JD is one of my former students. I remember him as being a cute kid, friendly, bright and extremely hyperactive. It was hard to keep him focused on what he was supposed to be doing. Most of his teachers did not like him. He disrupted class and had had a nice sized file in the dean's office. Eventually the school decided there was nothing that could be done with him and his mother signed him out.
Not all of JD's teacher's thought he was a bad kid or even disliked him. I know I am one of those and I know a few others that shared my sentiments. The school I teach in is just too big and does not have the proper resourses to reach out and help someone like him. Term after term he was permitted to go on with the same kind of poor behavior. I got to know him through a trade of difficult students. The teacher I got him from emphasized his good qualities and traded him in the hope that he would do better with someone else. (The boy I gave her was later arrested for carrying a weapon in school.) She always had faith in him. I met JD's mother when she came to sign him out of school. She struck me as a good woman and a mother who did everything she could to help her son. She had tears in her eyes because she just didn't know how to help him anymore. The effect his expulsion had on her clearly affected him. Maybe if our school had guidance counselors with smaller case loads someone could have reached him and helped. If our classes weren't so overcrowded maybe more teachers could have seen the good in him and helped him succeed.
Don't get me wrong. I am not defending his actions. He is being held as an accessory to the murder of an innocent little girl. There is no excuse for this and he deserves to be punished to the full extent the law allows. I just think that maybe something could have been done to prevent this tragedy. A little girl died, but two mothers lost their children that day and that is something no woman should ever have to do.