Young People Took More Than Possessions

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Editor's note -- It is the Roundup's policy not to publish anonymous letters, unless there are special circumstances. In this case, there is an ongoing investigation and we felt this letter had an important message for parents and youth in the community. The name has been verified and is on file at the Roundup.

Editor:

I am writing in response to a letter published in the Feb. 18 Roundup written by Mr. and Mrs. Dupke of Diamond Point Summer homes.

My heart goes out to them and indeed to all of the victims of the crime spree by the juveniles in the area. I have seen the damage to some of the homes involved and it is devastating.

I understand and agree that the kids responsible deserve and need more than just a "slap on the hand" as punishment for their deeds.

I am also a parent, of a child involved in a very small number of incidents, though not the Diamond Point incidents. For the record my child did not break anything or steal anything. Not all the kids involved, were involved to the same extent.

My child has never been in trouble before, brings home good grades, is active in church and responsible at home. This does not in any way lessen or excuse what was done.

Our shock and sorrow at discovering this child was involved was overwhelming. I was informed of the involvement by another parent whose child had already confessed.

I immediately made contact with the Sheriff's office, before they had to come looking for us, and made arrangements for my child to be interviewed. A statement was written detailing all of the actions of which our child was aware of or had participated.

My child made horrible errors in judgment for a couple of hours on one day, and is truly sorry. The child is currently under "parental house arrest," with no freedoms and no privileges, and will not have any restored until every penny of restitution has been paid with wages that have been earned.

The kids not only broke the hearts and homes of their victims, but ours as parents too. They have lost our trust, and will undoubtedly cost us thousands and thousands of dollars that could have been used for their educations and futures.

They have robbed us of our ability to live in our community without the spectre of what they have done hanging over our heads. They have robbed you all of your mementos, your sense of security, your havens and your dreams.

Where did we as parents go so wrong? I wish I could answer that question. I will ask it of myself for the rest of my life.

I pray for all of the victims every day, I am so sorry that I could not have stopped what happened to you all.

I must ask that my name not be published at this time due to legal advice. Upon conclusion of the prosecution of this case, my child will be making a public apology, with his/her name attached.

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