Monthly Archives: June 2015

Adam Lanza also a Victim

You recall the tragic Sandy Hook Elementary schooting, of course. Lanza visited the school one sad morning and shot and killed several little children and one teacher. It was a devastating piece of news that rocked a nation so badly that even Obama responded promptly in a nationwide address. I remember watching a television program that was interrupted suddenly by Obama’s speech. Not knowing what had happened, and not realizing it was an emergency, I was about to click off the television when I saw the captions on the screen. I certainly listened then.

Adam-LanzaI’ve blogged about this tragedy before and today my memory was jogged by an odd incident with a very disturbed mother and child in our school community. This made me think about Lanza and the relationship he had with his mother, Nancy Lanza. She was fond of bonding with her son, a good thing. Guess where she chose to do most of her bonding with him? At a gun range. Not a good thing. Nancy was described as a “long-time gun enthusiast,” had “numerous weapons as well as ammunition” in Nancy Lanza’s home. In a twisted irony, her son used the weapon she had provided him, and relied upon the shooting skills she had coached him in, and he shot in her the head the day he slaughtered the children and adults of Sandy Hook Elementary. Later the devastated boy shot and killed himself.

Back to the disturbed mother and son at my school. She’s the mother I blogged about who has tattooed herself as “Hustler’s Wife,” (even though she is single, never married). She is teaching her son, (let’s call him Sherman), to abuse his peers and disrespect authority. She provided him with a lovely example a week ago Friday when I mistakenly thought she was a high school student picking up Sherman and (very politely) asked her to leave the yard. When I realized my mistake I apologized profusely, but alas, in her mind, the damage had been done. In front of her child, the choice words she used at me were “fu–ng bi–h” and “fu—ng wh—e.” Apparently being mistaken for a young person was a dire insult.

The next day, Sherman arrived at school, punched another child, and had to spend time in the principal’s office. Hmmm. A connection there perhaps?

Last Friday Sherman knocked out another child’s tooth when he got him in a chokehold. The classroom teacher informed “Ms. Wife” about the incident. Her response was “holy sh–t!” Well, at least she believed the teacher. However, she was annoyed by the consequence imposed on Sherman: that he take all of his recesses indoors this week. She called the school to argue with the principal who happens to be out of the school today.

Ms. Wife is a mother who supports her child’s every action, no matter how disturbing. She chooses to believe the stories he invents about other children as the reason he has to lash out and physically injure them. Her child can do no wrong. Neither can she. One day, Sherman is going to pose a more serious threat to the children in this school, and possibly, although I pray this isn’t the case, to the school itself.

Nancy Lanza bonded with her mentally ill, ostracized son at a gun range. There were many factors aside from Nancy’s “gun enthusiasm” that contributed to this tragedy, to be sure. But bringing this violent obsession into her son’s life was a decision that proved to be fatal. Ms. Wife defends all of her son’s violence, and shows extreme disrespect for authority figures in his presence.

thiefAesop had a tale for this pathetic phenomenon called The Thief and His Mother. Just before the thief is to be executed for his crimes, he tells the onlookers, “had [my mother] given me a sound flogging, I should never have so grown in wickedness as to come to this untimely end.” Although I don’t recommend flogging one’s child to anyone, the message is clear and I’m inclined to agree.

Undisciplined children, especially those in extreme homes, are tragedies waiting to happen.