Thursday, October 29, 2009

Richmond Homecoming: Could it Happen Here?

Who else is absolutely sickened by the news continuing to come out of Richmond? And for me, as a parent of a high school student, it is not just the horrific nature of the crime, and the bystanders who did nothing.... it is the school that is worrying me too.

From the CNN article ,

She had come alone to the Richmond High School homecoming dance, gorgeous in a sparkling purple dress and faux diamond baubles. The DJ played salsa, meringue, rap. When the teenager disappeared, her friends thought she had gone home early.

But we all know now, she didn't go home early, she was outside, ON SCHOOL GROUNDS being brutally beaten and raped for over 2 hours. I won't even go into all the nuances of the case as I've learned them, as you all have probably read the stories and heard the news too. But what scares me is the question, SHOULDN'T WE BE ABLE TO COUNT ON OUR CHILDREN BEING SAFE AT A SCHOOL EVENT?

What happened to the days when once you checked into a dance you could not leave. What happened to student safety being #1 priority. Why is it now being noted that there were chaperones, at least one asst principal and security officers there and not one was patrolling the grounds? It is also noted that strangers (non students) were seen on campus and as quoted from one of the victim's friends, "I looked outside of the gym and I saw 12 to 15 guys, sitting there, with no IDs," Baker said at the hearing. "The officers -- not only did they not check the IDs of those students or men sitting outside of of our campus, but the security officers who are employed here did no ... checking either. The assistant principal looked outside and actually saw those men, and did nothing about it."

In addition, how could it be ok that a school board member was seen on the news a few days ago acknowledging that school security cameras do not work? Yes, it's a big campus as he said, but you have security officers, chaperones, and school personnel and no one is monitoring the grounds during a big dance? In an area known for drugs, gangs and crime - no one is watching what is going on, or as stated above, questioning those who do not belong?

And unfortunately, this brings up so many other larger questions, like WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH PEOPLE that not only allow a crime like this to be committed, but who seemingly turned a blind eye to the signs something was amiss (strangers/non students on campus).

Could this happen here? How are our dances monitored? Are kids allowed to come and go? Do they allow non students on campus? Is there security or school personnel patrolling?

What about the unthinkable moral trainwreck? Could kids in our own schools just stand and watch something like this happen and do nothing? Could kids in our own schools do such a thing? I want to think no way. But ?? Why is Richmond different? What was the "perfect storm" that made this happen there, on that night, to that girl?

This was a school sponsored event. And as a parent , it makes me angry. Maybe I'll make some of you angry with my opinions here, but I think that school , the school officials, security and the district needs to be held accountable for doing nothing to prevent an unsafe environment for children. Children who just wanted to fit in, go to a dance, have fun, hang with their friends. There is no excuse. School officials didn't make this happen, but did they do enough to prevent it? I say no based on the information I have now... your thoughts?

Prayers go out to this girl , her friends and her family. I hope for speedy recovery and that she can rise above this horror. I can't even imagine..... it's too hard to even wrap my brain around all this....


  1. Parents and older people are shocked by the news of a gang rape. However, the younger generation of people have grown up in a different society. The internet generation has grown up with an unlimited amount of uncensored pornography that degrades women.

    Yes, there are tons of amateur porn videos on the internet of drunk women being practically gang-raped in fraternity houses while tons of young co-eds watch and cheer. This is a very disturbing trend. Free pornography is spreading all over the internet and many of these videos contain horrific sex acts that border on looking like rape. People say that porn videos on the internet don't do harm to children. However, it is harmful to children and it perpetuates the idea that some women enjoy violent and degrading sex acts.

    I know that many people think that their kids are good kids and would never watch porn on the internet, but the truth is that many kids do watch porn. Many of these videos are absolutely disturbing and desensitize children to sexual violence. Where did the gang rapists learn to do what they did? They obviously must have seen it somewhere.

    I hate to say it, but parents need to install Internet Content Filtering Software. Norton Online Family is one free program.

  2. This is another case where parents have failed to teach their children morals. These young people can't even tell the difference between a game of Grand Theft Auto and real life.

  3. This (to me) really tries to diminish the "real problems." The real problems are not video games. The real problems are much greater than video games.

  4. Yes, I agree. The problems are much greater than just violent video games.

    The problems are with this generation of young people. Who is raising them? People think that parents are the ones responsible for raising their children.

    Yes, parents need to responsible and teach their children to respect others. They also need to teach their children the difference between right and wrong. In addition, they need to be supportive and caring towards their children or else their children will resent them.

    However, children are raised by public schools. Other children influence our children greatly. If your kids hang around with the wrong crowd, they will pick up bad habits. It could be peer pressure regarding drugs, gangs, stealing, promiscuity, and so forth.

    When I was in high school, I can tell you that peer pressure was overwhelming regarding many issues such as the above mentioned topics. Many things have changed and this new generation of kids scares me in regard to sex and drugs. It is like morals have been completely thrown out. Kids are out of control and rebellious.

    I just don't what has happened, but just thinking about it gets me down. What if your kids go down the wrong path and become completely uncontrollable. I don't know what I can do prevent it.

  5. Anon 12:22. You're right, it is very sad to even think if your child were to go down such a wrong path. However, I always remember what a pediatrician told me once. He talked about how in the teen years we often hear about the dreaded "wrong friends," or the "wrong crowd." And that at that time it is really hard, if not impossible to change your child's friends. His point was that you have to start early.. from the beginning. From playgroups to preschool, to sports and activities.. to help your child to provide healthy friendships and associations young. Being involved so you know those families, and they know you. Being part of the community and fostering those "good" relationships. Doing that helps to reduce the odds of the "wrong direction" later.. can't prevent every case of course, but it made sense to me. I'm only in the beginning stages of all this myself. But I do see that the strides I've made early are helping now that they are getting into their teens.