Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Get The Kiddie-Cuffs, or Police State Pedagogy (UPDATED)

Do you think this is the first 6-year-old we've arrested?”

This comment by Avon Park, Florida Police Chief Frank Mercurio to New York Times columnist Bob Herbert easily qualifies as the pull-quote of the day, perhaps of the month. Chief Mercurio was justifying the arrest -- complete with handcuffing, fingerprinting, and a mug-shot – of Desre'e Watson, who was eventually charged with a felony (as well as a few misdemeanors) after disturbing her kindergarten class.

The student became violent,” Mercurio told Herbert. “She was yelling, screaming – just being uncontrollable. Defiant.” Herbert recalls wondering if he'd somehow materialized inside a “Saturday Night Live” sketch (during one of its better years – say, circa 1981) as Mercurio explained the mechanics of applying police restraints to a tiny child: “You can't handcuff them on their wrists because their wrists are too small, so you have to handcuff them up by their biceps.”

I fully expect that someone in the large and growing community of police state profiteers will recognize this market lacuna and produce a line of Kiddie-Cuffs (tm) – perhaps in an assortment of bright, cheerful colors. The incident involving Desre'e Watson isn't unique, after all.

Chelsea Fraser (center) flanked by a news reporter (l) and her mother, Diana Silva

Last week, 13-year-old Brooklyn middle school student Chelsea Fraser was arrested and dragged away in handcuffs for the purported crime of writing “OK” on her desk. She was seized by four police officers, made to remove her belt, cuffed behind her back, and frog-marched out of the school in front of her friends. Three other students, all boys, were arrested the same day and charged with criminal vandalism for plastering the classroom wall with stickers.

Even if one assumes that the boys were out of control, it seems more than a bit disproportionate to handcuff a student for writing on her desk

Chelsea was taken to the local Precinct station house and detained for three hours, spending most of that time handcuffed to a pole.

Roughly a month ago, seven-year-old Baltimore resident Gerard Mungo Jr. was sitting on his dirt bike (with the motor off) on a sidewalk waiting for his father to come home. He was causing no harm and doing nothing to disrupt the neighborhood. Unfortunately, a policeman wandered by and, faster than you can say “Candygram for Mungo!” the officer grabbed the child by the neck and pulled him off the bike. The seven-year-old was handcuffed and taken downtown for fingerprinting and a mug shot. He was reportedly handcuffed to a bench for two hours.

Despite the fact that the bike's motor wasn't running, Gerard was charged with operating a dirt bike on the city sidewalks.

The story gets worse from here.

A few days after Gerard's arrest, which quickly became a huge local scandal, police arrested his mother, Lakisa Dinkins. Following her son's ordeal, Dinkins vehemently criticized the police in media interviews and began to organize protest rallies. After a rally held the Saturday following Gerard's arrest, Dinkins was visiting her sister's home when her 18-year-old nephew, in a panic, bolted into the house, claiming that he was being chased by a robber.

The armed man turned out to be an undercover narcotics officer, who – with a partner's help – forced his way into the house. One officer held a gun to the head of Dinkins' older son, who is 14. Per her account, Dinkins was seized and arrested once she was identified as Gerard's mother: "I told him to get his hands off.... Once they realized who I was, they took action."

Although the police claimed to have seen Dinkins' nephew participating in a drug deal, no drugs were found in the house – and she was the only one arrested. She was released shortly thereafter, and prosecutors determined that the alleged drug offense had been “abated by arrest,” reported police spokesman Matt Jablow. This means, as the Baltimore Sun helpfully notes, that “police had probable cause to arrest her but that no more jail time was warranted.”

A more honest rendering would be this: Dinkins was arrested and detained for no reason, most likely as an act of petty retaliation for criticizing the police.

How did we become a country in which it's becoming common to treat misbehaving children as if they were hardcore offenders? One reason, I suspect, is the “Overkill” mentality now common to law enforcement, a side-effect of militarizing the police: Much of the rising generation of law enforcement officers see the civilian population as an enemy to be subdued, as opposed to fellow citizens whose rights are to be respected and protected.

A related factor is an attitude displayed to me during an interview with influential criminologist Gene Stephens of the University of South Carolina more than a decade ago.

