When tragedy hits our community, it can be a shocking and stunning event that brings everyone together. The beating of Josie Lou Ratley, Michael Brewer who was nearly burned to death by other teens, Anthony Jones in Duval County, who was shot after being a victim of text hit lists that were flying, and Cameron Lee Kage who is accused of making a bomb to set off at his school in Brevard County, all are part of a wake-up call to what our schools and teens are facing today.
Just hours prior the brutal beating of Josie Lou Ratley, vicious text messages were flying. According to the Sun-Sentinel, “Snap her neck then stomp her skull. Fastest way I could think of,” read one of the texts, which were released Wednesday in discovery in the court case against 15 year-old Wayne Treacy.
Another text message sent from Treacy’s phone prior to the beating reads: “This bxtch ran her mouth bout my bro who she knew is dead. Nao I want her head.”
These texts prompted one of the most heinous forms of teen violence. Wayne Treacy, allegedly, with the help of his girlfriend, 13 year-old Kayla Manson, tracked down Josie Ratley and carried out what his text stated. With steel toed boots, he stomped her skull. Thankfully teacher Walter Welsh intervened just in time.
Whether you are in Broward, Dade, Palm Beach, Brevard, St. John’s or Duval County, you need to learn more about your school climate.
When bad things happen to good people, we need to take the bad and find the positive. Education is key to prevention of violence. Take the time to form an anti-bullying organization and measure your School Climate by contacting The Center for Social and Emotional Education.