November 24, 2014

Time Bomb or Over-Reacting?

Many of you who know me personally know that a close neighbor has a son who is a pretty violent kid who suffers from a mental illness. Apparently, it is politically correct to say his problem is on the "autism spectrum".

We have seen him kick, bite, shove his mother with no consequences. Many years ago, after he screamed at his mother that she was "ruining his life" because she told him it was time to go home and before he had been diagnosed, I told him that we don't speak to each other like that in this house. I also told him that he couldn't come back to this house until he could treat his mother with respect. He has let me know ever since that he does not like me.

He has been kicked off the school bus and suspended from school for hitting, biting and fighting; also for screaming threats to bus driver and teachers. He is now taller than his mom and dad and quite strong.

A few weeks ago he saw a documentary on television about violence in young people. His mother found him watching the show and turned it off but not until he had seen a couple of mass shootings and the two teenage girls who had tried to stab their friend to death.

A week or so after the program, his mother found employment but she had to be at work before the boy got on the bus for school.  She asked a neighbor to make sure her son got on the bus. Before going to work, my friend hid all the knives in the house in a place she thought would be hard to find.

She and her husband were called shortly after the school day began. He son had been arrested and taken out of the school in handcuffs, screaming and yelling and threatening. He had pulled a butcher knife out of his back pack at school.

He has been expelled from the school. He was taken to the hospital to make sure he wasn't on drugs. The professionals at the hospital advised that he be admitted to a residential school where he could get the psychological help he needs. His mother fought to keep him home. She won. After the doctors left the room, he asked his mom, "Am I going to be on TV like those other kids?" He was pretty excited about the probability of it! Do you have goose bumps yet?

"Why did she hide the knives" you might ask. Why did he search for them?

Her son is now attending another school in town but not very happy about it. The kids at the school he attends now have taught him some pretty foul language and are older, so are really bullying him.

His mom promises that she will be cautious and supervise him well.

It is Thanksgiving break, school is out.  I just drove up into my driveway and saw a strange bike on the far end of the lawn. No one was around. As I stepped out of my car, the young man steps out from the bushes up against the garage.

"Hi!" I called out to him.

"I was just getting ready to leave," was his response. But he just stood there, looking at me.

Keeping the car between him and me, I waved, told him to ride his bike safely and slipped into the house.

Now, I don't know what to do. Do I call his mother and tell her he was here, hiding in my bushes? What if she yells at him, tells him not to do that again and he gets angry with me?  Do I put extra locks on my gate? 

His mother hid the knives. The professionals want him in a residential program for his safety and public safety. He has a record of violent behavior and he is unsupervised.

I am mad and I am scared and I am mad and I am scared and I am mad! What do I do? Am I over-reacting?  Do I plant poison oak between the bushes in my front yard? What about the kids he goes to school with?

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