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Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Editorial: It’s impossible for parents to know every single thing that happens in their kids’ school

  • It’s been said for generations that the “truth lies somewhere in the middle,” and that’s probably the case with the incident involving the 15 year old male student who apparently said some threatening things that some other students last week reported to the Crookston High School administration.
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  •     It’s been said for generations that the “truth lies somewhere in the middle,” and that’s probably the case with the incident involving the 15 year old male student who apparently said some threatening things that some other students last week reported to the Crookston High School administration. The police were subsequently called and the student was taken to the juvenile detention center.   
        So was anyone ever in any real danger? The police say no, CHS administrators say no, and it’s highly likely that the offending student figured that while he was saying what he was saying that anyone was in any real danger, either.   
        But this is school violence we’re talking about, and this is a small town. Rumors spread, stories get embellished, and before you know it, the tenth kid that’s been told the story is hearing the original version, with nine unverified plot twists added on for dramatic effect.   
        And, as in most cases, the truth is somewhere in the middle.   
        But parents get upset, because they aren’t told everything. It’s totally understandable that parents would want to know everything, and that they’d openly and publicly vent their frustrations because they don’t know everything that’s happening in the place that their kids call home for several hours each day.   
        But it’s not like school administrators and even the police can publicly explain every last detail when a situation like this arises. There are juveniles involved and there are privacy issues. There is also the danger of over-reacting and getting people unnecessarily into a frenzy. What are the police and school administration supposed to say after an incident such as last Wednesday’s? That everyone in the school was in imminent danger? No, especially when an investigation reveals that a kid said some things he shouldn’t have, and the kid is swiftly removed from the school, but no charges are filed.   
        There is, of course, always a flip side to that. Whenever a school tragedy related to violence occurs, inevitably there’s the back story, in which it’s reported that the offender(s) said threatening things or acted out in a threatening fashion at various points beforehand – when there was still time to do something about it – but people didn’t take any of it seriously enough.   
        So where does that leave us? It leaves us existing in a reality that from time to time includes incidents like this, and the reaction is about as important as the incident itself. All anyone can do is keep kids as safe as possible, while being as vigilant as possible to make sure that even though these things pop up once in a while, no one is ever, as a result, in any real danger.
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