Mtv cause sabotage???

Parent looks for reason

Mother of bus vandal: 'I don't understand it'

December 4, 2005

JOEL DAVIDSON/Frontiersman reporter

WASILLA - Four days after teens sabotaged Mat-Su school buses and forced
local schools to close for a day, a Wasilla mother said she is still shocked
her son participated in the vandalism.

"I don't understand it," Wasilla resident Capi Coon said in a phone
interview Friday afternoon. "I think kids watch TV and movies and play video
games and they can't separate between reality."

Coon said her son, David Coon, has been suspended from Burchell High School
as a result of his alleged role in crippling school buses Monday night.

Coon and three other teens are suspected of disabling nearly half the First
Student bus fleet by pulling valve stems from tires on 44 buses, which
caused the tires to deflate. They also allegedly unplugged 110 buses from
their engine-block heaters so the buses were unable to start in the
below-zero weather.

Troopers said Friday that charges have not yet been filed, but on Wednesday
they reported that the students - two from Burchell and two from Wasilla
High School - were inspired by a popular MTV show, "High School Stories."
The program seeks out high school pranks and then re-enacts those pranks for
television broadcast.

Capi Coon said she doesn't think the show influenced her son, but said it
may have inspired other kids.

"I don't like MTV," she said. "I think it is a bad influence - apparently
some of the kids were watching that show."

Coon said she has learned from this that parenting and good intentions don't
always guarantee kids will keep from running afoul.

"We are still trying to figure out why David joined in on this," she said.
"We have four other kids who are leaders in every way. Why would David do
something like this? We don't understand it."

Coon said her son didn't see the vandalism as destruction.

"David said they didn't cut tires or break things," she said. "They thought
it was innocent that way. They didn't think about all the kids and parents
that were inconvenienced, or the bus drivers."

With easy access to cell phones, Internet, cable television and a host of
DVDs and video games, kids like her son, who are brought up in generally
good homes, can be influenced, Coon said.

"I'm from a different generation," she said. "I think all those things today
influence kids. Parents are aware of them but they are just banking on the
fact that their kids won't be influenced by them - I was one of them that
thought everything was OK."

When investigators asked David how his home life was, Coon said her son had
no complaints.

"There is no blame," she said. "He just sees things differently and thought
it would be a good little prank."

In the end, the prank could lead to school expulsion for all four suspects.

Coon said she hopes her son will be able to finish his high school career
this year, but now she has doubts.

"He would have finished this year, but if he is expelled, he can't go to
school," she said.

All four students are on interim suspension and face possible expulsion by
the school board.

"We've searched so many times to find out what went wrong," Coon said. "We
used to think it was just bad parenting that caused kids to act out, but
it's not necessarily that. Why would he go outside the bounds? We couldn't
figure it out."

Contact Joel Davidson at 352-2266 or joel.davidson@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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