Editorials, Opinions

16-year-old Alex Hribal should be held responsible

On Wednesday, 16-year-old Alex Hribal went on a stabbing spree shortly after 7 a.m. at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville, Penn.

The sophomore brought two 8-to-10 inch straight, kitchen knives and went on to attack 22 people at his Pennsylvania high school.

As of now, news media outlets report that Hribal shows no history of mental illness or being a victim of bullying at his high school campus.

Hribal’s peers and family are still reeling from the incident and coming up short in the search for motvies behind the mass stabbing.

The prosecution will be trying Hribal as an adult on 21 counts of aggravated assault, four counts of attempted murder and possession of a weapon. Hribal’s defense attorney may ask a judge to transfer the minor to the juvenile system, according to an article from USA Today.

Hribal’s defense attorney Patrick Thomassey said Hribal is “confused, scared and depressed,” during an interview with ABC News.

However, Thomassey said in his public statement that there were no signs of Hribal being bullied and he understands “what he did.”

Students from the high school have described Hribal as “really shy.”

Fellow student Matt DeCesare said, “I know most of the kids who were injured, they don’t have any connection to him,” according to USA Today.

With the lack of information available on Hribal’s potentially unstable mental past, we’re left just as confused about the attack. Not only that, since Hribal used a kitchen knife to attack his fellow students, it seems like the attack was premediated and he was fully aware of his actions, according to a statement from Thomassey.

Since he’s only two years away from being what the law deems an “adult” and at 16 years old, we believe he’s capable enough to understand the difference between right and wrong.

Even though there are no reports on Hribal’s mental history, we think that he should be tried as an adult. If issues of mental instability do happen to arise, though, we still see him as a possible risk to himself and others, and think he should be tried just the same.

Based on what little evidence is available, we believe that Hribal understands his actions are not considered “normal behavior.”

While four were severely injured, others only  suffered scrapes, bruising and cuts amid the rampage.

Preventing acts of violence on school campuses is not entirely avoidable but introducing an anonymous tip line for students who portray high-risk or suspicious behavior, like Cal State Long Beach’s Campus Assessment, Response and Evaluation program, is a great place to start.

Although it’s fairly new, CARE’s model could be applied to all schools. It seems as though Hribal didn’t stir speculation on school grounds prior to the attack, but there may have been an individual that noticed something suspicious.

Until the case goes to trial, we’ll have to see if new resources arise for Hribal to plead the “insanity defense” and push to be tried as a juvenile. But seeing as how it’s been almost a week and no solid evidence on Hribal’s mental history have come to a head, we say he needs be held responsible for his actions.


One Comment

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    Janice Blackburn

    Obviously this act is a travesty but honestly it hurts me more to know that something else was going on long before this happened, Children today are so lacking in guidance as both parents need to work. But our children are being left out in the cold, to deal with life on their own. I know I struggled with being different shall we say or misunderstood and mainly calling out upon deaf ears. Prayers for all those hurt are needed.But I’ve yet to hear any for Alex, being aware of his actions must be horrific. Can we please pray for all those who hurt including Alex. I know I will. God be with you.We are all Gods children. Please don’t forget he hurts, too. And he also heals.Let us pray

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