When a 15-year-old boy plots to shoot up his high school, whose fault is it? The school, of course. Thanks to a tip, nobody was killed at Laguna Creek High School, near Sacramento. Two students were arrested. But the parents of a 15-year-old freshman who was arrested plan to sue the school district and the sheriff for $6 million, reports the Sacramento Bee. The family’s lawyer said the kid really planned “suicide by cop,” not a massacre targeting black students and others.
The first claim accuses the school district of not providing the teen with trained counselors when his mother sought help for her disturbed son.
The second claim accuses the Sheriff’s Department of providing the media with false information about the “racial component” of the incident.
“This was blown out of proportion. The NAACP got involved, and there was no reason. Somebody is at fault, and we are working to determine who that is,” (lawyer J. Jeffries) Goodwin said Wednesday.
He disputed claims by law enforcement authorities that the student intended to break into a store to steal weapons and attack the school with guns and explosives.
“This boy was going to take a BB gun to school so that he could be killed,” Goodwin said. “There was no burglary attempt to get guns. There were no bombs. This was going to be a suicide.”
Well, then, no problem. A few sessions with a school counselor would have cured him in no time.
The freshman’s mother met with Platt at the school Jan. 29 and told him she was concerned about her son’s failing grades, lack of motivation, loss of appetite, irritability and talk of suicide, the claim said.
In the first news story, the defendant’s father is quoted as saying the boy had confessed.
The father of the freshman said Tuesday that he was “shocked, dumbfounded” at the charges. He described his son as gentle by nature and said he entertains his siblings with stuffed animals.
But the father conceded that his son told him during the jail visit about the plot. “He admitted to wanting to steal guns from Big 5 and take them to school and shoot people.”
The tipster said the suspects claimed their goal was to “beat Columbine’s record” of deaths, then kill themselves afterward.
In letters to the editor, Bee readers comment on the lawsuit. Unfavorably.