I’m concerned with the response to, and lack of action on, the numerous threats of violence at our local schools.

A juvenile is alleged to have threatened gun violence and is apprehended on school grounds with a knife in his backpack. Because the juvenile code requires probation officers to find the least restrictive placement, he is sent home on house arrest, back in the same community that he has just terrorized.

At least six other incidents have occurred in the past few weeks, with a similar lack of consequences. The public nationwide is demanding that something be done. Kids are afraid to go to school, with parents stressed about the safety of their children and concerns about finding last-minute child care and affiliated cost when school is canceled.

We do little to deter this type of criminal behavior in fear that the juvenile would be damaged by being placed in a corrections facility like Long Creek Youth Development Center. There’s very little concern about the impact on the community. Instead of house arrest, perhaps a change in the code would be more appropriate. Up to 48 hours of detainment at Long Creek until the alleged offender is seen by a judge would be a start.

Stephen Farrell


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