmond CA school broke all previous records of negligence when they allowed that assault to occur over a 2 hour period in a courtyard on school property. Wow. That takes the prize!

 

If I had been present when that "we don't walk 'em home" remark was trotted out, I wouldn't have been able to keep a straight face.

 

"The school dance was a success...?" Can you say mandatory drug testing for all school officials? I would have considered that remark clear evidence that the spokesman was smoking crack!

 

One of the reasons we didn't place our daughter in the public middle school is that their cameras were consistently "not working" when girls had been physically assaulted on the buses and school grounds. We suspected a cover up intended to protect the school's reputation, particularly when the parents of the victims started comparing notes wrt what the school officials had told them.

 

When I read the article about the Richmond school's mysteriously broken security system and not yet operational expensive new system, it was "deja-vous-all-over-again".

 

If the Richmond school officials are looking for sympathy, they can crack open their dictionary and find it between S-hit and syphilis. I've got nothing for them but contempt.

 

Most public schools do a much better job of security than the Richmond school. This crime isn't an indictment against all public schools, it's and indictment against that particular public school. It needs new leadership - immediately.

 

The mealy mouthed apologists are part of the problem. As a culture, we can't wink at this sort of thing and continue to enjoy the benefits of civilization. Some things are simply wrong. No ifs ands or buts about it.

Edited by Elizabeth Conley
grammar
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Yes, faster response time is the reason that I have her call me when she gets there. I could walk her there and back every week. That is what I did last year when she was 14, but I also need to be transitioning her to adulthood.

 

If she doesn't call me 15 minutes after she leaves home, I know to go looking for her. Will it keep anything bad from happening to her? No, but it sure won't be 2 hours before anyone notices that she is missing.

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I do not see why you would have a problem with the post. Frankly those things do happen at school on a fairly frequent basis. The girl who was assaulted was there because of the dance, children who walk to school are walking to school and fights on school busses (as discussed in an earlier thread) are also related to school.

 

And that poor couple killed while driving home from carry-out. Those darned stomachs of ours!

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I really have a problem with this kind of post. I think it's because we sometimes write things like this but next time a news story breaks about an abused child and it turns out the family homeschooled we'll all be the first to say it has nothing to do with homeschooling in general.

 

Frankly, none of those things did happen at a school and there were a lot more forces working on those kids, like family and community, that may be as much or more to blame then the schools. We'd object if a story of abuse was used to vilify homeschooling so I think we should really work not to use horrible stories like these to vilify school.

 

According to CNN, the rape took place on school grounds:

 

"Police posted a $20,000 reward Tuesday for anyone who comes to them with information that helps arrest and convict those involved in what authorities describe as a 2½-hour assault on the Richmond High School campus in suburban San Francisco."

 

So why wouldn't the school be responsible? In fact, later on in the article, it is stated that the district should bear some responsibility also.

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I believe the news creates a skewed perception of risks to our children. I don't believe it's a big, bad, violent world for our children.

 

 

 

You are not the only one on these boards with this point of view, but you are the only one who has responded this way in this thread. (I point that out so you won't think I have a bone to pick with you personally!)

 

I really do think the world has gotten darker and uglier than when I was a child and certainly when my mom was a child. I don't know why it is the way it is, but I think we (parents, schools, anyone who is charged with the care of responsibility for the safety of children) have to be more watchful than our parents had to be, and much more watchful than our grandparents had to be.

 

I really believe it is a big bad violent world and that children are easy prey.

 

I keep a careful watch over mine. I wish for a world where my children could ride bikes in the neighborhood or be safely dropped off at the library while I run a quick errand, but that is not the world in which I live.

 

My children do not have a tenth of the freedoms I had when I was their age.

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According to CNN, the rape took place on school grounds:

 

"Police posted a $20,000 reward Tuesday for anyone who comes to them with information that helps arrest and convict those involved in what authorities describe as a 2½-hour assault on the Richmond High School campus in suburban San Francisco."

