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Category Archives: News
‘A crazy gift of tragedy’. Grief is the hard form of caring,’ says Malcolm Astley, the father of a murdered teen. How do you hope when there is no hope? When you have lost your own child, how do you find the strength to make sure that other people don’t lose theirs?UUWorld 11/4/13:
CBS News’ 48 Hours did a one-hour documentary on teen breakup violence, focusing on the murder of Lauren Astley.
or watch it online here.
CNN 6/25/13: Teens trained to spot drama before it turns dangerous. Lauren Astley knew her ex-boyfriend was having a hard time getting over their breakup. Nathaniel Fujita hadn’t wanted to end their three-year relationship. He made it clear in a long e-mail, asking her to give him a chance to find “a part of you that still loves me.” But after several “negotiated truces,” as her mother calls them, it was over in May 2011, a few weeks before their graduation from Wayland High School in Massachusetts.
School violence prevention programs typically focus on risk-reduction by teaching girls not to be victims and boys not to be rapists, with no other roles to play. Even though bystander intervention not a new concept, some schools, advocacy groups and corporations are pushing it with renewed vigor in an effort to deter violence.
The goal is to challenge perceptions of “normal behavior” and make teens aware of the nuanced interactions that create a hostile climate. It could be as simple as diverting a friend’s attention when he hollers at a girl on the street, encouraging your sister to talk to her boyfriend instead of secretly checking his texts, sneaking off to call 911 when the popular guys start messing with a girl who’s barely conscious.
Wayland Town Crier 6/6/13: Remembering Lauren Astley at ‘Keep on Sparkling’ event. The second annual “Keep on Sparkling” fashion show on Saturday night at Sandy Burr Country Club will once again celebrate the life of Wayland High School graduate Lauren Dunne Astley, who died on July 4, 2011, and raise money for the fund in her name.
Lauren’s parents, Malcolm Astley and Mary Dunne, started the fund to “make something good come out of this terrible tragedy,” said Astley.
WBUR 5/14/13: Parents Of Slain Wayland Teen Call For Violence Prevention. The parents of a Wayland teen killed by a former boyfriend are urging lawmakers to require dating violence prevention as part of health and sexual education programs in public schools. Malcolm Astley, a retired principal, and Mary Dunne, a pre-kindergarten teacher, became emotional at times as they testified before the Legislature’s Education Committee. Dunne told the panel that while schools are focusing on academic performance and standardized tests, they have lost sight of teaching children about healthy relationships, empathy and caring. Astley told WBUR that education in high school about dealing with relationships is vital to ending domestic violence.
Boston Globe 5/14/13: Parents of slain Wayland teenager urge lawmakers to enact teen relationship and violence education in schools. The mother of Wayland murder victim Lauren Dunne Astley today called on legislators to mandate comprehensive dating violence education in Massachusetts schools, saying that if her daughter had only received the “pearl of wisdom” never to go alone to visit an ex-boyfriend, she might still be alive. ”If only she had learned and internalized that singularly important lesson,” said Mary Dunne, who spoke with her former husband and Astley’s father, Malcolm Astley, to the Joint Committee on Education in the State House today. Behind them, their daughter beamed in a blown up version of her senior portrait. “That small pearl of wisdom should be ingrained in our children as deeply as buckling their seat belts and recycling their bottles and cans.”
Boston Globe 3/17/13: Lauren Astley’s legacy is friendship. To them, she was the fearless, sassy friend who would put just $5 worth of gas in her car so she’d have plenty of cash for a new pair of shoes or her favorite Starbucks drink. No one will forget how Lauren Astley was brutally murdered by her ex-boyfriend just weeks after they graduated from Wayland High School. But her four closest friends want her remembered for far more: She was smart, funny, a talented singer, a loyal friend.
WBUR 3/19/13: Mother Of Slain Wayland Teen Explains ‘Cardinal Rule’ Of Healthy Breakups. Lauren Astley’s father has said that two lives were lost when his 18-year-old daughter was killed — not just Astley’s, but also the life of her former boyfriend, Nathaniel Fujita. Fujita, 20, was sentenced this month to life in prison. He murdered Astley in their hometown of Wayland almost two years ago when she met up with him after their breakup. Now Astley’s parents hope some good will be done in their daughter’s name. They’ve created the Lauren Dunne Astley Memorial Fund, which sponsors programs to help prevent teen dating violence and promote healthy teenage relationships. It also supports the arts and community service, which were a big part of Astley’s life. WBUR’s All Things Considered host Sacha Pfeiffer spoke with Astley’s mother, Mary Dunne, about what lessons she hopes other teenagers will learn from her daughter’s death.