After a former NFL player’s vacation home was allegedly trashed by 300 kids that broke in to party, his first response wasn’t to call the cops. Instead, Brian Holloway set up a website called “Help Me Save 300,” to draw attention to the kids’ at-risk behavior.
The young people allegedly involved in the party, basically admitted to the crimes in tweets and pictures they posted to social media.
“My son started getting tweets and he said, ‘Dad you need to take a look at this,’ and immediately we jumped online and did a search. We found 170 tweets of kids at the party fully implicating themselves. They were broadcasting from the party basically and so we captured all that,” Holloway tells KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson.
Holloway says he blew past fury, and then his reaction changed to concern for the kids who looked to be totally out of control.
“They just went nuts to a whole different level, almost like they turned into zombies,” says Holloway. “The concern was these kids are so out of control, someone has got to step in because if not. We’re going to bury them. I buried two of their classmates in the last three years and as I looked down at the casket, I was haunted by the question: What could I have done to save that child’s life?”
Holloway captured all the images and tweets from social media in an effort to track down all the people involved. He put out a request to all the kids and parents involved to step up and help correct the damage they had done.
Holloway says only one family responded to the request. A father and son came to his home.
“To the son, I said ‘I want to acknowledge you for your courage to come in here, to take a stand for what you did.’ So I acknowledged that. Number two, ‘You and me are going to have a conversation on what you did to our property.’ Number three, ‘You need to deal with what you did to your father and your parents because you backhand-slapped them with this behavior and that’s going to take years to put back in place.’ I said, ‘Do you understand me?’ He said, ‘Yes.’ I said, ‘OK now get to work and get something done.'”
Outside of little response from families wanting to help repair the damage, Holloway was also surprised to hear, from the sheriff’s office, that a number of families were grouping together to file a lawsuit for re-posting their children’s images.
But as Dori points out, the kids initially posted the images on social media themselves.
“I can’t believe how horrible parenting has gotten today that these parents aren’t the ones calling out their kids and instead, they’re calling out you for associating their kid with this party,” says Dori.
With social media out there today, and kids posting their bad behavior, it’s harder for parents to ignore.
“Kids have always done stupid things. The difference today is when they start putting it out on social media, we know how stupid they’re being. Our parents didn’t know how stupid you and I were, but now everyone knows how stupid kids are capable of being today.”
Holloway says this event should be a wake-up call for every parent out there.
“When you have a kid who is 14 to 18 years old, that is a tender age where you’ve got to turn them. And I promise you, getting access to their tweets is not overstepping the line. You’re 14, 15. You don’t have privacy. You’ve lost your cotton-picking mind. I’m your parent.”
Dori agrees parents have to parent.
“You’ve got to get their respect and you’ve got to have firm discipline and too many parents, they’re so eager to be best friends with their kid, they’re not willing to discipline their kid.”
The consequences of ignoring at-risk behavior like that witnessed in the photos and tweets apparently sent from Holloway’s house, could be devastating, Holloway says.
“Obviously, we’re going to be burying some of them if they continue down this pathway,” says Holloway. “It’s no joke. If you want to see what youth at risk behavior is, they’re in it right now. They’re in the middle of taking a turn in the wrong direction. If we don’t turn them, we’re going to lose them.”