 

So why wouldn't the school be responsible? In fact, later on in the article, it is stated that the district should bear some responsibility also.

 

I think they are absolutely responsible. The area should have been patrolled. The fact that the assault continued for such a long period of time makes it clear that nobody was patrolling the school grounds.

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I was considering posting something similar just yesterday. I, too, have been overwhelmed with such tragedy with children lately. I've been wondering if its always been just like this and with the media we are only now *hearing* about so much more of it, or if its just an inevitable societal downfall since humans have been here so long (okay, don't judge me, just musing),or if its the rise in mental illness (but then what causes that....I suppose that's a whole 'nother thread topic) or what in the world is going on.

 

I've had to stop watching/reading the news the last 2 days because it really is eating at me. But then I feel guilty because just because *I* stop reading about it doesn't make the problem go away, kwim?

 

Its frightening and sad.

ITA every word. Thanks!:iagree:
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Originally Posted by pqr viewpost.gif

I do not see why you would have a problem with the post. Frankly those things do happen at school on a fairly frequent basis. The girl who was assaulted was there because of the dance, children who walk to school are walking to school and fights on school busses (as discussed in an earlier thread) are also related to school.

And that poor couple killed while driving home from carry-out. Those darned stomachs of ours!

 

 

Hardly the same thing. Accidents happen but some of what happens in schools is a result of mismanagement. In fact given that there was a dance that night one might wonder why, as it now appears on news reports, "two campus security guards who would have typically patrolled the area where the attack occurred were sent home as of 9 p.m. on dance night because the school district didn't want to incur overtime".

 

Not quite the same as an accidental crash on the way to McDonalds.....wouldn't you agree?

Edited by pqr
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You are not the only one on these boards with this point of view, but you are the only one who has responded this way in this thread. (I point that out so you won't think I have a bone to pick with you personally!)

 

I really do think the world has gotten darker and uglier than when I was a child and certainly when my mom was a child. I don't know why it is the way it is, but I think we (parents, schools, anyone who is charged with the care of responsibility for the safety of children) have to be more watchful than our parents had to be, and much more watchful than our grandparents had to be.

 

I really believe it is a big bad violent world and that children are easy prey.

 

I keep a careful watch over mine. I wish for a world where my children could ride bikes in the neighborhood or be safely dropped off at the library while I run a quick errand, but that is not the world in which I live.

 

My children do not have a tenth of the freedoms I had when I was their age.

 

I understand that you feel this way... and maybe the community you raise your children in *is* less safe than the community that you grew up in. But the trend in the US and Canada and the UK is, in actuality, that life is safer and less violent today than in almost any other time in history.

 

Consider over history... here's a chart showing the homicide rate per 100,000 in northern Europe (details at http://www.historycooperative.org/journals/ahr/111.1/monkkonen.html).

monkkonen_fig02b.gif

 

In the US, crime was high around the 1930's and dropped in the 50's and rose in the 70's and 80's and dropped in the 90's. So assuming you were a kid in the 70's and 80's in the U.S., the crime rate is actually lower.

 

ucr.gif

 

I know when I was a kid, my parents didn't have access to the internet and didn't know about crime in other areas and they really sheltered me from knowledge about crime in our community... so it's easy for me to think back to my idyllic childhood and not recall examples of crime. But that didn't mean it didn't happen then... and it doesn't mean that it is a more dangerous time now.

 

Whenever I start feeling worried, I like to take a look at websites like http://www.freerangekids.com to remind myself that there can be a balance between keeping kids safe and allowing kids to explore the world around them.

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i agree, Momling.

 

crime is big business. the nightly news, CSI, movies...people want to see and feel the horror vicariously and the media delivers. i think that our perspective has changed more than anything in the environment has.

