Wouldn't it be wonderful if just 10% of us (or even just 1 person out of 100) could serve others and make a difference like Ms. Wortham has? Or simply support her efforts, whether by offering time or financial support? What a difference this would make to our world. And I think people would be surprised how incredibly rewarding it can be to make a difference even in just one person's life. To me, this is what Christianity should be. Ms. Wortham, you have my admiration. I wish there was a way to get in touch with you as I would be honored to offer help in an way I can.
"People respect me and who I am so I can do what I want."
Included in the criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder (formerly known as "sociopath") are: repeated violation of the rights of others, repeated physical assaults or other unlawful behavior, not experiencing guilt or remorse at having hurt another, believing that they are above the law (e.g., I can do what I want), and the belief that one is somehow entitled to hurt or control others.
This story gave me chills.
There is a substantial amount of research that suggests if a child/teen who is at risk for Antisocial Personality Disorder faces significant consequences for their behavior (e.g., they are held accountable and punished for their actions), then the likelihood of the "problem behavior" progressing into Antisocial Personality Disorder is diminished. If, on the other hand, the behavior is ignored or the "offender" simply gets a slap on the wrist, then it teaches that person that they can get away with what they have done. They will progressively grow bolder in their attacks, experience even less remorse, blame the victim for the violent behavior, etc.
I can only hope the parents of these boys understand that this was far beyond "horseplay" and that they take action to help their child understand that hurting others is simply not tolerated.
Drew, you are a hero. Your bravery has helped the other victims. Hold your head up and be proud that your strength in speaking out has helped this violence stop.
To the School Board - do not let these boys return to this school. If you do make the mistake of returning them to a regular school, please don't allow them to return to Hunter Middle. And split them up into separate schools or they will "gang" up on more victims. I can guarantee that you will be putting Drew (and the other victims) in jeopardy if you let these boys come back to Hunter Middle. And then it is you that will be held accountable.
kalei - as someone who reached out to the author of a story in the TFP of a family who experienced a horrendous tragedy, I know that the author can not give out the information of any of the parties in the story. However, you can email the author and give your information and ask that the author pass it along to the individual or family. Thankfully the family chose to respond and I felt blessed to be able to help. For those of you who would like to help, I suggest contacting Ms. Garrett and providing your contact information. Most likely she will pass it along (it helps to be specific with regard to what you are offering to help with) and the family in this situation can choose to respond to whatever they are comfortable with. Hopefully this may encourage those who want to help to follow through - whether in this situation or another one that touches your heart.
What happened at Erlanger is, sadly, reflected in many of the comments posted here. Where have empathy, kindness, and a basic respect for others, gone? I see this happening around the country and the world. But it is the people of our country that I worry about (no wonder we have lost the respect we once held from other nations). For some people to use this format to express their hatred is a sad commentary on both society and the individuals themselves (I have to wonder if you would have the guts to look into the grieving mother's face and say the same things, instead of hiding behind a forum where you are not held accountable....) And to have to bring politics into everything - regardless of which "side" you are on - is simply infantile and pathetic. What a sad reflection of our how self-centered our society has become. Thankfully there are several comments from people who obviously still care (including Hummer) - that gives me some hope that maybe, just maybe, human decency will triumph over petty bickering and an incredible audacity to sit in judgment of others you know nothing about. And the saddest (and scariest) part? The worst offenders will never accept responsibility for their behavior, instead trying to justify the harm their words have caused based on some twisted "logic" that shows they are unable to think for themselves.
