There are certain calls a parent never wants to get.
A few days ago, I got a call from one of my college-aged kids. It left me feeling physically ill and sent my world into a tailspin.
In an effort to be a little bit vague (in the name of safety), I'm going to refer to this child simply as "Kiddo" for today's post. I'm also going to refer to Kiddo as a "he" for the sake of this writing – but that doesn't necessarily mean Kiddo is a he.
Kiddo called with a shaking voice and fear in his every word. Kiddo is receiving threats (some of them death threats) from another student at his campus. Let's call the kid who is doing the threatening Scary.
Scary was almost kicked out of school last semester. Scary was caught cheating and when he was caught he "lost it." He made threats against a teacher and administrator, and sent them emails mentioning Hitler, destruction, and other ramblings which made no sense.
Scary is mentally unstable, violent, and also very, very angry.
The school required Scary to see a school psychiatrist a few times, but then ended up allowing Scary to stay on campus as a student. I've been told Scary is a master at smooth talking his way out of any situation.
Scary has developed a crush on a girl I'll call Pretty. Pretty has a boyfriend and has no interest in Scary. In fact, Pretty finds Scary … downright scary. Pretty is also a good friend of Kiddo's.
A few days ago Scary began sending threatening, text messages and emails to both Pretty and Kiddo. Scary lives very close to Kiddo so Scary is hard to avoid. Since they live close to each other, Kiddo is taking the brunt of Scary's anger and violent threats. Pretty lives further away and is in semi-hiding.
The campus police were notified of Scary's threats and went to talk to him. Scary stayed calm, turned on the charm, and convinced the officers there was some type of misunderstanding. He was warned to stay away from Pretty and Kiddo. The police left and Scary promptly threatened Kiddo with violence again.
The new threat, after the police left, was promptly reported to campus police and they returned. The police informed Scary they have a "three strike" policy. They also told him threats are a serious matter, and that he would be "taken in" if there was another incident directed at Pretty or Kiddo.
Since then, Scary has sent text and email messages to students in Kiddo's group of friends. The messages are threatening, rambling, and a bit incoherent. As of this writing, he hasn't sent a message to Kiddo during the last 12 hours. He has, however, referred to plans for violence against Kiddo when rambling to other people.
Kiddo is afraid of Scary and he's not the only one. Pretty and a lot of their friends are also afraid of him.
It was a three day, holiday, weekend here when most of this was going on. That means the school offices were closed and we were unable to get in touch with campus administrators.
I have instructed Kiddo:
• Not to be alone for a minute until this is resolved.
• To keep doors/windows locked at all times.
• To forward all threatening emails and text messages to the dean of the university.
• To do everything possible to avoid running into Scary on campus.
• To try and make arrangements to stay with a friend for a few days.
Briefcase and/or I will be calling the dean to discuss the matter this morning. I'm afraid of what Scary will do in anger if he gets expelled. I'm afraid of what Scary will do if he's allowed to remain on campus. I've seen the text messages and emails from Scary and they make no sense. It's clear Scary has a serious mental health issue.
I'd feel so much better if this was just about an argument between rational thinking students, but it's not. I'd feel so much better if this wasn't taking place 3,000 miles away from me, but it is.
The most frustrating thing is waiting for the wheels to turn so this matter can be resolved. Expulsion, suspension, restraining orders – whatever, all take time. Also, Scary has already ignored police warnings to stay away from Kiddo. I have no faith that he'll take a restraining order, or action by campus administrators, seriously.
I'm trying to stay calm and not to overreact, but it's almost impossible.
Someone is making violent threats against my child.
An angry, mentally unstable, person is targeting my kid.
© Twenty Four At Heart