by Dan Eden

Webster describes hate as, "to detest, to be hostile towards...", but for one of our readers in a metropolitan area in Florida, this four letter word has meant sleepless nights, nightmares and the potential for life-long scars to her self esteem.

In recent features on ViewZone, I've had the rare opportunity to interview scientists about the possibilities of humans living forever through drug discoveries. I've even been able to examine the artifacts and dwellings of ancient people and to see, by comparison, how far we have advanced in such a short time. As the millennium comes upon us, we have much to feel proud of as a race of living beings and there is speculation that we are one of many such evolving peoples of this vast universe.

But are we just deluding ourselves?

Viewzone recently invited our readers to share their unusual stories with us. We had many UFO reports, the usual psychic predictions and some rather funny political stories. But one story in particular stood out from the rest. It is a story that is on-going and is as much a part of our future as any scientific breakthrough. It is about hate...

Webster describes hate as, "to detest, to be hostile towards...", but for one of our readers in a metropolitan area in Florida, this four letter word has meant sleepless nights, nightmares and the potential for life-long scars to her self esteem.

We will not reveal the names of the actual people in this tragic story because legal action is currently being instigated. We will, instead, invite you to read the account of this story in a mother's own words.

(Some minor editing was performed for brevity.)

Dear Viewzone:
I would like to suggest that you do an article on hate crimes and the consequences for students. Racism is being taught at home and perpetrated upon innocent victims!

My daughter was 12 years old when she was subjected to hate crimes in school. She is 13 years old now and had to undergo counseling in the "Victim's Advocate Program" because of nightmares. Here's how it started.

At her school, a young boy took it upon himself to call her a "nigger" every day, all the while holding up a noose he had made from rope and while telling her, "This is for you"! At one point he even made an effort to place the rope around her neck. My daughter was extremely frightened and eventually we learned about this from her. We then contacted the school, as any parent would.

We learned that our daughter had reported this activity to her teacher and was told, in a casual manner, not to be concerned about it and that "He's probably just teasing you."

Eventually we had to go to court. The boy who did this admitted his actions and a search of his locker turned up the noose and other rope. He was suspended from school for the last two weeks with no counseling or apologies from either he or his parents. This amounted to an early summer vacation for this boy.

Neither the school nor the boy's family have shown concern for this hate crime. It is difficult for me to explain this to my daughter, who seems to be the only one suffering from this boy's actions. To make matters even more frightening, school will be starting in a few weeks and this boy will be returning to my daughter's classes. I can think of nothing more terrifying for her, especially since this racism and hate has not been condemned. I worry that such a boy could possibly become violent and I am especially concerned that this may trigger an event such as we have seen in Oregon and elsewhere where fatalities result.

My family didn't want to intensify the situation but, to protect our daughter, we filed a complaint against the boy when school was recessed. I had hopes that my daughter would learn that these kinds of things are bad and that they are strictly punished and that she did nothing to bring this on herself. We just returned from court.

The boy did not appear in court. Instead, his parents showed up with an attorney. Despite the fact that the boy admitted to calling my daughter a "nigger" and of attempting to place the noose around her neck - a story that was verified by 5 other students and the discovery of the rope - this boy entered a plea of "not guilty". My daughter turned to me and asked, "How can they do that, Mom?"

How can I explain that it is not serious to go around calling innocent children a "nigger" and that the kind of abuse my daughter suffered can so easily be denied? How do I explain why the boy's parents did not apologize and feel that they are right to defend their son, despite the evidence? It seems obvious to me that such things are taught at home. Where would a young child learn so much hatred? Where would a child learn that he can threaten another innocent child and actually try to place a noose around her neck?

My daughter is an "A" student in conduct and we teach her high moral values at home. We have tried to explain these hateful actions to her but when the school and courts do not treat these matters seriously, our explaining is made even harder.

We all need to focus on what children are being taught at home and what they are bringing in to the school environment. We can screen to detect weapons but we can't screen the children's hatred and racism that is grown at home and carried in their minds. Something is very wrong.

A concerned mother.

Our reader will be continuing her court actions and we will keep abreast of the developments. If you would like to comment on this story, add your own experiences, or pose solutions to this problem of hate in the schools, please contact Dan Eden at Viewzone.

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