Indeed, Jesus did take human form and ALL humans do "fart" (oops, sorry - "pass gas" - can't have "fart" and Jesus in the same sentence, God forbid [pun intended]). Humans, on average, "pass gas" 14 times per day (see http://scienceray.com for one reference). When Jesus took on a human body, he had to take on the same body we all have and most certainly passed gas, burped, and he most certainly produced all sorts of other noises human bodies make. The irony is, if we are made in God's image, is it that much of a leap to say that God may very well "pass gas", too? (Can't wait for the responses to that one!). The best part of all this? God is probably laughing at how uptight we are over normal bodily functions...yet crying that we haven't raised our children well enough to trust that they can be exposed to stories such as this - and the valuable lessons within the stories of most of the "Top Ten" banned books (Brave New World - really???) without somehow converting into devil worshipers. When will they learn that if you tell a child/teen that they can't read a book because of the content, that book will be read in secret? Or maybe banning the book is an incredibly smart manipulation by Dade County to get kids to read the book?? Nah, they're not that smart...
""It's patented. It's like a $500,000 fine" to plant patent owner Monsanto's cotton seed, she said. Each season, they must buy new seed for planting from Monsanto, which is the lone source for the high-tech seed, she said."
Did that sentence make anyone raise an eyebrow? Using your own seeds to replant next year's crop has been the way this country's farms supplied food for themselves and the rest of the country for hundreds of years. Monsanto has changed all of that. If you do your research, you will find Monsanto owns the vast majority of ALL seeds in this country. And, they are "modifying" the genetic structure of most seeds (to presumably make them produce better, bigger crops but we have no idea what can go wrong in the long-term when we mess with Mother Nature) and changing the genes allows them to patent something like a cotton seed. It also allows them to require that you continue to spend huge amounts to keep buying seeds so they get richer. It will get to the point where there is a scarcity of "non-hybrid, non-GMO" seeds that anyone can use to grow their own food, collect the seeds from their crop to use next year, and therefore be self-sustainable. This is a huge problem as it could result in the entire population being required to buy from Monsanto to simply plant a garden-and facing huge fines if they dare to use a seed from a plant they have grown. Monsanto has all but eliminated farms of any real size by buying land right next door and then suing the farm after a few years because some of their patented seeds have been carried by the wind and mixed in with the farmer's crop. Monsanto sues and wins, time after time. Sometimes they reach a deal where the farmer agrees to pay a hefty fine and only use Monsanto seeds thereafter - paying exorbitant prices for seeds year after year because they cannot use seeds from their crops. I highly recommend stocking up on non-hybrid, non-GMO seeds - not only are you buying insurance that you will have your own food, but you could make a lot of money selling your seeds to others. Until Monsanto shuts you down, of course. Just "Google" the company and you'll learn a great deal about the dangers of Monsanto. The Institute for Responsible Technology (http://responsibletechnology.org/) explains the danger of genetically modified seeds (to our health as well as our economy) and GMWatch (http://gmwatch.org/) is another good source. Find a good source for non-GMO, non-hybrid seeds and stock up on every seed you can - it is a wise investment.
Having worked downtown (in the Market and 4th Street area) for more than 8 years, I would dread the days where I could already smell the stench as I passed through I-24 and Rossville Blvd. A maintenance person took me for a little "tour" underneath the building I worked in (for those who don't know, most of downtown Chattanooga is built on top of old buildings to elevate it to a level that wouldn't flood every time the river rose). Underneath this building is another world, which, although fascinating from a historical perspective, is, quite literally, dripping with raw sewage. The "infrastructure" problem is more than just the combined storm and sewer lines - it is pipes that have cracks and gaping holes where the sewage leaks (or, when it rains, it pours) out. Many of us wrote letters about the smell to the City going back to 2003 as our concern was not just the nauseating stench but the potential health consequences of exposure to the raw sewage. The only response we received was that the "odor" was only a problem on certain days. True, but when it is present 80% of the time (and higher than that in the summer), that is little consolation and certainly doesn't solve the problem. And I never saw (or rather smelled) any benefit from those "deodorant" tablets. Thank God I no longer work downtown-I am in a much nicer area that is a fraction of the cost of downtown rental space with the added bonus of no smell! Chattanooga, get your head out of your...sewers...and FIX this problem!