High School Student Commits Suicide

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Just listened to the press conference regarding the teenager who committed suicide at Lee’s Summit-North High School.

First of all my prayers to the family and friends of the student. Also, to the teachers and students of the Lee’s Summit School District. Lastly, to the first responders. They are responsible for dealing with a lot of horrible situations but don’t get nearly enough recognition.

Now the media. You all are dumbasses! All I heard was your concern about the difference between a soft and hard lockdown. Really! Is that all you could up with from this horrible, horrible, incident?

A soft lockdown is designed for students and staff to shelter-in-place and allows for quick movement by law enforcement/EMS personnel. Hallways are cleared and allow for a quicker reunification of families, etc. One of the only differences are the exterior doors to the facility are not locked.

My guess is they knew it was an isolated incident/one gunshot, etc.; therefore, opted for a soft lockdown.

The concern should be for the deceased student, her family, and friends, etc. Also, researching ways to try and prevent horrible incidents such as todays from getting to that point.

We need way more focus on mental health issues in this country!

The media truly has become a joke.

Lee’s Summit North High School dismisses students early after teenage girl takes her life

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Society

 

Things to do during a Gender Reveal Party: Eat, play games, visit w/friends, etc.. Oh yeah, forgot. Shoot up the place and injure nine people; including several children with one fatality.

Some people suck! Get a grip…Just sayin’.

After writing those words, I began to think about how we, as a society, got here.

I remember as a police officer during the mid-80s and early 90s, and a child would get shot as a result of gang violence. Whether it was getting caught in between two rival gangs, e.g., a drug deal that went bad, or retaliation for some perceived act of disrespect, etc.

Print, television and radio media would incessantly report on the story. Newspaper articles that occupied the front page. Television stations would interrupt regular programming and radio stations would broadcast the story numerous times an hour.

Society would “lose their minds.” Commenting about how horrible things were, and asking questions such as, What’s wrong with Society? What happened to respect? Why aren’t parents teaching their children to respect one another?

Move ahead to 2017. Now when an incident, such as the one above, takes place. There may be a story on page three of the newspaper. Television stations no longer interrupt their regular programming; however, they do include it in their nightly news programs, but I think it’s more for the ratings. Radio stations might report on it several times and then nothing. You can hear crickets.

Have we become desensitized to violence or do we not care any longer? I’m not sure, but in my opinion society, for the most part, is changing. It seems like we’re quick to blame the police, teachers, politicians (they’re part of the problem) for society’s demise, but society has some skin in the game.

Before anyone takes exception, please understand I realize some things do have to change; however, let’s be honest. Society needs some work, too. Look at road rage, school and workplace violence, immigration, parents abusing and killing their children, both political parties are crazy and shootings in cities such as Chicago, etc. The list goes on and on for what seems like forever.

It seems we no longer value life or anything else for that matter; unless, it has to do with us. Have we become more selfish?

http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2017/07/one_dead_eight_injured_in_shoo_1.html

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Something to think about…

I hear this over and over, again. Of course when you spend time in the community. You know, build relationships, etc., things will change. But you can’t go into a community; build those relationships and then pull out because some politician wants to cut the budget. It takes real commitment from everyone.

I liked that my department practiced Community Based Policing back in the late 80s and early 90s. They even sent me to Yale University for a three-day seminar regarding the subject.

We received a fit in your back pocket notebook when we began the program. It contained every number imaginable. Everything from getting street lights fixed, homeless and domestic violence shelters to Department of Family and Children Services’ numbers. With everything in between. We would be able to take care of or initiate a lot with a cell phone and those notebooks. The people living in the community appreciated that fact and responded accordingly.

When you identify “quality of life” issues, e.g., broken windows, trash, broken/shot out street lights, violations of noise ordinances, etc., things will begin to improve. Also, when you build relationships with people living in the community, they start to respond. They are more apt to come to you with their concerns. It will take time and again, commitment.

Hopefully, Raytown and their police department stick with the program; assign enough officers, and politicians provide adequate funding.

Additional information: http://fox4kc.com/2017/07/01/raytown-police-try-new-tactics-in-areas-with-high-levels-of-crime-and-crashes/

Raytown

 

Student and Mid-Term Exams

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I worked, as a police officer, for a large east coast inner city medical center affiliated with an Ivy-League school during the mid-80s and early-90s. It requires much focus and dedication from their students.

Mid-term exams were approaching, and this sees a rise in stress levels in students, which is normal. Students don’t seem to have enough time in the day to accomplish everything expected of them.

