It was in doing some research on the internet that I came across an article written by a Toronto based lawyer, Gregory L. Chang, that spoke to some measures parents can take if their child receives a death threat – all of which were a complete surprise to me.
The drama that comes along with the teenage years is like a mine field (especially with girls) and it’s hard to know when to take things seriously enough to intervene.
It stands to reason that a death threat would be one of those situations, but as when many of us have said casually, “I’m going to kill her/him/you” it doesn’t usually mean literally. Never in a million years did I believe that David Bagshaw and Melissa Todorovic were serious.
Regardless, once the decision is made to intervene the next problem is how best to do that without causing more problems for our children. As much as we as parents want our children to learn to stand up for themselves, when it comes to death threats, don’t risk living my life.
First and foremost, call the police to make a report, get some advice or if nothing else contact the school and speak to an administrator. Safety is paramount!
It appears that there is also civil action involving suing the offenders, their parents and the school as explained fully in the above article. Let’s be frank, sometimes when it involves money, people pay more attention.
I think by virtue of being Canadian, I never consider, nor do I like, the idea of civil lawsuits. Hindsight is 20/20 of course but I wish I had known about the possibility, of if nothing else, threatening a lawsuit against the teens who killed Stefanie and their parents. Maybe they would have taken us more seriously.
As Mr. Chang states in his article in response to the question of how far this type of lawsuit would proceed, “Hopefully, the lawsuit would not proceed very far at all. The defendants being forced to respond to the lawsuit by filing Statements of Defence would, hopefully, introduce some sanity to the situation. Forcing the school to review the situation and to decide whether they will get involved, and to what extent, may also assist in peacefully resolving the issue.”
If I’m honest with myself, I’m fairly sure I would not have called a lawyer until I had exhausted all other possibilities. However, if it ever happens in the future to one of my other children, I’ll explore all options very seriously and without hesitation.
Thanks to Mr. Chang for his informative article.