This is something for which I’d like to be prepared before it arises, and I need a game plan.
One of Hallboy’s friends (age 14) has been arrested for something really stupid–apparently Friend wrote a threat on the school bathroom wall which turned out to be a “bomb threat”. The school was evacuated, searched, etc. and, of course, nothing was found. A few days later, school administration came to class and pulled Friend out of class and that’s the last anyone has seen of this kid at school. In this morning’s paper was a small write up, but the kids are putting two and two together and coming up with the fact that Friend was the one who wrote the note on the bathroom wall and was arrested. According to the article, Friend has been released to his parent’s custody, but is facing felony charges. Hallboy was not involved (wasn’t even at school at the time this happened) and didn’t know anything about it, let alone that Friend was the one accused of doing it until his class started talking about as a result of the article in the paper this morning.
This is a relatively new friend for Hallboy (about two months old), but they’ve hung out quite a bit. Just this past weekend, Friend, his dad and Hallboy went to the batting cages. Although I’ve not met the parents, I’ve met the kid and he didn’t strike me as a “stock piling explosives in the basement” type of kid. Typical 14 year old boy. Personally, I think this was more along the lines of stupid thoughtless teen boy action, rather than Columbine in the making.
I’ve talked to Hallboy about this, and he’s…well, typical 14 year old boy responsiveness. (It’s like pulling teeth to get beyond just the facts.) He’s hurt that everyone at school thinks it was Friend (although I don’t think they’ve pointed fingers at Hallboy or anything), and hurt that apparently enough is pointed at Friend that he did it. I asked him if he’s heard from Friend (text message or phone call) and he hasn’t since he was pulled out of school, which means Hallboy hasn’t called him either.
I suspect that Friend will be back in school, and that he’ll probably contact Hallboy soon, and honestly, I don’t know what to say or do. If I’m wrong and Friend has some serious problems (that are now begining to show themselves in the form of intended violence towards the school), then I really don’t want Hallboy hanging out with Friend. However, if this was a Stupid Boy Action, I don’t think it’s right to tell Hallboy that Friend is off limits. One mistake is lesson learned, or one mistake now fuels a fire of anger? I don’t know.
Another thing–this is middle class/upper middle class, white bread small suburb America. Everyone knows everyone (usually by name) and we are very much new to the area. It’s my hope that we can stay here for another four years until Hallboy graduates from high school (he’s a freshman). Hallboy doesn’t have any problems making friends, but I don’t want him to make the kind of friends that get him arrested.