 

 

that being said, i don't let my kids out of my sight. ;)

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I think kids should be allowed to walk to school and it's ridiculous that the school should be to blame if something were to happen on the way. We have got to teach our kids how to handle themselves in situations, and we have got to keep our eyes open as a community. You say the school should have had officers present, but why do we need a police state to keep order? I think that the more kids we have on the streets playing, the safer our streets will be. And I do think that things like this have always happened. When I was in school a very similar thing happened on school grounds. It wasn't widely publicized, but those attending the school at the time knew about it. No one was proscecuted, by the way, because the girl was drunk at the time. This was the early 80's before the whole "No Means No" movement and FOX, CNN, and other 24 hour news channels didn't exist.

 

Margaret

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You are not the only one on these boards with this point of view, but you are the only one who has responded this way in this thread. (I point that out so you won't think I have a bone to pick with you personally!)

 

I really do think the world has gotten darker and uglier than when I was a child and certainly when my mom was a child. I don't know why it is the way it is, but I think we (parents, schools, anyone who is charged with the care of responsibility for the safety of children) have to be more watchful than our parents had to be, and much more watchful than our grandparents had to be.

 

I really believe it is a big bad violent world and that children are easy prey.

 

I keep a careful watch over mine. I wish for a world where my children could ride bikes in the neighborhood or be safely dropped off at the library while I run a quick errand, but that is not the world in which I live.

 

My children do not have a tenth of the freedoms I had when I was their age.

 

 

Thank you for not making it personal. :)

 

I really believe that the existence of a plethora of media, of crime shows, of 24/7 access to developing stories fuels this perception. I think it skews understanding of the *actual* dangers of to our children. Even the OP talks twice about watching the news. The overwhelming majority of children are not attacked, killed, abducted and raped.

 

And when they are, they are usually made victims by relatives, known persons and friends of the family.

 

For (my) school, I am reading a book on child development. It was written in the time frame of more relative safety that you mentioned. And the Introduction includes a list of risks to kids that were present then, remarkably like the risks today.

 

Most of the events noted in this thread our of children that I believe, from a parenting and developmental standpoint, should have some autonomy, some time "away", some space from mama supervision.

 

Ironically, I believe the social quagmire created by institutional learning settings for minors is MORE of a prevalent and real risk to our maturing and developing kids. I see the gang rape story as an extreme (and uncommon) example of those risks. The social risk is, IMO, underplayed by our culture and is more likely to touch a majority of kids than violence.

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Good points, Joanne. Especially the one a pp mentions about how crime is so viewable via television shows and media. I have to wonder, though, if that doesn't contribute to a "numbness" to all of it, losing its shock value and making it become so much more mainstream to the younger generation, resulting in more serious crimes more often.

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I really do think the world has gotten darker and uglier than when I was a child and certainly when my mom was a child. I don't know why it is the way it is, but I think we (parents, schools, anyone who is charged with the care of responsibility for the safety of children) have to be more watchful than our parents had to be, and much more watchful than our grandparents had to be.

 

I will have to agree with Joanne. My parents were actually really paranoid because a neighbor of my dad's was murdered when he was a child. I think the news, awareness of the issues and population density have made the difference.

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I agree that things are probably not worse than ever. However, I do think schools should be a part of the solution and should be responsible for what goes on at least on their own property and in part doing what they can to make walking to and from school safe. School is just not a once in awhile thing. Kids in some parts of the country practically live at school. So the school IS the parent. The school doesn't even give the parent a chance to parent and then has the audacity to blame the parent for bad parenting?

 

I understand. And I have seen it first hand while working on a public school campus.

 

I'm not so sure about walking to school, or events after a school event.

 

I'd lean more towards programs that address the reasons such events occur and less on supervision based solutions.

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Good points, Joanne. Especially the one a pp mentions about how crime is so viewable via television shows and media. I have to wonder, though, if that doesn't contribute to a "numbness" to all of it, losing its shock value and making it become so much more mainstream to the younger generation, resulting in more serious crimes more often.

 

That is an interesting consideration; if desensitization to LIFE or quality of life has changed and the types of crimes have therefore changed.

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Thank you for not making it personal. :)

 

I really believe that the existence of a plethora of media, of crime shows, of 24/7 access to developing stories fuels this perception. I think it skews understanding of the *actual* dangers of to our children. Even the OP talks twice about watching the news. The overwhelming majority of children are not attacked, killed, abducted and raped.

