Okay, as much as I appreciate the experiences of everyone in this thread --and my own-- with teasing, set that aside for a moment.
These kids still had to get hands on a loaded weapon.
These kids *still* had to form the intent to SHOOT someone else in order to say, "let's get a gun".
A response to teasing such as a screamed "shut up!" or a shoving match--- those are natural responses. Those are immediate, instinctive, irrational responses. Those are rage responses.
You bring a GUN to SCHOOL? You didn't just pull it out of nowhere. There was *criminal* intent there. That's a response that requires pre-meditation. These kids were looking at first-degree murder as a reasonable answer to being teased.
And that's where the line is drawn. Goes back to the 'code of the schoolyard'. Somebody calls you a name, you stand up for yourself or you get the teacher. You don't take care of it the Chicago way.
These kids can get away with anything nowadays. The parents expect the teachers to be accountable, but they don't hold up their end of the deal. And you know what? The kids go ape on their teachers, the worst the teachers can do is send the kid home for three days. So what? There's no accountability on the part of the kid-- 'cause the parents go to bat for the kid. There's nothing wrong with my kid, they say, he just needs medication! he just needs supervision! he just needs structure! And you're supposed to provide it!
Nuts to that. Where are the parents at, I ask? And why don't they take ownership over their kid ---and, probably, their gun as well?
Truth be told, I don't know either. Probably working sixteen hours for minimum wage just to give that kid a place to call home. Probably out bustin' ass trying to make a living and hoping that the kid can take care of him or herself.
But they can't. There's a serious erosion in the authority of adult figures over these kids, precisely because there's no serious authority being presented-- we expect so much from teachers, from parents, from principals, from police officers.... but kids require role models, leadership figures, constant presences in order to form good judgment, good moral structures. They need routines. And when mommy's working days one week, afternoons the next, and daddy's off with his new wife.... they ain't getting it.
And they're all out of order-- the whole freakin' system is out of order. And there's nothing anyone can do about it. Everything you all see as individuals, all the frustration and depression and all of that --from kids, from educators, from parents, from kids who grew up---- it's all systemic in nature. There's too many common, corroborating experiences for it to work any other way.
But you can't solve a system problem. You can only deal with one tragedy at a time. This one was averted. How about next time?