This is a sad situation. I represented a different Freedom HS student in 2007 on a situation exactly like this . . . that one turned out to be some kids running their mouths about a far-fetched fantasy that really had no chance of ever coming to fruition. It ended with a juvenile diversion program with mental health counseling. Last I heard, that young man had gone on to college and was a productive member of society.
And that may be what this case is all about. Clearly (assuming for this blog that the facts in this BayNew9 article are accurate) this is young person who is sadly out of touch with reality and dealing with mental health and drug abuse issues.
Should we worry about this kid? We should – not only because of what he may have been plotting at Freedom HS, but because he needs help. He needs psychiatric help, vocational counseling, perhaps even medication for his maladies.
Should we fault the parents? No. Often times drug addicts and the mentally unstable are able to most easily fool those closest to them. With teens and parents, that is probably especially true.
This case will be one to watch closely as a community, and to not rush to judgment. No harm was done (unlike shootings, DUI accidents, etc) and there is an opportunity to help this young man. We should all encourage the State Attorney to seek long-term, extensive rehabilitation and not severe punishment.