I know three young boys are currently suffering greatly because they made a grievous error in judgment last Saturday.
Two of the boys from Grandview are well-known to my family and there have been a lot of rumors floating around the community as to what occurred at Grandview High School during the fall formal dance.
Because I know the two boys from Grandview well, the incident has been a heavy burden I have carried throughout the week.
These boys are not troublesome youth. They are not involved in gangs. These boys are good students, stay out of trouble and are very close friends of my teenage son.
The rumors that have been circulating include statements that someone was stabbed, when in fact no one was injured. Neither did the boys intend to harm anyone with the weapons that were in their possession.
These boys are much like the boys I grew up with...they are fascinated by weapons.
Typically, the boys spend time in a back yard using the knives for carving and to practice weaponry skills.
They impulsively decided to walk to the high school on Saturday evening with the intent of contacting my son. They didn't properly think about the fact that they were carrying weapons and could suffer the consequences they are now facing.
These boys made a split-second decision that lacked good judgment. That one decision resulted in consequences beyond anything they could imagine, not all of which are known as of yet.
People in the community, not knowing these boys, have been critical and prejudgmental. I understand the desire to rush to judgment given our society and all the negative choices many youth have made.
We don't live in the same society of 20 years ago when the police had the discretion to evaluate all the circumstances and released youngsters to their parents when youthful indiscretion was the ultimate crime.
We live in a post-Columbine, post 9/11 world, where any weapon offense must be taken very seriously.
However, I feel it is my duty to let the community know that these youngsters were not acting maliciously. They made a very grievous mistake and it is my hope that the community will support them, helping them get back to being the good students and good kids I know them to be. Help them pick up the pieces and let them know we care about their future...that this incident was a great learning moment.