Stephens, who has been active in the World Future Society, has also helped train both federal and local law enforcement. Speaking to me shortly after the 1994 congressional election, which was seen (incorrectly, alas) as a repudiation of big, intrusive government, he explained to me that the roots of our society's crime problem are found in our cultural antipathy to authority: We don't like having the government tell us what to do, which means that we're all criminals.

It's not a question of `us versus them'; it's us -- we're all criminals,” Stephens told me. This is because "of the way in which people are socialized in this country. The rite of passage for an adolescent is to break the law, or defy authority. As the last election shows, we don't like government, we don't like authority, and we don't like being told what to do."

There is, of course, a vast and important difference between authority – limited, delegated, revocable power granted for specific purposes – and power; as a statist, Stephens either ignores or simply cannot understand that critical distinction. And any American worthy of the name is going to rebel when government claims the power to tell us “what to do,” since our entire system is based on exactly the opposite premise.

Of course, I could be wrong. There could be some gnostic, cryptic subtext to phrases such as “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” and “whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it....”

Incidents of the sort recounted above illustrate convincingly that the powers of State coercion are in the hands of people who are not only ignorant but contemptuous of the principles explained in the letter our ancestors sent to King George III in July 1776. Their role, as they see it, is to tell us “what to do,” and make us do it, using whatever force may be necessary – even when it is deployed pitilessly against puzzled and terrified six-year-old children.


In case anyone's interested, you can read the arrest report here.


izzy said...

Hey Will, The Thinking Blogger Award goes to you from me.

Anonymous said...

This trend by today's law enforcement is not what I was taught when I began my career in the 1970's. Children that young were never taken into police custody and schools would never call for such minor offenses in the first place.

I will say the Dr. Gene Stephens was my first Criminal Justice professor at USC which was a blessing in disguise.

Having already been in law enforcement for seven years when I accepted a scholarship to attend USC, I naturally chose CJ as a major. After one semester with Dr. Stephens, I quickly realized the CJ professors had little clue to what was happening in the "real world" and I changed my academic major.

He was probably a founding member of the Nanny State mentality being a former journalist with the Atlanta Constitution and viewed the average citizen with disdain. He and like minded CJ professors are the primary reason Criminal Justice is no longer a stand alone college at USC, but just a minor department which is a shame since society desperately needs highly trained law enforcement officers who will protect society by first ensuring all citizens’ rights.

Captain Kirk said...

I hate to bring this up, as the whole race card issue has been thoroughly misused and abused, but based on the limited ampling provided here by Will, it appears that race is a factor in the State-sanctioned social brutality that these children and their families have recieved. I wonder if the "perp" had been some white kid in Ripon, Wisconsin whether or not the same kind of law enforcement abuse would have been applied.

liberranter said...

I never tire of asking the question: What kind of braindead, pathetic, psychotic, thugscum LOSER arrests a pre-adolescent child, especially through employment of physical force? Anyone (be they one of these thugscum pigs or their devotees or not) who answers "one who feels that his/her life is in imminent danger" doesn't deserve to be treated as a sentient adult.


In response to your question "I wonder if the 'perp' had been some white kid in Ripon, Wisconsin whether or not the same kind of law enforcement abuse would have been applied", the answer is: not on your life!

Fred said...

Will said:

I could be wrong. There could be some gnostic, cryptic subtext to phrases such as “to secure these rights, governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,”

And maybe -just maybe- sending hither swarms of officers to eat out their substance has a whole different meaning too.

Sad state of affairs.

We can expect more of this,you know. Will is on to something with Kiddie-Cuffs(tm). If they aren't out yet, they'll be out soon.

When I was in HS I could throw down with an adversary for at least 30 seconds before a teacher would descend on our tango to force us to our corners/classes. After school we'd pick up where we left off , maybe at the bus stop. Nowadays the schools call the cops.

For the life of me I can't remember anyone during my grade school days misbehaving to the point that teachers- not to mention cops- had to be summoned to deal with the situation. I just can't remember anyone so young causing ANY major disturbances.

Sigh. Criminally negligent Parenting + Government Schooling + Cops(some of who are the sum of the first two, but hatched a few years earlier) = Just what you'd expect; One helluva laboratory monster.

What we consider outrageous or shocking today will be child's play in 10 years. This is why my off spring will be toting pistols.

Thomas said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Jackson said...

Well! Well! Well!...and they wonder why my friends & I don't visit the US and A anymore.


