Editorial: A Tragic Case

Brunswick, OH - Police in Brunswick were more than anxious to catch the culprit who had been making telephone bomb threats to Brunswick High School last week. Threats that closed the school for three days and kept authorities on edge. But the arrest Monday of 19-year-old Stefan Prince, while certainly easing tensions in Brunswick, could hardly make any thoughtful person overjoyed.

And no wonder. Young Prince, whose been charged with inciting panic, is a tragic child of his time. He never knew his father; his mother was a crack addict, he's been in foster care since he was a baby and his IQ is reportedly 83 - so low he was rejected for enlistment in the Marines.

It is tempting to blame the young man's condition on a failure of the system when in fact the blame rests more squarely on the collapse of the family - his family and others. Adults who carelessly consigned their damaged youth to a lifetime of pain and misadventure. But the system does have some responsibility now and that is to find decent mental health care for Mr. Prince. Something other than a jail cell - because punishment, in this case, is of value to no one - least of all Mr. Prince.