The Herald reports:
A disturbing picture is emerging of Orlando nightclub shooter’s troubled childhood, as former teachers and classmates share confronting memories of him from his primary school days.
Their stories reveal Omar Mateen, then known as Omar Seddique, was having homicidal and misogynistic fantasies as early as age 10.
Leslie Hall, who was Mateen’s classmate at Mariposa Elementary School in Florida and target of his bullying, remembers him getting suspended in the fifth grade for threatening to shoot up the school.
Other classmates and a former teacher have similarly unpleasant recollections of Mateen, describing a boy who was driven to school in a limo, often taunted less affluent kids and even stole toys.
They remember how “all the girls were scared of him”, even his mother and sister.
According to staff members, numerous attempts by the school to intervene failed because of the “enabling” nature of Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, who was considered to be the source of his attitude towards women and girls.
I guess when your father is pro-Taliban, then you grow up with a very negative view of women.
Katherine Zurich, 62, who taught Mateen in the fourth and fifth grade, said she tried to reach out to him but found his attitudes too deeply entrenched to penetrate.
“He felt that women were beneath him,” Ms Zurich said.
“He was taught to disrespect them. His mum, his sisters were afraid of him. They had to be subservient to him because he was the son. They treated him like the father, with respect.”
The teacher alleged Omar claimed his father often told him he did not have to listen to women, which was a problem at Mariposa, where most of the faculty at the time was female.
“He seemed to be so disturbed and violent, it was hard to make him change,” the teacher said. “Hard to look back and say what we thought would come true did.”
Ms Hall, who was bullied by Mateen, said he would also take out his aggression on teachers, throwing chairs in class and worse.
“He was very disrespectful,” she said. “He was spitting in teachers’ faces.”
And his father still says he was a good boy who did nothing wrong!