Three Teens Sentenced to Indefinite Probation After Vicious School Bus Beating

Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yellow_school_buses_Pittsburgh.JPG
Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yellow_school_buses_Pittsburgh.JPG

Source: http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Yellow_school_buses_Pittsburgh.JPG

Earlier today, a Florida juvenile court sentenced three 15-year-old teenagers to indefinite probation after the teens pled guilty to aggravated battery charges in the attack of a 13-year-old boy on a school bus in July 2013.  The probation sentence included multiple conditions:  community service, random drug tests, electronic monitoring via ankle bracelets, anger management classes, mandatory curfews, and prohibition on contact with the victim.

Police reported the teens attacked the victim after he informed school officials that one of the three teens attempted to sell him marijuana.  After punching and kicking the victim approximately 50 times within one minute, the victim suffered a broken arm and two black eyes.  The vicious attack was witnessed by the bus driver and numerous students, and videotaped by a bus surveillance camera.  The three teenagers are first time offenders.

The sentences lead to many questions:

  • Is the punishment appropriate for first-time offenders?
  • Was it proper to try them in a juvenile court or should they have faced adult charges?
  • Did the teens receive more or less punishment due to the national news coverage?

Fox News has more information on this breaking story.

Battling Bullying

abcnews.com

Students nationwide headed back to school this week.  Doubtlessly, this happening resulting in much anxiety for parents and children alike.  Wonders about new teachers, different schedules and new routines had to be abundant, and for some, wonders about another kind of worry are bound to have arisen: bullying.

abcnews.com

abcnews.com

Bullying has become a major problem for students.  The National Center for Education Statistics and Bureau of Justice statistics reports that 28 percent of students nationwide in grades 6–12 experienced bullying in 2011.  Bullying is a critical issue because it can lead to serious behavioral consequences like poor performance in school, depression, anxiety, and even suicide.

Lyle Cogen, an artist and educator from Merrick, N.Y., is vowing to tame this trend.  Cogen is producing a one-woman musical, Sticks & Stones, this fall to help children identify, respond to and prevent bullying behaviors.  “I’ve been working in schools for many years, witnessing things around me, listening to teachers speak about kids and the challenges that children were feeling,” said Cogen. “I started thinking about it so much, that I began developing a character study on bullies.”

Sticks & Stones catalogs different themes like how to identify changes in friendships, how to speak out when you see something, and how adults can react to these behaviors in their very own children.  Cogen points out that, “Sometimes when you are a victim of bullying, you can become a big bully yourself. I’ve seen that play out, where victimized kids turn around and show aggression toward somebody else.”

The musical ends with a discussion session where kid viewers can actively reflect on the performance.  According to Cogen, this is the most important part because it creates awareness and a springboard for discussion.  The musical will tour in Ohio, Texas, and other states this fall.

Monday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

Judge Finds Ohio High School Football Players Guilty of Raping Girl, Chicago Tribune

STEUBENVILLE, Ohio (Reuters) – Two high school football players from Ohio were found guilty on Sunday of raping a 16-year-old girl at a party last summer while she was in a drunken stupor in a case that gained national exposure through social media.

Ohio authorities also promised on Sunday to continue the investigation to determine if other crimes had been committed…

Lawyer Seeks Juvenile Court for Boy, 11, Accused in Woman’s Death, CNN.com

Attorneys for a boy accused of killing his father’s pregnant girlfriend have asked a Pennsylvania court to overturn a lower court’s decision to try him as an adult.

Lourdes Rosado appealed the decision Tuesday on behalf of Jordan Brown, who is suspected in the death of Kenzie Marie Houk. Brown faces life in prison without parole.

Houk was eight months pregnant, and the child was also killed. Brown was 11 at at the time of the deaths.

His attorney has said Brown should be tried in juvenile court, pressing the Superior Court to review an earlier ruling that labeled his client a poor candidate for rehabilitation, which allows him to be tried as an adult…

Fifth-Grade Boys’ Plot to Kill a Classmate Thwarted, CNN.com

Two fifth-grade boys armed with a stolen semi-automatic gun, ammunition clip and knife plotted to kill a classmate in Washington state but were thwarted when another student informed a school employee, authorities said Thursday.

The two boys, who told police they considered the girl rude and annoying, won’t be tried as adults and will be in court next Wednesday for a capacity hearing, said Tim Rasmussen, the Stevens County prosecuting attorney.

The two boys, ages 10 and 11, told authorities that they were also going to kill, or “get,” six more students at Fort Colville Elementary School in Colville, Washington, and even identified them from a class list provided by school employees, according to court documents…