Two young, fifth grade boys will stand trial in juvenile court for a murder plot that is as disturbing as it is terrifying. The two, ages 10 and 11, are accused of planning to stab a young girl in their class to death, allegedly planning to lure her away from the school, where the older boy would stab her.
But their plan did not stop there. The younger boy was allegedly going to use the gun to hurt or maim anyone who tried to interfere. According to police, this "plan" had seven steps and sounds very, very real. That list was submitted as evidence at their mental capacity hearing Friday. State appointed psychologists say these boys DO present a threat to the community. Good lord, where did these parents go wrong? Where did the school go wrong? How does something like this happen?
According to some reports, their plan was retaliation for the girl having been "mean" to them. "Mean" to a fifth grader can mean a lot of things. Lord knows I did and said some very mean things when I was in middle school, from about the age of 10 to 13 or so.
But you know what? Kids are mean. As parents, our job is to protect our kids from bullies, sure. But it is also to teach a little resilience that does NOT involve a murder plot.
What is so sad about this case is that two kids have no idea how fleeting it all is. Sure, we hear about the scars of bullying and how they last forever. That seems to be a very popular thing to say and believe today. But the reality is, most adults walking around today experienced some form of bullying.
I had it both ways. I was the aggressor and the victim. And you know what? I am OK. Sure, I remember the name of the girl in sixth grade who made my life a living hell (Heather, in case anyone is wondering), but I don't care any more. She may be perfectly nice now. She may have been having an awful year with parents going through a bad divorce and who knows what else going on at home. Maybe she acted out because she did not know what else to do with those feelings.
Bullying is a terrible thing. But murder is worse. Even if these kids were bullied, it is no excuse to hatch a plan to murder. Everyone wants to talk about kids today and how their bullying is out of hand. I beg to differ. Bullying has been around for ages. Sure, we can (and should) change it. We should work on it. But murder, in this case, would be a permanent solution to a temporary problem. At 10 and 11, those boys should know that.
If this is the truth, these boys are dangerous all right.
Do you think being bullied excuses this?
Image via AlishaV/Flickr