I’m just throwing this out there and hoping it finds you.
I read the letter you sent. Everyone’s talking about it but it appears no one knows who you are, despite all the clues… your mom in a wheelchair… on welfare… some connection between OK Falls school and Pen High… perhaps your dad owns guns.
I have to presume the Penticton RCMP examined those clues and couldn’t find you. It would be strange if they posted armed police officers at schools for more than a week if they knew who you were. The clues seem pretty obvious so maybe you just don’t really exist and it’s all a big hoax.
But whoever left the letter, you scared a lot of people. You have to understand, we all love our kids just like you love your mom. We all want better for our loved ones than what they got, and we don't mess around with safety. Even that Bobo at OK Falls school and all the other bullies. Guys like that still have moms and dads and brothers and sisters and people who love them. Those guys are picking on you right now, and I know that’s hard and you want to make other people hurt like you hurt and I get that, too.
But you can’t just threaten to start shooting them at school.
Since your letter, the schools have been kind of freaking out, have you noticed? They’re trying to assure parents and students that they are doing everything they can. They held assemblies last week to talk about it and I hope it made everyone feel better.
Mostly, I just hope they were talking to you too. I mean you must have been in one of those gymnasiums listening to them, right? Did they, you know, try to reach out to you?
That's what I'm trying to do, just to tell you there’s lots about your letter that I liked.
Seriously. I can tell you worked hard and spent a lot of time on it. You’ve been thinking about your troubles for a while, searching for answers. You expressed yourself. Lots of people can't do that. You’ve got the makings of a good song there, maybe. I see the art in it. What’s great about art is that it’s free and it’s liberating and it’s truly more valuable than anything. Money can’t buy away troubles like art can. Art is creation, it adds to the world. It doesn’t destroy, it doesn’t take away.
So it’s always there for you.
And hey, you know what’s ironic? You didn’t need to dust any bratz and you certainly didn’t have to die to 'get famous.' You became famous just by writing stuff down. Yes, I know this fame is from police and teachers and principals and probably some other kids. Maybe you could work on your form a little bit because even a good rap song isn’t about making direct threats… but still, you've got something there.
You have no idea how many people want to hear your story. I want to see and hear you tell me what it’s like on welfare. What it’s like going to the food bank. How it feels to have nothing.
Maybe it’s not just about art, maybe it’s more practical. People want to make the situation better for you and others, too. They would feel so much better about themselves if they could help you or help others or take part in fixing things. If that is what you really wanted. Seriously, people work all day long in boring jobs just because they want to help. And they think they are helping, but they have their own dumb rules and that’s why it looks all messed up. We all know it's messed up. But even things like welfare rules can be changed and they do change—it just requires someone like you to articulate the problems, help us all see.
People aren’t told that enough, or they just don’t believe they have any power. You are powerful just because you claim your god-given right to be heard.
It's a far better way.
You know what’s kind of funny: You wrote this letter from Penticton and there’s a guy there you should get to know. His name is Shane Koyczan. I can’t think of a better example anywhere of a guy who uses his voice, his heart, his mind and his soul to help others understand something so complicated. And he does it with nothing but his words. You've got to check out some of this stuff. His words can change your life, I promise.
That’s it, that’s all I want to say. Reach out if you want… or don’t, whatever. My email is at the bottom. I’m going to end with some proof of all this stuff I’m putting out here. These are just some of the reactions from complete strangers who read your letter.
“This letter is a total cry for help and love. This kid and his mom need some REAL help, some understanding, some love, someone to care. There is so much our community can do to help them if we band together. Parents teach your children to take kids like this under their wings, to have some compassion, to stand up AGAINST bullies. Before they end up desperate and hopeless.” — Kelly Carter Holzhaus
“Sounds like a very angry young person dealing with more than he or she should have to. This child needs help before it is too late.” — Maryann Carrigan
“Obviously this kid is crying out for help. There needs to be more control in these districts to provide children with a more positive environment. Teenagers can be so mean these days, I feel embarrassed for the school and sad for whoever wrote this threatening letter.” — Tiffany Baranec
“Welfare needs to be changed. They make you pay your rent out of your support money and then the bills as well and by the time that's done there is no extra money for the kids.” — Tara Hallam
“This is a very blatant cry for help. Yes this family needs assistance. As do so many others in the same position.” — Jenni Jimenez
“Hopefully somebody finds this kid and tells them that going to school can be one of the worst parts of your life, but it gets so much easier after that. Hopefully they get help and get though this because nobody should have to feel like that.” — Chris Parr
“Poor kid, poor mom. This system sucks.” — Monica Fraese
“Poverty is real. It makes people feel despondent and hopeless…. We need more inclusivity not alienation, give all people support so that people don't feel desperate. And its not just governments, we as a society could all be a little kinder.” — Nicole Paris
“It is wonderful seeing the posts that are filled with concern for this child. Lets hope they find this tormented little soul and help them believe in the power of love again… before we lose another one.” — Linda Lisa Caton
“My boys go to Maggie. Well I'm going to be talking to them.” — Hector Alec
— Marshall Jones is the editor of Infonews.ca