The suspect who smashed Kaylee Gain’s head into the pavement claims she’s the victim

The original story was shocking: Video emerged of a fight among students in Spanish Lakes, Missouri, that culminated with an unidentified girl hurling 16-year-old Kaylee Gain onto the pavement and then slamming Gain’s head repeatedly into the ground until Gain was unconscious and seizing. Gain reportedly suffered massive brain trauma. Now, the alleged perpetrator’s family has its version of events: Yes, the 15-year-old girl charged with the crime engaged in that heinous act, but she’s the real victim here because of previous bullying.

As a refresher, here’s the video showing the ferocious beatdown the alleged perpetrator inflicted on Gain:

Appalling is a serious understatement. Once the unnamed suspect mounts Gain and goes to town on her, Gain’s head hits the pavement with the force one would see in a high-speed car crash. That she’s even still alive is amazing.  

But as noted, the suspect is now being reframed as the victim:

The family of the Missouri girl who has been charged with beating 16-year-old Kaylee Gain into unconsciousness says she is the real victim and had been “harassed and bullied” before the caught-on-video assault.

The 15-year-old’s aunt told Daily Mail that her niece – described as an honor student with a stellar record at Hazelwood East High School — was defending herself during the viral March 8 fight in Spanish Lakes, Missouri.

The accused attacker’s loved ones are asking the juvenile court system to show “compassion” for the teen and they are seeking $150,000 in donations toward her legal defense.

It’s entirely possible that the suspect was the victim of bullying. Modern public schools are brutal places.

If there really was bullying, I’m old-fashioned enough that I don’t think the problem is a physical response. When I was growing up, playground bullying was often settled with a fight—at least in elementary school. But the thing is that, back in those days, nobody got seriously hurt. There were rules.

The kids pounded each other a bit, with maybe a bruise, scratch, or bloody nose; honor was restored for the bullied kid; and the fight ended. It would have been better had there been no bullying at all, but kids are brutal creatures, and there are some things they must resolve.

By middle and high school, these fights were over. If kids weren’t in the gangs, they’d be sufficiently civilized to have alternative means of settling disputes. And on the rare occasions that things got physical (only among the boys by this point), the rules of engagement were clear: The loser cries “uncle,” and it’s over.

What young people have lost entirely is those “rules of engagement.” I was reminded of that when reading a 1938 book by D.E. Stevenson. She wrote English country romances from the 1930s through the 1960s. I find them quite comforting because they contain ravishing descriptions of British towns and countryside scenes that no longer exist and involve characters with high moral standards who, after comporting themselves with dignity and decency, earn a happy ending.

I recently read The Fair Miss Fortune, one of her weaker novels, about beautiful twins wreaking romantic havoc in a village. In one scene, Harold, one of the male romantic leads, finds himself face-to-face with a man stalking one of the twins. Roused to fury and aided by luck, he knocks out the man with a single blow. Then, still fueled by anger, he’s ready to continue fighting. Stevenson will have none of it:

The whole thing had happened so suddenly and unexpectedly that Charles and Widgett were dumbfounded. They were glued to the floor, but seeing Harold still bent upon the utter destruction of his victim, Charles sprang forward and caught his friend by the arm.

“Harold!” he cried, “You can’t hit a man when he’s down.”

And there it is: The old Western code of honor. Unless you’re engaged in mortal combat, “You can’t hit a man when he’s down.”

But we are a society without honor and without ways in which the bullied can bring the bullies to a safe reckoning. All of which means that, even if we accept as true the claim that the suspect was herself bullied, she still attempted to murder Gain. It’s probably society’s fault that she never learned how to fight fair, but perhaps marching her off to a long stretch in prison will make her a useful lesson for others.

Image: X screen grab.



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