vendredi, février 24, 2012

Today: the day my daughter became a target

I got the call as I was about 25 minutes away from home, climbing Route 401 out of the town of Malvern.

It wasn't a number I recognized,though if I'd thought I could have figured out it was the high school. But it was the DQ's familiar voice.

The tale she told is complicated, involving as it does real friends, phone calls, and online communication.

At first I lost track of the ins and outs -- but eventually I picked up the basics.

She became friends with a boy who has a girlfriend. The boy's girlfriend, who apparently has some "issues" (I don't want to be specific for ethical as well as legal reasons) got wind that my daughter and this young man were friends.

The girl allegedly threatened to hurt and or kill my daughter and the boy, and herself. Multiple times.

Should I come to the high school?

No, said the DQ. The police have been informed at both schools.

Her principal described everything that has been done. She said that she believed that they were o.k.

But to my mind, my daughter has now become a target, a potential bulls-eye.

She doesn't see it this way, of course, and insists that she will continue her friendship with the young man.

Thank God she doesn't drive.

Except from barring her from seeing him, I have no idea where to begin.

I'm numb.

Well, not quite -- I'm sickened.

Sickened by the insanity social networking can prompt among the young and the stupid.

If it hadn't been for Facebook, my daughter would never have known this boy.

And sickened by my own helplessness.

I guess I'll begin with a call to the police.

Knowing, now that this has been set in motion, that in spite of all that we do to protect our children, our ability to do so diminishes with every passing year.

There is a time when those bland exchanges over coffee with other parents become real.

For me, that time arrived today.

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