On Monday August 28, 15 year old Bobby Gladden walked into Perry High School in suburban Maryland with a gun and began to open fire on his classmates. 17 year old Daniel Mowry was critically wounded at the scene, after being shot in the back. A guidance counselor at the scene became a hero when he disarmed Gladden, putting a stop to the mayhem. He was then arrested at the scene and is being held in a local lock up, without bail and charged as an adult with attempted first degree murder.
The local media has labeled Gladden a misfit who's influences include a German Metal band and Charles Manson. The last post on his Facebook page is disturbing. “First day of school, last day of my life,” he wrote.
His Facebook name is SuicidalSmile, and he ended his post by saying, "F--k the world."
Bobby Gladden is a sick young man. There is no doubt about that. But, there is always one question that comes to mind when somebody's child decides to raise hell, putting somebody else's children in danger. Yep, you guessed it. Where were his parents? They claimed to have no idea that their son was "troubled" and were shocked by his actions. I planned to end this post by writing about the fact that children need only a limited amount of privacy, because too much can be detrimental. But Bobby Gladden's story is a little different. Although I do believe that neglect, poor supervision, and too much privacy played a role in his maniacal plan. There was another element in his life which contributed to his down fall. Police recently arrested his step father, Andrew E. Piper 43, for marijuana possession, and having an illegal firearm. So this in part, explains why no one noticed the fact that this child was going off the deep end. His stepfather, didn't provide the best example, and was probably too stoned to care. I haven't heard anything about his mother but I can assume that she is questioning her choice in a mate. Or maybe not. She can either place some of the blame on her husband who, despite the fact that he is not Gladden's biological father, failed her son, being the only in-house example of a man that he had. Or she can totally place the blame on her son, maintaining a "stand by your man" mentality. Whatever her choice is, the fact of the matter is that Bobby Gladden's parents missed the signs of distress in their son's life and someone else's son was critically wounded. We must pay close attention to our children.