Donna Gallegos, an administrator for Juveniles for Justice, had a letter posted on the Joplin Independent website Thursday in which she asked for a little understanding for the 14-year-old, who is being charged as an adult:
Thomas was only 13 yrs. old when he made a very immature decision about how he would stop constant bullying at school. His own mother has been quoted in the media stating that she and the school officials should have done more to help him.
Most adults have trouble understanding the court process. All of us have the right to participate in defending ourselves in court; a child cannot make adult decisions concerning his defense. A child cannot begin to grasp "years" locked up.
Ms. Gallegos concludes:
Thomas White should have been held accountable in juvenile court and he should have had the opportunity to grow into adulthood without prison or a felony record.