 

And when they are, they are usually made victims by relatives, known persons and friends of the family.

 

For (my) school, I am reading a book on child development. It was written in the time frame of more relative safety that you mentioned. And the Introduction includes a list of risks to kids that were present then, remarkably like the risks today.

 

Most of the events noted in this thread our of children that I believe, from a parenting and developmental standpoint, should have some autonomy, some time "away", some space from mama supervision.

 

Ironically, I believe the social quagmire created by institutional learning settings for minors is MORE of a prevalent and real risk to our maturing and developing kids. I see the gang rape story as an extreme (and uncommon) example of those risks. The social risk is, IMO, underplayed by our culture and is more likely to touch a majority of kids than violence.

 

You have a point here and I often think the news tends to neglect the happy news. I also know or suspect that there were many times in remote, ancient history that were much worse:)

 

OTOH, I often suspect that the 1940's and 1950's were the good old days in many respects except for discrimination. For example, when I was going through school in the 1960's and 1970's, school shootings were unheard of. I think there has been a general moral decay in our society. I also do not remember hearing of the large number of heinous crimes when I was young. It could be media bias in reporting the negative and the 24 hour news availability now a days, but somehow I think it is worse. My theory is that it might be "worse" just to the sheer number of people we have now compared to then. I do not know, but I only know it feels worse and I long for the days sometimes when most people valued family and community.

 

 

I did read an interesting book about how children become too peer oriented and alienated from their parents and how this has been a relatively recent phenomena since the 1950's. This book also details how children who are peer oriented begin to value the values of their peers instead of their parents. The author contends that this recent trend has been disastrous in regards to passing down our values and has recommendations for holding onto our children.

 

As the incident at the school, I do blame the school for not patrolling the grounds outside the school to make sure that students were not up to mischief on the school grounds. As for school problems in general, I think the schools could do better, but I also think there are many parents who are not parenting. For example, I have heard many say IRL that they did not know there child could not read until many years later:001_huh:. This surprises me since I would think that an involved parent would be reading and have their child read to them, etc.

 

My 2 cents:)

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I understand that you feel this way... and maybe the community you raise your children in *is* less safe than the community that you grew up in. But the trend in the US and Canada and the UK is, in actuality, that life is safer and less violent today than in almost any other time in history.

 

I know when I was a kid, my parents didn't have access to the internet and didn't know about crime in other areas and they really sheltered me from knowledge about crime in our community... so it's easy for me to think back to my idyllic childhood and not recall examples of crime. But that didn't mean it didn't happen then... and it doesn't mean that it is a more dangerous time now.

.

 

I am afraid that the argument that somehow we are as safe today as in the past is simply wrong. It can only be made by very selective use of figures.

 

Actual figures for crime rate per 100,000 from http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

 

Year Violent Crime Rape Murder Aggravated Assault

1960 160.9 -------9.6---- --5.1 ------86.1

1970 363 ---------18.7-----7.9 -------166

1980 596 ---------36.8 ----10.2 ------298

1990 731 ---------41.2 ----9.4 -------424

2000 506 ---------32.0 ----5.5 -------324

2008 454 ---------29.3 ----5.4 -------274

 

Yes there has been a drop since 1980 but that is simply shifting baselines. Since 1960 there has been a multifold increase in the rates of virtually every crime except murder.

 

 

There has been an increase in crime and our children are not safer.

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I am afraid that the argument that somehow we are as safe today as in the past is simply wrong. It can only be made by very selective use of figures.

 

Actual figures for crime rate per 100,000 from http://www.disastercenter.com/crime/uscrime.htm

 

Year Violent Crime Rape Murder Aggravated Assault

1960 160.9 -------9.6---- --5.1 ------86.1

1970 363 ---------18.7-----7.9 -------166

1980 596 ---------36.8 ----10.2 ------298

1990 731 ---------41.2 ----9.4 -------424

2000 506 ---------32.0 ----5.5 -------324

2008 454 ---------29.3 ----5.4 -------274

 

Yes there has been a drop since 1980 but that is simply shifting baselines. Since 1960 there has been a multifold increase in the rates of virtually every crime except murder.

