Teen burning victim Michael Brewer’s assailants get jail

michael brewer, school violence, Deerfield Beach Middle SchoolLast week, the story from Deerfield Beach, Florida was that two of the three teens accused of setting fellow Deerfield Middle School classmate Michael Brewer on fire received jail time for their deeds. (BTW: in case you didn't know, this is the same school that saw the dreadful beating incident of Josie Lou Ratley by Wayne Treacy).

In 2009, Michael was set aflame by three of his classmates to the degree that he had to jump in a nearby pool in order to put out the flames. Michael suffered 2nd and 3rd degree burns over nearly 2/3rd of his body.

According to the story in the Miami Herald, both teens pled "no contest" which means that they are willing to accept whatever punishment the court hands out, but does not admit guilt.  In addition to the jail time they were sentenced to, the perpetrators were given 18-21 YEARS of community service. When you consider that these young men are themselves 18 and 17 years old, you can see that they will be living with the results of their actions for a very long time.

One point I found troublesome in the article: (more…)

Did you like this? Share it:

Bullying — it’s NOT just for LGBT

In the wake of several prominent gay/lesbian celebrities speaking out on the rash of bullying and suicides of young people with a homosexual orientation, the topic is starting to take on the LGBT slant.

Ok, let's get realistic here.  I agree that many, many kids (and adults) are picked on, taunted, harassed because of their sexual preference or orientation.  No shock there. But, to state, or imply that this is a unique situation to gay/lesbian/bi/trans youth is an insult -- to both both homosexual and heterosexuals alike. (more…)

Did you like this? Share it:

Kindergartner to Obama: “Are people being nice?”

This was the question posed to President Barack Obama by a Kindergartner.  At a recent White House Press Correspondent’s Dinner, President Obama shared some comments and questions sent to him by a kindergarten class.  The question, “Are people being nice?” caused our President to raise the question of civility in politics – those two concepts clearly having become an oxymoron of late, – but I think it needs to be given a broader context.

I’ve done over two-dozen interviews, on radio and in print, in the last few weeks, related to all sorts of issues having to do with anti-social behavior and lack of character.  These subjects range from the horrific bullying incidents involving Phoebe Prince, Josie Lou Ratley, Michael Brewer and others, all the way to the incident with the NYC Good Samaritan who was left on the street to bleed to death while dozens of people walked by without lending a hand. Abusive relationships and dating violence such as what appears to be the cause of Lacrosse player Yeardley Love’s death is another harsh data point on the same continuum. (more…)

Did you like this? Share it: