At first, it was kind of amusing, in a scary sort of way, the story about the 9-year-old boy sneaking onto a flight to Las Vegas at the Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. The idea that a 9-year-old could sneak onto a flight to Las Vegas, of all places, sounds kind of like a movie plot. The fact that he thwarted all the post 9-11 security at the airport makes it scary. If this kid can do it, what could a determined terrorist do?
But as information about the boy has become public, the story has taken on a sadder tone. He is a kid who has been a troublemaker since he was five, with parents, both working, who couldn't keep up with them. His father, in a press conference this week, sobbed that the parents have asked for help from police, from school counselors, but they were told there was nothing anyone can do.
There are, sadly, some children who are born without the ability to determine right from wrong, or have some other malady that, as this father claimed, made his child so that "He won't listen to us, he just does what he wants."
We're not sure what is the case with this child, but he will obviously be getting lots of attention and help now. We hope he can be helped, and that the institutions in society that are set up to help families like this will learn not to ignore calls for help.