Nikki Zulian: Fort Collins

I think it is a shame that I have read over the last couple of months articles from people who think what happened to Austin Sadvar was a travesty of justice. Schoolyard scuffles and bullying have turned into schoolyard shootings and stabbings, or has the community of Craig not heard? I wonder whether the parents of Columbine students think the way some parents and residents of Craig think?

The articles and national reports about school violence and bullying that I have read tell us that we need to teach our children not to respond in violence. The Sadvars seem to teach their child that it is OK to fight back if you don't like or agree with what another child is doing, saying or even what that child looks like. It is funny to me how everyone has downplayed the racial comments Austin made in his police report after sending his victim to the hospital. Rather than funny, I think it is pitiful we live in a society that can overlook such comments.

We live in a country that allows us to put our opinions in writing or to speak them to the public, and I am one citizen who is proud to have that right. However, I am quite tired of hearing people trash the judicial system and the District Attorney's Office without all the facts. A well-educated person would hear both sides of the story and think logically about the situation before jumping to the conclusion that this poor 12-year-old was wrongly treated. Ms. Roesink did not put this child into the system; she was, in fact, only doing her job by prosecuting a child who violated the law. If people question why she pursued this case, I suggest opening up the Colorado statute book and reading the laws yourself. I am sure Ms. Roesink has more important things to do than recite the laws of this state to you.

Austin had the chance to do diversion and once completed, the case would not exist. I think it is sad his family opted not to take that deal and instead dragged their son's name through the mud. They may have gotten what they wanted in the end, but what has it taught their child? Better yet, did it teach them anything? Did you get all the money and recognition you wanted out of exploiting your son the way you did? I give credit to our judicial and law enforcement systems that does not handle a case, and especially a juvenile case, through the media.

I commend Ms. Roesink and her office for not backing down on their beliefs.

Prevention is the best method. I am sure the community wants the person who is making the bomb threats at the middle school be brought to justice, even if it is a juvenile. Where do you people draw the fine line? Maybe when something happens and it is too late for prevention and you have to deal with cleaning up the mess.

I grew up in this town and went to school here. I have been gone for four years, and even in these four years, times have changed about school violence.

I am certain that things have changed for the people who say they dealt with issues by fighting in school 20 years ago. I am sure they never had to be afraid of someone pulling out a gun to win a fight. I remember when I was in school here and children had rifles in the back windows of their trucks. Gosh, I hope things have changed in the last four years!

Let me catch you up, in case you have not informed yourselves -- a student in Denver died a short while ago in what started out as a lunchroom scuffle. I am not a parent yet, but I hope that when I am, I don't have to fear that my child may be the victim of a schoolyard scuffle or bullying that turns into a blood bath.

I hope nothing like this happens in Craig, but if it does, I will be tuned in to read the headlines and I will for sure read the editorials to see what you people will say then.

Nikki Zulian

Fort Collins

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