The parents of the 13-year-old convicted in the school bombing plot have conducted an interview with The Hook‘s Hawes Spencer, providing more details than ever in the matter. It’s clearer than ever that the boy and his family were railroaded by the police, both privately and in the media. Though his conviction isn’t operative because he’s appealed to a higher court, he’s not having much luck getting into schools — most area private schools won’t even talk to him, least of all consider him as an applicant. It’s not clear who benefits by this kid not getting a high school education.
13 thoughts on “Revealing Interview with Parents in Bombing Case”
This is a truly frightening article and I feel so sorry for the parents and kids.
I am ashamed of our “judicial” system. There needs to be a certain level of trust for our system to work and this case serves to completely destroy any and all trust in the system.
Thank you, Waldo, for writing this very important event. This community needs to open its eyes and demand answers to some very serious questions this and other articles raise. I have two sons that attend Albemarle High School and am sickened at how the government acted in this matter. Look at how easily our “public servants” ran roughshod over this boy and his family. The ensuing silence, the sealing of records and fictional gag orders should make every citizen stand up and demand accountability. I, for one, would like to do more to bring light on this matter.
Having recently moved last year from Alabama, this event has stirred memories of how local governments there act when they want to put on a show for the community. They quickly act as judge, juror and executioner and then deny access to the records that would hold them accountable. In many ways it is like a modern day lynching. We are not nearly as free from tyranny as most people would believe.
Waldo, from your knowledge of this could you answer a few questions. Who are the key governmental players in this event? What political party are they from? Do they face elections?
I am hoping that these officials are not “untouchable” from the standpoint of loosing elections or from pressure being brought from another political party. I hope that Albemarle County in not like so many county governments from my native state of Alabama, all from the same political party and above scrutiny in the political process.
Is there anything I could do as a citizen of this community to help this family? Any comments or ideas would be appreciated.
The only elected official that I know of that is a key player here is Commonwealth’s Attorney Jim Camblos. It was Camblos who threatened reporters to keep them from writing about the case. (In hindsight, it seems clearer than ever that what this case really needed was a little sunshine.) I assume Camblos to be a Republican. If my memory of the case serves me — and it may well not — the school simply cooperated with the police, so it’s not clear to me that anybody in the schools deserves any particular blame here. And then, of course, there are the police. The police who arrested the boy at school, parading him out in handcuffs, rather than handling things more reasonably. And they held that press conference on February 3, the bang before the long, slow fizzle of the remainder of the case.
The only person who can be rebuked at the ballot box in this case (that I know of) is Jim Camblos. There are a half dozen cases that he’s bungled far worse than this — it’s become a sort of a calling card for him — so I support such a response on general principle. :)
The school board is elected Waldo.
Did the school board have anything to do with the affair? It seems rather outside of the scope of the school board to have known about the arrest in advance or even had anything to do with the process post-arrest.
I don’t claim to be any kind of an expert on the case. :)
“Though his conviction isn’t operative because he’s appealed to a higher court, he’s not having much luck getting into schools — most area private schools won’t even talk to him, least of all consider him as an applicant. It’s not clear who benefits by this kid not getting a high school education. “
If I understand The Hook’s article, he can reenter public school in the fall. Though I can’t imagine he’d want to. I was thinking more of private schools when I wrote that. We don’t know where he’s applied, of course, but I’d think at least a few schools in the area, being familiar with his case, would be able to largely ignore his legal troubles.
I believe you are correct about Camblos being a Republican.
From almost the beginning this case had the smell of very ripe fish about it. Can you say “railroaded”; “trumped up”? Our system has caused immense anguish, and costs of all sorts to these kids and their families. Perhaps 4 ruined lives-and we are still asking exactlly what crime, if any, was committed. Meanwhile the local gangbangers walk the streets. And the serial rapist.
Everyone involved in this travesty of justice should be ashamed. Would love to see them hit with lawsuits for millions in damages, and prosecuted for civil rights violations as well.
“But American schools are another matter. Although this 13-year-old’s conviction in juvenile court has been nullified by his appeal to circuit court, his expulsion by the Albemarle County School Board still stands. While board attorney Mark Trank originally characterized it as a permanent expulsion, state law actually limits public school expulsions to a year at a time.”
I cant really figure out how to emphasize on the comments section. But what I would emphasize are “his expulsion…still stands” and “state law limits … expulsions to a year…”
To emphasize, wrap the section in <i> tags (as in italics), like such:
To bold, simply use <b> instead of <i>.
More on topic, I wonder if that expulsion would be limited to a year or the school year.
a year= 365 days
While I agree in principle, as a tax-payer I am hoping that the school system doesn’t get hit with million dollar lawsuits. What should now happen is a community discussion of this entire issue. Now that The Hook has shined some light on this, I would like to see a community forum with Jim Camblos, the Sheriff, teachers, and perhaps Mark Trank engaging in a dialogue with the community about these issues.
In this post-Columbine age, we do need to take threats seriously. In the Hook article, John Whitehead said that when he was a school-age kid “I shot spitwads, and I talked about shooting my teachers.” First of all, HOLY SH*T, really??? I remember the occasional spitball, but kids I knew never talked about shooting anyone! Second, we have precedent for worrying that kids who do talk about such things today may actually follow through with it. The worst thing about the school shootings, along with all the lives already lost, is that they make more shootings conceivable, not just to parents and officials, but to kids who harbor such thoughts.
From all that I have learned, we, the community and our leaders, horribly mishandled this situation. Now we need to make it right, and the process begins with talking. As a parent of children in public school, I now find myself concerned both about the schools they attend and about our law enforcement system. Let’s show the kids that we adults do know how to behave as adults and that we can resolve problems in a civilized and mature manner. We haven’t displayed enough of either trait lately.
I don’t think its the school system that persecuted these kids-its our so-called “justice” system. Camblos and the police are the ones who should be held accountable.
As for taking threats seriously, surely adults should be able to distinguish between real threats,and fantasy or idle chatter. We can’t arrest people based on what they “might” do, lacking tangible evidence. Everyone one of us “might” commit a crime, in theory.
And haven’t we all blurted out in moments of annoyance or frustration “Oh, I could kill him/shoot him” or some variation thereof? Nowadays we’d likely be hauled off in chains.
I think our society is paranoid when “safety”issues are raised. For example, online safety for kids is important, but some of the stuff they say sounds like a predator is going to jump out of the computer screen and drag you back into it. Scare tactics are usually not a good idea. Same goes for terrorism, avian flu,and so forth.
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