This is interesting in and of itself, but it's the comments that make me want to write about it. Let's get down and dirty with it.
First off, it's always saddening to see something like this. I can't help but feel a little sympathy for the deceased teenager and his family. This is why I strongly advise that youths (and others) carry OC spray, rather than knives - though some places treat non-lethal, effective pepper-spray like firearms and make it difficult for youths to possess it.
Don't make the mistake of thinking this doesn't sadden me. But I've been in a similar position, and I don't blame him at all for reacting as he did.
There has been a few stupid comments, so let's get a few things straight.
First of all, stabbing someone eleven times or more is not "excessive." You see this same thing whenever cops fire in self-defense: "but they fired ten times! That's excessive!" No, it isn't. In all forms of self-defense, either with a gun, knife or fists, you are supposed to keep going until the threat is definitely eliminated. Knives aren't liable, even with a stab to the heart, to bring down an assailant for several seconds, during which you should be striking again.
Ditto for the cops with their guns. People see movies where bad guys drop after a single bullet to the chest. That doesn't actually happen - two to three shots is a minimum, and takes time for the damage to kick in. I know this is a disturbing, violent thing that probably makes a lot of people recoil, but: when we're talking about using deadly force to defend yourself, you don't stop swinging until they stop moving. As someone said in the forum post: "it doesn't take long to stab eleven times. He probably stopped once he realized he wasn't being attacked any more."
Secondly, it's easy to say this was an over-reaction, etc. Unfortunately, that mindset seems to be derived from believing that teenagers don't have real problems. They do. This was a real, serious assault, not somehow diminished because it was just kids involved. If I, as an adult, found myself assaulted by a "bully" in this way when I got off the bus, I would have responded in the same way - albeit I have nonlethal options thanks to my state being sane enough to allow OC spray. Seriously, forget the fact that they're "just kids." Look at the facts.
Forget this nonsense, forget: "oh, there's no way this was justified, they're just kids!"
This was a brutal assault on a non-violent, smaller person who simply wanted to get away, and he responded with legally justified force. Perhaps it's true that this should never have gone so far - but the fact that it did, that blame doesn't rest on the one who defended himself. Forget the fact they're "kids."
Thirdly, the "victim's" family's complaining is just making no sense. Again with the implicit belief that youngsters are phenomenally stupid, they claim that “[The judge's] decision is not setting a good example for children or adults" and “[The judge] is showing those kids it’s OK to get away with murder.”
No, it's setting a perfect example for everyone. Threaten someone's life or well-being, and that person can react to stop you. It's encouraging to see such sensible self-defense laws in Florida. No, it's "showing kids" that it's okay to defend yourself, something a lot of bullying victims don't realize.
Besides which, this is the same sort of nonsense as the daft woman in Texas said after the probably suicide by cop of a 15-year-old with a BB gun recently ("When kids see things like this, they copy."): no, children don't blindly copy these things. How many teens and children are up-to-date with court precedents and so on, exactly? How many middle-schoolers are aware that this case has even happened?
It always stuns me that people say these things. This is a shockingly strange situation that most teens hope to never find themselves in - what Judge Brodie has "shown kids" is not going to be relevant to the vast majority of them, and children will process this (if they hear of it at all) and work it into their world view, home life and own circumstances - the way you or I do. It's not telling children they can murder and get away with it - how many children want to murder?! No, it's telling them that, should they find themselves in a situation where they fear for their life, they can do what they need to do to get home to their family that day.
I'm so sorry to know that this time, one didn't make it. But he wasn't defending himself, he was attacking - period.
I'm sorry, family of the deceased kid, I truly am. I'm horrified to read that this has happened, but it seems now that you're just desperately looking for some way to get revenge on a boy that defended himself - and in so doing, you're insulting him and all his peers, insinuating that the judge's decision is going to "damage their fragile little minds." Because they're too stupid to form their own world view and understand the context of the decision despite it being so simple and easy to understand that a brick could get it.
In summary... 11 times is perfectly reasonable. The use of a weapon was justified, and the kid showed he wanted to avoid using it until he was threatened and afraid for his life. This does not "show kids it's okay to murder." That's patently absurd. The boy who defended himself had the weapon on him because he was afraid of being attacked - not because he was "looking for trouble." That's an annoying and very stupid anti-self-defense argument. He also demonstrated restraint and responsibility with his weapon, showing that youths can be responsible with weaponry and yet use it effectively when need be.
This is a tragedy, as virtually any loss of human life is, but when you follow a smaller person off the bus and punch them in the back of the head, a potentially deadly attack, then continue to assault them when they're just trying to get away... how can you possibly twist things to let you believe that them finally responding, after trying to get away, after trying to defuse the situation, after trying to not be there in the first place... how can you possibly twist that around to being their fault?!
Congratulations Florida, I love the sound of this "Stand Your Ground" law. We need something like it over here.
Oh, and once again, to anybody questioning why this boy had a knife: one, would you ask this of an adult? If no, shut up. The fact that this boy was deemed to be acting in defense of his life should tell you that teenagers can be attacked too, and sometimes need weaponry to defend themselves. Carrying a weapon is prudence, not "looking for trouble" or the mark of a delinquent.* If you said yes: let me just remind you that telling someone to defend themselves with "just their fists" is macho bullshit posturing on your part. You're pathetic and you don't impress me, or anyone else mature enough to know their own limits and opt to carry a weapon.
Oh, and please stop throwing the names of these kids around. Because of prejudice and ageism, the kid that defended himself is going to have his life made very difficult because he defended himself. I don't need to know their second names and see pictures of them. Jesus Christ... we're all about "protect the kids" until something the media can work itself into a feeding frenzy over, then we plaster pictures of minors all the internet.
* - of course, I carried a knife to school. A pocket knife like the one used in this incident. So, you know, maybe that does mean you're a delinquent if you carry a knife. Even though I never used it because, like, "if you carry a weapon you're looking for trouble" is bullshit.