Anonymous said...

My wife is a kindergarten teacher in south Florida. She has been assaulted by these little angels three times in one year. The kid was finaly Baker acted when he peed on the principle. The teachers get no support. Not from the parents, not from the community and damn sure not from this wacked out website.
But don't worry the christian community has a solution. Lot's of concrete cages. When they turn 18 they will lock them up and never shed even a crocidle tear

Anonymous said...

What were they supposed to do? She was kicking and hitting the teachers when they told her to get out of the classroom? They did the only thing they could and called the police. She continuted to be a little pain in the ass after having the cuffs on her and her parent was unreachable. In the past she would have been wrenched out by the principal and walloped until she was in tears and apologetic....unfortunately this course of action is unavailable. The officer said he "tried to calm her down several times, but she wailed louder. Had to placer her in cuffs to stop her from hitting". She was hitting a police officer??!! Throw her ass in jail. Sheesh.

elhaf said...

Florida. Why is it always Florida?

Stve said...

I'm curious about all these kids being fingerprinted. Do you get your finger prints deleted from the "system" when you're 18? Is it legal for police to even be fingerprinting 6 year olds? Seems to me that an "unruly" child in kindergarden should not have their fingerprints on file in the police system for life because his/her teacher can't handle / isn't trained to deal with the occasional problem 2' tall child.

Anonymous said...

black, and black

Brandon said...

I don't think that all of these kids deserved to be treated as they did, such as handcuffed to benches and poles, or being arrested for sitting on the sidewalk with your motorbike. But kids these days have no respect for adults or property, and maybe this is a way to get kids and their parents to wake up. I mostly blame parents for the disturbing behavior if their kids, the lack of support and discipline at home.

Anonymous said...

So, the parents don't teach the children how to behave, and if (insert deity of choice) forbid the teacher tries to, they face the wrath of the parents and their lawyers.
What should they do?? I'm not saying that cuffs and fingerprinting is the answer, but you can't let the kids run wild either....

Anonymous said...

Of course if you don't get the bad kid out of the classroom the school gets sued by the parents of the other kids for not creating a safe environment. If the teacher disciplines the kid the teacher can be sued because they hurt little Jimmy's feelings. The cops have to cuff the kid because that's procedure and if they violate procedure they get sued. They have no other way to safely restrain a kicking and biting kid other than cuffs and they've seen too many inner city kung-fu fans to risk their private parts.
Sure they over-reacted but why did the school call them? Because the school has little or no power to discipline the kids without facing parents' wrath. The cops acted like cops - it shouldn't have gotten to the cops who had to use the tools they have.
Yes it was wrong and no I don't agree with the police actions but why couldn't the school just keep her late and make her sand and repaint the desk? Oh yeah, mom and dad would have complained.

Anonymous said...

Coming from someone who works with these lovely children:

Staff of yesteryear had the availability of physical restraint. If darling Johnny was acting out, something physical could be done to protect the safety of the teacher, the other students, and the student acting out(yes, they do hurt themselves). Without this option, if a child does not respond to verbal de-escalation and is making the situation unsafe for those around them, the police are the only recourse left. Give the teachers another option, and these stories may lessen.

A lot of places have a policy of "even if you get hit you can not do anything". How many of you think you could get punched/scratched/bit/spit and kicked for 30 minutes without escalating?

To those who argue about police brutality etc: Ok, the girl who wrote on her desk had the cops called on her. If that was all she did, it's excessive. But is that all she did? The article makes you want to think so. I've never met an educator in my entire life that would go through the pain of getting the police involved unless there were A LOT of other things involved. How about this situation. "Female student is using pencil in a threatening manner. Educator directs student to put pencil down. Student refuses, educator asks again. Student makes threatening moves with pencil towards teacher. Educator asks once more. Student refuses, writes "Ok" on desk." Slightly different. You have a student using a pencil as a weapon and refusing to give it up in that situation.

Sophia_NX said...

LOL!!! people need a liscence to drive a car, but nothing to have a child. I live in South Africa, where such behaviour is not tolerated by parents nor the schooling system.

Discipline begins at home.

I pity the next generation of Americans if this is what your schooling system is plagued with!

Anonymous said...

This country is a disgrace to the human race.

Irene said...

D I S C I P L I N E!!!

those animals will have children too! then what!

