"T. J. Lane's family life had been disrupted by divorce and violence, ABC News affiliate WEWS reported. His parents divorced in 2002, and his father later served time in jail on assault and other charges, according to the station.
In 2002, Lane's father Thomas M. Lane pleaded guilty to a charge of felonious assault for pushing his ex-wife's head into a wall and strangling her until she lost consciousness for several seconds, according to court documents.
"[Thomas M. Lane] held victim's head over washing machine and poured cold water from a utility hose over her nose and mouth preventing free breathing," Deputy Charlene Sulak wrote in a complaint.
Attorney Robert N. Farinacci, who is representing Lane, released a statement on behalf of the family Monday night, according to WEWS, calling the incident 'something that could never have been predicted...T.J.'s family has asked for some privacy while they try to understand how such a tragedy could have occurred and while they mourn this terrible loss for their community.'" —ABCnews.com
this makes me angry. i'm sure it was drafted by some PR flack, but truly—a child grows up in a violent home where his parents show no respect for each other and no one thought it might have an adverse effect on him? now they have no idea why he might have had so much hurt and frustration and fear bottled up, and no clue about how to express it rationally?
this is why i lose my mind when thoughtless politicians get all high and mighty about birth control and a woman's right to have an abortion. perhaps 17 years ago, T.J. Lane's parents were excited to be having a baby. maybe things just went very wrong somewhere along the way after he arrived. but what if they didn't want to be pregnant? what if his mother had wanted birth control and couldn't get it? what if she wished she could have an abortion but her religious beliefs 'prevented' it? all these "right to lifers" think only about the fetus, protecting the unborn. they don't consider into what circumstances a child might be born—if the parents are of sound mind, fiscally stable, emotionally secure. they think nothing about the impact negative circumstances might have on a child, or how that child might someday react.
and then something like this happens. and everyone is stunned and heartbroken and outraged. but...nothing changes.
you can't put metal detectors into every school. even as i feel panic rise in my chest at the thought of my son someday being in a classroom where, tucked inside a child's schoolbag, is a gun that may go off accidentally (which happened last week in Washington; the nine-year-old victim underwent her fifth surgery yesterday), i don't believe we should have to put metal detectors in elementary schools. or any schools, my god. how has it come to this?
people say to me, "well, you can't always blame the parents."
oh no? well, i disagree. kids don't raise themselves. they're not Chia pets you can remember to water once a month. they have physical and emotional needs that must be met. they need to be properly socialized and loved and paid attention to and given boundaries. when all of that happens, they aren't going to bring guns to school or bully other kids or murder their neighbors. they just aren't.
i'm not sure of the percentage of parents who actually take childbirth classes and breastfeeding classes and baby care classes prior to the arrival of their first (or second or third) child, but i really think any pregnant woman in the care of an OB must either pass a psychological evaluation or take a class not about how to change a diaper or prepare a bottle, but how to nurture a child.
why isn't that required? if taking a defensive driving class can lower the cost of your auto insurance, why can't taking a comprehensive class about how to raise a child lower the cost of, say, your health insurance or the bill you have to pay after you give birth in a hospital? something has to be done!
MTV continues to spend money producing shows about pregnant teens and teen moms, many of whom are probably doing indelible damage to their babies, which is broadcast for the world to see. i'm sure the producers' thought process is, let's show the reality of having a baby while you're this young. that'll make 'em use condoms! i highly doubt it's working. those same teen moms are ending up on the covers of Us Weekly and In Touch. the impressionable girls watching the shows are taking this all in and thinking, oooh, if i have a baby, i'll be famous!
look: people need to be properly prepared and informed about exactly what it takes to raise a happy, healthy child. it used to be that extended families lived in close proximity and everyone pitched in when it came to childcare. now families are far-flung, parents are overworked and kids get lost in the shuffle. and sometimes things turn really bad, the way they did for T.J. Lane.
i believe he should be tried as an adult and forced to pay the consequences of such a heinous, heartless crime. but i can't help feeling sad for him—only a kid who felt unloved, confused, angry and utterly alone would do such a thing. his parents should have thought of that years ago, not when it came time to release a statement to the press.