Series note: “When Homeschoolers Turn Violent” is a joint research project by Homeschoolers Anonymous and Homeschooling’s Invisible Children. Please see the Introduction for detailed information about the purpose and scope of the project.
Trigger warning: If you experience triggers from descriptions of physical and sexual violence, please know that the details in many of the cases are disturbing and graphic.
Mentor High School Threat from Teenager
In September 2013, a 17-year-old teenager made an online threat of violence against Mentor High School in Mentor, Ohio.
The teenager had posted a Facebook status on September 12, talking about killing “a lot of people at Mentor High today.” He was homeschooled and not a student at the high school. A Facebook friend of his saw the status update and immediately told her mom. Her mom reported the threat.
Mentor Police immediately launched an investigation. The teenager was taken into custody for questioning. The boy’s defense attorney, Mark Ziccarelli, said that the boy made the threat as a cry for help. Ziccarelli argued for the boy’s defense in Juvenile Court, saying that, “Part of his problem was socialization,” laying blame on how the boy was homeschooled without sufficient social outlets. Ziccarelli pointed out that, since the boy had been in juvenile detention, he had “learned socialization skills just by being around kids his age.”
The teenager was originally charged with two counts of inducing panic. This was changed to a felony count of making false alarms. It was recommended that he stay in juvenile detention indefinitely to take advantage of a rehabilitation program.
View the case index here.