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Protecting Sons from Violent Teen
Q: A few weeks ago, my son (14) was cutting the grass in the backyard. He was shot at by a teenage boy from the next house. The police were called and they were also fired at by the boy. The boy in question (17) was arrested and released. My boys (14 and 15) have just started school. They have to ride the same school bus as the shooter. Being that the shooter is a minor, what can I do to safeguard my kids? Can I legally go to the school administration with the boy's name and description of his activities?
A: You present your question as a legal matter, but it's not a legal matter. It's an issue of safety. You would be negligent NOT to tell the school about what happened. Assuming your son is certain of the identity of the boy who shot at him, tell the school as soon as possible. Another alternative is to ask the police to notify the school.
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Gavin de Becker is widely regarded as the leading U.S. expert on the prediction and management of violence. His work has earned him three Presidential appointments and a position on a congressional committee. He is currently co-chair of the Domestic Violence Council Advisory Board, and a Senior Fellow at the UCLA School of Public Policy.