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Bradley C. Bower/AP
Michele Cossey, center, and her husband Frank Cossey, left, arrive at the Montgomery County
Courthouse in Norristown, Pa. in this Oct. 12, 2007 file photo.

Mother Joins Ranks of Those Who Take Parental Protection Too Far

September 24, 2008 02:08 PM
by Christopher Coats
A recent prosecution in Pennsylvania has drawn attention to a long history of parents who have gone too far in the defense of their children.

Bullied Child Plots Revenge

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Michele Cossey of Norristown, Pa., was found to have helped her 14-year-old son Dillon amass a collection of weapons he planned to use in an attack against former classmates.
 
The young Cossey left school in seventh grade to escape criticism and bullying about his weight.

Still distraught, and enamored of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold—the two students responsible for killing 12 at Columbine High School—Cossey asked his mother to buy him a rifle and gunpowder, among other items.

Investigators suggest that the gunpowder would be used to create grenades.

Although she insisted that she did not know what her son had planned and believed that they would raise his self-esteem, Michele Cossey was found guilty of child endangerment.

Facing anywhere from three to seven years in prison, the Pennslyvania mother joins a small but notable group of parents who have knowingly or unwittingly taken the protection of their children to dangerous, and sometimes deadly, extremes.

Earlier this year, a Missouri mother was indicted for the creation of an online personality with the sole intent of tormenting a neighborhood teenager who had fought with her daughter.

Impersonating a teenage boy alongside her daughter and a young employee, Lori Drew began exchanging messages with the neighbor before finally ending the relationship with the declaration that the world would be better without her in it.

Suffering from a bout of depression, the young recipient hanged herself.

A murder trial earlier this month in Chapel Hill, N.C., revealed that suspect Brian “Beef” Minton’s parents had advised him on how to dispose of a body, going so far as to drive to a hardware store to purchase the necessary materials to complete the task.

Finally, one of the most often cited cases of parental protection gone awry comes with the arrest and trial of Wanda Holloway, better known as the “Texas Cheerleader-Murdering Mom.”

Incensed by her daughter’s competition on a local cheerleading squad, Holloway attempted to hire her brother-in-law to kill the mother of her 13-year-old opponent.
Believing that her daughter’s competition would be too distraught to continue, Holloway was caught on tape making the request and was turned in by her brother-in-law before the murder was carried out.

Related Topics: ‘Sports Rage’

Similar cases of parental protection and involvement beyond healthy levels have been seen on the playing field, often garnering widespread attention. Dubbed “Sports Rage” by media outlets such as “Good Morning America,” which spotlighted the trend last year, cases of parents acting out toward coaches, officials and other players, have often become national headlines.

Reference: Parenting advice

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