On Friday, we saw a fistfight between two schoolgirls ages 10 and 11 in California, resulting in the death of one of them. Then on Monday, we saw a school shooting rampage in Ohio that resulted in the death of one teenager with four others wounded at this hour. So, where are the adults in these stories?!? Almost always when there’s trouble in a school, or on the way home from a school, there are adults who didn’t do enough to prevent or stop it.
In the California case, neither of the deceased girl’s parents has even been named, let alone quoted, in the coverage that I’ve seen. Instead, the press has quoted the little girl’s older (teenage) sister, who apparently is the one who actually got the girl some medical attention, albeit too late, when she started showing concussion symptoms several hours after the fight. Consider also the facts that the older and younger sisters have different last names and that the little girls — again, ages 10 and 11 — reportedly were fighting over a boy, and it sounds, once again, like a chaotic and possibly overly-sexualized household, which I’ll bet involves parents who’ve been more preoccupied with their own social/sex lives than with their children, leaving the older child to fend for the younger. (Yes, I could be betting wrong with respect to this particular family, but even if I am, the selfish-neglectful phenomenon is all too common among American parents today.) So, parents, if your kids don’t share your same last name, why not? If you’ve already had kids with one person, and you’re no longer with that person for whatever reason, haven’t your kids been through enough? Do you really need to be dating and making more kids with other people? Do you really think that your pre-existing kid(s) will be better off having to adjust to life with your new lover(s) and kid(s)? I’ve written in the past about how weird names tend to correlate with children in chaos, and I can tell you that a bunch of different last names in the same household tend to correlate even more strongly with children in chaos.
Now, in the Ohio case, we’ve heard that the shooter was bullied prior to Monday’s shootings. If he was, of course that doesn’t entitle the kid to shoot his peers, and it doesn’t shift the blame for being shot onto the victims (who very well may not have bullied the shooter, even if others did). BUT, I’ll bet three things: 1) I’ll bet that the shooter showed prior signs of a violent propensity if his parents — who I’ll bet don’t share his same last name — had been paying enough attention to notice and intervene (or to at least keep him from having access to a gun), 2) I’ll bet that the kids who bullied the shooter, if any (and they very well may not have been among the kids who were shot), showed prior signs of antisocial behavior if their parents — who I’ll bet don’t share their kids’ same last names — had been paying enough attention to notice and intervene, and 3) I’ll bet that at least one adult in the school was aware of the bullying, if any, and didn’t do enough — or anything at all — to intervene, which could possibly have averted a tragedy. (Again, yes, I could be betting wrong with respect to these particular families and educators, but even if I am, the phenomena are all too common in America today.) Enough already, America! Parents (of all races and all income levels) need to make sure that they’re paying enough attention to their kids, and teachers need to make sure that they never, ever endanger any student (either a bullied kid or a bully) by turning a blind eye to bullying behavior! (By the way, fellow students apparently also didn’t report the shooter after he warned of his intentions, both in person and online, which is a lesson that I hoped every kid had learned by now, and of course, props to the teacher who reportedly chased the shooter out of the school before more kids in the school could be shot.)
[And, while I’m on the subject of adults, here’s a story about older adults: New research suggests that certain anti-psychotic drugs are associated with higher mortality rates when administered to elderly dementia patients. As you know, I’m the first person to tell you when I think that the pharmaceutical companies and their overzealous accomplices in the medical community are hurting people by overselling and over-prescribing psych meds. I have to be a little bit cautious in this case, though, because it’s still not crystal clear to me whether these higher mortality rates are truly attributable to prescribers’ personal preferences, perhaps influenced by marketing, incentives, etc., and not to the simple fact that patients with more severe symptoms tend to get more powerful drugs (i.e. people who are closer to death in the first place tend to get the drugs that are associated with higher mortality rates). Having said that, I still firmly believe that anti-psychotic drugs are being over-prescribed across the board, so if you know someone, young or old, who you think has been harmed by excessive anti-psychotic medication, then as always, I want to hear about it!]