In 2006 a then 14-year-old James Scott Newman took his parents’ .38 revolver to Pine Middle School in Reno, Nevada, where he opened fire striking two students. Luckily both students survived. Newman was tried as a juvenile and only received house arrest as a sentence. Also his parents were not charged for allowing their son access to the gun. The shooting was 8 years ago tomorrow and one of his victims recently told her story.
22-year-old Kenzie McKeon recently told her story to Siobhan McAndrew of the Reno Gazette-Journal. Mckeon says that she doesn’t let her life be ruled by the shooting and said that sometimes she doesn’t even remember that March 14th was the day it happened. She says that because of the shooting she’s getting ready to graduate from Appalachian State University in North Carolina with a degree in criminal justice. She also added that she was not happy about Newman’s sentence…
“It was the punishment that I don’t think was right because this is something I have to deal with the rest of my life,” McKeon said of Newman’s house arrest.
What really struck me as poignant is what Ms. McKeon said about what can be done about school shootings.
“We have to refocus efforts on the mental health of children,” she said.
My thoughts exactly however too many parents think taking their kids to get some kind of mental health is a stigma. Too many parents rely on pop culture pseudo science than actual medicine or they think they’re kids are just going through a phase. When I was a teen I tried killing myself on multiple occasions. That wasn’t just a phase.
Thank you Ms. McKeon for sharing your story with us and I wish you nothing but the best in your life.