 

 

There has been an increase in crime and our children are not safer.

 

But perhaps this is an increase in REPORTED rapes. And has the definition of aggravated assault remained the same from 1960 to present? Just thinking aloud about these numbers, not trying to argue over them.

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Year Violent Crime Rape Murder Aggravated Assault

1960 160.9 -------9.6---- --5.1 ------86.1

1970 363 ---------18.7-----7.9 -------166

1980 596 ---------36.8 ----10.2 ------298

1990 731 ---------41.2 ----9.4 -------424

2000 506 ---------32.0 ----5.5 -------324

2008 454 ---------29.3 ----5.4 -------274

 

There has been an increase in crime and our children are not safer.

 

Those are startling and sobering statistics. It looks like the biggest jump across the board happens between 1960-1980. Interesting. Thank you for posting them.

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But perhaps this is an increase in REPORTED rapes. And has the definition of aggravated assault remained the same from 1960 to present? Just thinking aloud about these numbers, not trying to argue over them.

 

 

That is a valid point, but then again many say that rapes are vastly underreported today (especially in the inner city). The figures on the site also talk to robbery etc and these too have gone up. I suspect that in the past people were far MORE likely to report a robbery than today so it would still indicate an increase in crime. The same is probably true of assault and vehicle theft so I tend to be fairly accepting of the figures.

Edited by pqr
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pqr - are those stats for a particular country or worldwide?

 

ETA - I followed the link and saw they were US stats. Sorry.

 

Yes they are US only. World wide stats tend to get skewed by war, famine, and government breakdown.

 

I am fairly certain that the stats for the UK echo those for the States.

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There has been an increase in crime and our children are not safer.

 

Since I was a kid in the 80s, my kids are in fact safer than I was. Given the spread of ages on this board, that would be true for almost everyone that posts here. It's important to keep that in perspective when we think about how we react to news reports of outrageous incidents.

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I really have a problem with this kind of post. I think it's because we sometimes write things like this but next time a news story breaks about an abused child and it turns out the family homeschooled we'll all be the first to say it has nothing to do with homeschooling in general.

 

Frankly, none of those things did happen at a school and there were a lot more forces working on those kids, like family and community, that may be as much or more to blame then the schools. We'd object if a story of abuse was used to vilify homeschooling so I think we should really work not to use horrible stories like these to vilify school.

 

:iagree:completely. I am certain that had ANY of these episodes occured on school grounds or at a school event most schools would be stepping up making every effort to ensure that it never happened again.

 

Columbine comes to mind. That school made many changes following the Columbine shootings to help ensure the future safety of their students. In fact, many schools across the country made changes as a result of Columbine.

 

I also have a problem with posts like this that vilify public schools. We homeschoolers would be angry if someone from the public schools posted something like this but put the blame on homeschooling. Even if the events did not take place at a homeschooling event or at a homeschooling location.

 

Doesn't exactly seem fair to do this to them but get ticked if they do it to us.

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Since I was a kid in the 80s, my kids are in fact safer than I was. Given the spread of ages on this board, that would be true for almost everyone that posts here. It's important to keep that in perspective when we think about how we react to news reports of outrageous incidents.
I would bet that the opportunity for violent crime was higher in the 80s. Most kids have less freedom/ unsupervised time today than kids had in the 80s. Programs about stranger safety and awareness of sexual molestation are everywhere now. I was a kid in the 80s. I had less freedom than my friends back then, more than my DD or her friends, but I was certainly not aware of any stranger safety/ awareness/ buddy system type programs.

 

So if there are 100 unsupervised, unprepared kids in the 80s and 20 are involved in violent crime, and ther are 50 unsupervised, unprepared kids in 2009 and 15 are involved in violent crime... see what I mean?

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