The major difference of this particular college: Some Students can attend because of hard work and scholarships, and some because of parents who are footing the bill. We’re not talking about $12,000 thousand dollars per year (remember this was the 80s), but $25,000 per year (The current cost is about $54,000 per year!). When you throw everything into the mix; let’s just say stress levels rise because there is a lot to lose.

By this time, I had been promoted to Sergeant and because of the high level of activity in the Emergency Department; decided to assist officers already working the area until the activity slowed down.

A short time later, an ambulance crew brought in a young female college student who had taken too much NoDoz in an attempt to buy more study time for the upcoming mid-terms. She was promptly placed in an exam room until a physician could examine her, and left to her own devices.

Before I continue let me remind you that this young lady is very attractive and in great shape. I’ll continue with the story. The ambulance crew, several nurses and I had gotten into a conversation by the Emergency Department’s ambulance bay entrance. All of a sudden the bay doors opened and the young female college student ran by us naked as a jaybird! Apparently, she felt clothes would just slow her down in her quest to escape. After all there was additional studying to be done!

Imagine driving down the street and you see this. A naked young woman running down the street pursued by a police officer (laughing hysterically), two nurses who were yelling obscenities. Also, one Medic, who kept repeating, “I’m going to pee my pants.” and one EMT, who forgot to lock their rig, it sounded something like this: Me laughing. Will you please fucking stop (the staff was always polite). I’m going to kick your ass. I forgot to lock the fucking rig. I’m going to pee my damn pants. Repeat.

We did catch her a short time later. She just stopped because she was tired of running. We forgot to take something to cover her, so we walked to her back to the Emergency Department, which I’m sure raised some eyebrows. I miss that job!

5-Year-Old Child Saves Family!

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A 5-year-old Canadian girl saved her family’s life after a motor vehicle accident. Apparently, her mother fell asleep while driving and drove down a 40-foot ridge. After freeing herself from her car seat and crawling out of the wreckage; she walked barefoot up an embankment to summon help.

According to her mother, “I can only remember one or two times where she got out of her five-point harness previously. She somehow got out, adrenaline or whatever, and barefoot hiked up the embankment.”

Whatever the reason, her mother and 10-week-old brother are probably alive because of her actions on that faithful day. She managed to unclip the harness on her car seat, which had lodged against the seat in front of her, opened the car’s damaged passenger door and made her way up rugged terrain without shoes.

Then she flagged down a passing car and told the driver what happened.

The mom, who is a swim teacher, broke her back in two places, underwent surgery to repair internal bleeding and had some organs removed. The brother required neurosurgery to reduce brain swelling, but the hero made it out with only scratches.

They airlifted all three to a hospital and were there 19 days. They’re home recovering, but the hero is unaware of her actions.

“She just doesn’t know what it means,” her mother said. “She’s just 5 years old and so happy to be home and playing with her dog and her ducks.”

I’ve been thinking of this story since I read the article several days ago, and the questions I keep asking myself. What inside a 5-year-old child results in them being able to respond to a critical incident the way she did? Was it adrenaline? Was it her upbringing? Was it past experiences in her young life? Was it her personality/intelligence? Or was it just her? I find this interesting.  

 I took some information from an article by mchan@nydailynews.com

Angela Szymanski’s (mother) family started a GoFundMe page. The accident occurred in the mountainous town of Jasper in western Alberta, Canada. Please make a donation.

I’m very sad and you should be, too!

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I just read an article in regards to the murder of 8-year-old, Madyson “Maddy” Middleton from Santa Cruz, California.

Maddy, who went missing twenty-four hours earlier, was found dead in a dumpster behind the Tannery Arts Center. She was last seen riding her scooter when she went missing. The results of her autopsy revealed this 8-year-old, who is someone’s child; was beaten, raped and strangled. Imagine how terrified she must have been. It takes my breath away!

I did some research in regards to the Tannery Arts Center. There are 100 one to three bedroom apartments. Meant for artists, musicians, and writers who earn less than the average medium income, which was $69,600 in 2014. Because it receives federal funding and subject to fair housing laws, they cannot discriminate against non-artists when choosing tenants. So, therefore, not all tenants are artists.

The individual arrested for her murder is 15-year-old, Adrian Jerry Gonzalez. He also lives at the Tannery with his mother, Reje “Reggie” Dimailig Factor, and from all indications it’s a dysfunctional situation, to say the least.

Let’s start with Ms. Factor. According to an attorney who represented her in a civil case. Who described her upbringing as shattered by divorce and a frequent lack of money, employment and housing. The attorney also stated, “She’s had a difficult life.” See where they’re going here?

