We have to face the fact that there are children in our so-called civilized world who are falling between the cracks for years and emerging, either as children or adults, as the cause of the most horrifying news we can imagine. Ignoring or denying the possible outcome of children with these problems benefits no one and can cause a lifetime of remorse. These are children who are mentally ill in a way that fills them with such uncontrollable rage and destructiveness that they are able to harm and/or murder innocent people, often other children.
Parents, grandparents, siblings or other caregivers dealing with mental illness in a child do not have the privilege of basic guidelines. And 24/7 they are trying to keep these victims of their own mental difficulties from harming themselves or others. Sometimes this terrible purpose forming in a mentally ill child's mind is not revealed until that moment when he or she gets a weapon and strikes out.
These children, through no fault of their own, are suffering from mental illness. And just as we separate from society those adults who murder and harm others, we need to be able to identify, separate and attempt to treat those children who exhibit behavior that will result in such violence against innocent people. No matter how much their parents love them, most of us are simply not equipped with the knowledge, the stamina or the objectivity that it takes to raise a child who is a physical threat to himself or herself or others.
We have to address this problem - all of us, not just the parents who are dealing with this on a daily basis. If we choose to ignore it, it will not go away. And someday, any one of us may have to face the results of ignoring it in the most horrible way imaginable.
ANN RAMP FOX
Egg Harbor City