December 16, 2021

The Mayors Are Revolting! When Should Parents Be Charged In School Shootings?

By Bellwether

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ICYMI – here’s an 2022 In and Out list.

With Washington politically paralyzed and many states in the grip of their own partisan spasms, cities were often cited as the place where things were still happening. The one level of government that still regularly worked, mayors liked to say. In 2020 it was noteworthy how many mayors or recent former mayors threw their hat in ring for president or seriously tested the waters. If 2024 ends up being an presidential open seat for the Democrats you’ll likely see the same thing.

So it’s noteworthy to see mayors and recent former mayors aggressively stepping into the quality of life breech since November’s election.

In New York Eric Adams is signaling he’s going to do his own thing on public safety and schools. But he’s not the only mayor or former mayor speaking up – and this obviously impacts education in various ways. Consider,

Former Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter on current Philadelphia DA Larry Krasner:

District Attorney Larry Krasner’s recent remarks about whether we are experiencing a crime crisis are some of the worst, most ignorant and most insulting comments I have ever heard spoken by an elected official.

Krasner told reporters: “We don’t have a crisis of lawlessness, we don’t have a crisis of crime, we don’t have a crisis of violence.”

It takes a certain audacity of ignorance and white privilege to say that right now. As of Monday night, 521 people, souls, spirits have been vanquished, eliminated, murdered in our City of Brotherly Love and Sisterly Affection, the most since 1960.

I have to wonder what kind of messed up world of white wokeness Krasner is living in to have so little regard for human lives lost, many of them black and brown, while he advances his own national profile as a progressive district attorney.

San Fransisco Mayor London Breed ($)

Mayor London Breed is pushing an ambitious school board oversight plan that threatens to withhold city funding from classrooms if board of education members don’t change their behavior.

San Francisco classrooms, under a proposed change to city law, could lose millions in city funding each year if school board members continue to micromanage, treat others poorly or persist in chasing short-term political wins, its backers say.

Breed announced the unprecedented and unusual oversight plan Monday, which would require majority support of the supervisors and then the approval of voters in June.

The Children’s First Initiative would also restructure city government by creating a new Children’s Agency, which would oversee two existing children-related city departments. The agency would be on par with the powerful Public Utilities Commission and the Municipal Transportation Agency.

Here’s more Breed via AP.

Should we charge parents when their kids are involved in school shootings? It’s a complicated question.

My view is that in general with rights come responsibilities and the 2nd Amendment is not an exception to that. And there are instances of negligence around school shootings ( I don’t yet know enough of the details of what transpired in this Michigan family to know if this was negligence, something more, or something less) where parents should be held accountable for their actions and choices, especially around firearms access.

But we should be careful of a few things. First, the urge to overcharge in awful instances is real. And there is a difference between negligence and intent and various states have differing laws about firearms.

There is also a real risk that kids will be profiled here in a rush to head things off. Or inappropriately charged as part of some moral panic. As I noted at the time, profiling kids doesn’t get you anywhere with mass school shootings and is the wrong thing to do. And parsing threats from social media noise is not straightforward. But reacting when there are clear signs from a young person, as there are in four out of five school shootings (and apparently were in the Michigan incident), is essential for schools. Many of these instances are preventable, but they are preventable because of upstream attention to school culture.

I do some work with a company, ClearForce, that operates in this space – mostly with a focus on national security, finance, but also with clear education applications and do a few other things around the security space. There are steps schools can take that protect privacy but also provide information upstream of events.

Bottom line, the Michigan charges will hopefully lead to an important conversation about balancing prevention with privacy and thinking about accountability in the context of existing laws and constitutional rights.

Across the Universe.

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