Pity the next generation of ameicans

Anonymous said...

"not only ignorant but contemptuous of the principles explained in the letter our ancestors sent to King George III in July 1776".. Well duh.. all of the smart, educated people are out making money, not risking their lives in police service. The policing professions attract the same kind of ignorant, psychopathic losers that the military does. People who are too stupid and violent to survive in a world where the rules don't begin and end with "The stupidest and most violent thug wins".

Jaxson said...

That is the most despicable thing I have ever heard. That's like someone arresting my baby brother. He just learned how to speak in full sentences! Arresting a six-year old... -_-;;

Al said...

You know, all this seems ridiculous to anyone who doesn't work in a setting with kids (and even to us who do), but the reality is that those who work with kids are shackled from dealing with behaviors before they escalate to more serious situations.

I've worked in residential care for ten years. Ten years ago, we could count on being able to manage behaviors because we could use structure and reasonable consequences with kids. We also had less use of restraint than we do these days.

But over the last ten years, with the scandals over kids dying in restraints, so many restrictions have been placed on those who work with children, that even being firm and consistent is constantly questioned. I guess the fear is that if we offer children resistance, they will rebel more and lead to more restraints. The opposite has been true. When workers are prevented from intervening from the beginning, children get used to getting away with more behaviors and then when the limit is finally set they act out more violently.

Ten years ago, the thought of calling the police to deal with the children at our facility would have been silly. But now, it seems the only recourse, and most likely results in more child injury.

So the end result is that workers, for fear that any reasonable action will be called into question, jump too quickly to calling the police. It's easy to judge when you're not in the situation.

Tamati said...

Bloody good read, keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

Kids are out of control and need to understand who is the boss - because parents are not. As far as I am concerned more children should be incarcerated and put in mental institutions away from their parents (who also should be incarcerated). There they can be reprogrammed to be pro-social and law-abiding and avoid their increasingly violent and antisocial tendencies.

JPW said...

I love that part at the beginning. The girl was "defiant".

We can't have that, can we? Heaven forbid a young child, full of natural curiosity and energy and keen to have her interest drawn to something of real value, be forced to sit in a segregated column, moving from place to place at the sound of the bell, memorizing things by rote amongst a group of other equally zombified kids in a compulsion-schooling environment. Methinks the wonderful John Taylor Gatto would have a few things to say about that.

Anonymous said...

Addressing race: I have no stats to present, but what I can say is that I am a white male and found myself being persistently harassed by police growing up (Washington State). At one time myself and 4 of my friends were arrested for tossing water balloons at another friends house from an apartment complex parking lot. The cop asked if we had any grenades on us as we were being put into cars. He wasn't talking about water-bombs. Evidently 12 year old kids are frequently in possession of real grenades.

Anonymous said...

in Canada, there's no such thing as jail... there's the slave cage

Anonymous said...

I am a second grade teacher in urban Phoenix Arizona. I beleive I am a great teacher. I provide my students with interactive, fun, and engaging lessons that teach them the state and national standards. I spend hours outside of the classroom researching and preparing for my time with them. I care about them and want them to succeed. I am an educator because I love children and I love working with them. That said...

I have had students throw pencils and chairs at me, hit me, bite me, call me terrible names and even threaten my life with a hunting knife. (This knife was like something out of a horror movie by the way.) I have also been trying to teach a lesson while a child rolls on the floor, makes loud disruptive sounds, or inflicts serious bodily harm on another child. The list could go on and on.

Somewhere along the line, these children have not been taught at home the proper way to behave in social and academic situations. THIS IS NOT THE CHILDS FAULT. So, my try at a solution is to do my best to provide those life skill lessons for them as well. There is no point in playing the blame game. And locking our children up and terrifying them with force at the age of 6 is not a solution either. We have to help these children learn to evaluate their actions and the consequences that follow them (both positive and negetive). We need to help these children overcome the obstacles they face at no fault of their own.

Now, if I had a 13 year old coming at me with a hunting knife, i might have a different perspective!:P

Anonymous said...

This child behaved badly enough that the teacher actually resorted to calling the police and yet you feel that somehow the police mishandled the situation?? What about the parents?

Anonymous said...