Next is Adrian Jerry Gonzalez (AJ) the perpetrator (murderer) of this horrific crime. According to his birth certificate, he was born at Sutter Maternity and Surgery Center in Santo Cruz.

When AJ was not yet 2-years-old, Abraham Gonzalez (AJ’s father?) was arrested on suspicion of felony assault with a deadly weapon, and misdemeanor battery in a relationship. Only convicted of the latter and sentenced to three years of probation. It’s not clear if Ms. Factor was the victim in that case because they could only locate a partial court record.

For many years during his AJ’s childhood, his mother worked numerous jobs. One job, in particular, in a discount store, which her boss made sexual advances towards her and she quit. A subsequent sexual harassment lawsuit filed.

Ms. Factor ran out of money, and they became homeless. They lived with friends, and then a homeless shelter and the harassment case eventually settled out-of-court, to which she received an undisclosed sum. Mom’s made some poor choices. Also, dad doesn’t seem to be involved. I’m going to stop here because it’s the same storyline. You know the same show, but different actors.

Apparently, AJ appeared in Santa Cruz Superior Court. He addressed the felony charges that include murder with a special allegation of lying in wait, kidnapping, forcible rape, lewd acts with a child younger than 14 and sexual penetration with an instrument.

Dressed in a green T-shirt and khaki pants issued to minors at Juvenile Hall, he appeared solemn and answered “yes” when asked by the judge if he would waive his right to a speedy trial.

He (his case) appointed to public defenders and they spoke for the first time in AJ’s defense. “This case is extremely tragic and devastating to two families and the Tannery Arts community, and much more people in this country and beyond.”

Some information is taken from an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
 

It’s Okay!

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I have been married to my wife Carol* for twenty-five years, who’s been a nurse for twenty-nine years. She is very intelligent and has worked in oncology, emergency room, telephone triage, and pediatrics. Always excelling and in control.

About six years ago she was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, bipolar depression and anxiety. Since then, our situation has changed dramatically. First, she had to search for a therapist and later a physiatrist. The hardest part of the whole situation is her having to admit inadequacy in herself, and not being able to “control” her situation.

Forgot to mention, she injured her back about twenty-twenty years ago while working the emergency department. She decided to have surgery to remove a disc, which was not successful. In addition there are three bulging discs, and arthritis; the arthritis is a result of the surgery. She realizes the situation is not going to improve.

Carol has not told her family about her diagnosis because of all the worry it would cause, which would add to her anxiety. She didn’t want to hear acquaintances explain they understood, etc. The only person besides me who knows of the diagnosis is our daughter.

What’s saddest about this whole situation; well, I’ll have to start from the beginning. When I first met Carol, I soon realized how intelligent, assertive and comfortable she was in her work environment. She worked as an emergency department nurse in a very large inner-city, east coast medical center. I worked as a police officer in the same center.

It was the mid 80s, and the east coast was experiencing a Crack epidemic, which made for a stressful and “interesting” time. Carol took it all in stride and did very well dealing with all the craziness that comes with working in a very busy emergency department. Her evaluations were great, and management assigned her to assist paramedic/EMT students, and recently hired nurses; we’ll call it a preceptor. 

Remembering those times makes me sad. After being diagnosed, I’ve watched as it’s robbed her assertiveness, and now she second guesses herself on just about everything. The constant battle of finding the right medication combination, and visiting her psychiatrist and therapist has taken a toll on Carol. It’s like she’s battling with herself; a constant fight if you will.

Panic attacks brought on by her anxiety are frustrating to her, our daughter and me, and come out of nowhere. Any requests for help with chores come with a price, and they have to be done her way! Her mind is constantly on the move; going from one thought to the next. It never stops!

Carol never sleeps as a result of her medications. She sleeps for two hours and is up for an hour; the cycle usually repeats throughout out the night. Sometimes she feels like she’s going to fall asleep while driving. Her medications have changed so many times it’s confusing. It’s frustrating to our daughter and me. Multiply that by at least three times for her!

Carol has learned to speak up to her psychiatrist and therapist, and ask for what she wants. She’s learning to “feel good” about herself. They are still in search of the correct medication combination, but it’s improving. She’s currently dealing with a lack of appetite.

The next challenge is to get her to realize she is a sick person, such as someone with an allergy if you will, instead of a failure. She’s terrified someone is going to find out about her diagnosis, and that’s sad. There is so much the average individual does not understand in regards to mental illness. There needs to be more information, or should I say education available in regards to mental illness and it should be easily accessible.

Thank you for listening.

 *Names have been changed to protect me (lol).