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Alex Hribal's wrong answer

| Sunday, May 18, 2014, 9:00 p.m.

Like everyone, I was shocked when I heard about the stabbings at Franklin Regional High School. But I soon understood why the alleged stabber, Alex Hribal, did this.

I went to three high schools – Burrell, Valley and Franklin Regional. FR was the worst. New kids were shunned by other students. They ignored you like you were invisible. Being 16 years old and semi-popular in the other two high schools, this was a total shock to me. At Valley and Burrell, I started in baseball; I sat the bench at Franklin Regional. I didn't make the FR basketball team, but did at Burrell and Valley.

Politics played a role here. Murrysville is a higher income area, but my parents did not own an expensive house or drive an expensive car, and I didn't wear expensive clothes. As a result, I wasn't part of the in crowd or very popular at Franklin.

I wish someone had told Alex Hribal that high school is just a phase of life and it is OK not to be popular. He needed to hear life is a long journey and better times are ahead.

I feel Alex's mental pain, but stabbing his classmates was not the answer. The answer should've come from his teachers and guidance counselors and from his parents, minister, older siblings, other relatives, someone. Alex needed to know there are others who understand how he felt and to not keep his emotions inside until they blew up one morning at school.

James Illinsky


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