It's an absurd misconception that a raging, out of control, kicking and screaming child is harmless simply because they are a child. Parents refuse to educate their children on how to act around others and/or refuse to get their children treated for personality disorders. So these kids who have no idea how to act, or simply can't control themselves, are put into situations with other children and adults, and then when they shoot someone with the gun they brought to school, or they beat the living daylights out of another child, everyone acts all surprised. The school administrators and teachers are too afraid of lawsuits to restrain the kid themselves, so they call the police. The police restrain the child with handcuffs, and the parents are suddenly up in arms over the "criminal treatment" of their bratty children.

Being handcuffed is not criminal treatment. It's an effective and harmless way to restrain people who can't/won't restrain themselves, children included. Get over it.

Also, I guarantee that no police officer is just going to "snatch" some kid off of a dirt bike for no reason. That's absolute nonsense. Police officers don't just go around looking for random people to throw in the dirt. The danger of a lawsuit is way too real for any cop to act like that. If a cop jerked a kid off a dirt bike, he had a good reason to do so.

Criminalizing the police for restraining out-of-control kids is downright retarded. Granted, the handling of the 13 year old who wrote on a desk was excessive, but as in every media-reported incident involving police, I'm sure some things were omitted in the interest of sparking debate and getting more readers.

Anonymous said...

the complete lack of appropriate discipline in school seems to be a significant problem... were I in the place of an elementary educator who faced such a problem, I think I would try to start a mass boycott of actually performing elementary education... maybe the laws dictating student discipline would be loosened out of necessity for teachers willing to teach.

JaviWanKenobi said...

^^ Every single word you said is WRONG. If it was YOUR children the ones being handcuffed you wouldn't show off your brain diarreah.

Anonymous said...

A) I would never tolerate my child acting like that in school...or anywhere else for that matter.

B)If MY child acted bad enough that the police had to be involved, it wouldn't bother me in the slightest if they restrained him/her. I'm a strong believer in making children aware of the consequences of their actions while they're young, so that they're less inclined to end up in jail when they're old enough to be truly held accountable.

Sometimes children need to be restrained. The parents refuse to do it. The school officials are scared to do it. Who is gonna do it? Who is going to stop your bratty child from beating the snot out of another child, or defacing the classroom? If the parent isn't gonna do it, and the school employees aren't gonna do it, then the police WILL do it. There is absolutely nothing wrong with using handcuffs to restrain an out-of-control child. It keeps them from hurting themselves and/or others and/or their environment.

One of the biggest problems that our society faces today is the problem of undisciplined youth. Parents either just don't care or aren't willing to make little Johnny or little Jane unhappy by punishing them for their misbehavior. They don't know how to act at home, so they CERTAINLY don't know how to act in public.

You don't wanna teach your brats how to behave and function in society? Fine. The police will. Maybe you'll luck up and your negligent parenting style won't help land your child in jail when they become adults.

Anonymous said...

To quote a random forum poster "For the love of God, Parents beat your kids!"

When I was a kid the paddle at schools was still used, and it gives the potential troulemaker a little more to worry about than sitting in the principals office.

Da Weaz said...

If you really believe that you are an inadequate father to your five children, then maybe you should be paying attention to them instead of writing these blog posts.

Kinda obvious, isn't it?

Al Newberry said...

"If it was YOUR children the ones being handcuffed you wouldn't show off your brain diarreah."

If it was your children who were assaulted by another child, or you who were assaulted by that other child, you would understand why that child needs to be in handcuffs.

The root of the problem is with the roadblocks put up by governments that either prevent parents/childcare workers from using discipline or make them afraid to use discipline and be accused of being abusive (and I'm not even talking about physical discipline necessarily).

When I was growing up, my parents didn't have to worry about negative consequences if they gave me consequences, even harsh consequences. And because of this, they rarely had to lay a hand on me.

William N. Grigg said...

Mr. Weaz -- any parent of any number of kids who considers himself adequate is deluded at best, n'est-ce pas?

Anonymous said...

I did not like the biased attitude that you took when writing. In fact, after I finished reading what you had written, I felt compeled to write this to voice my sheer dissatisfaction with your arguments and delivery of the facts.

William N. Grigg said...

Luckily for you, Mr./Mrs./Miss Anonymous (I've read a lot of your work, btw), this blog comes with a money-back guarantee.

Chris said...

You know, when I first read about the kid being taken in for the dirt bike incident, I was a little shocked. Kind of pissed off actually (most bikers were).

However, I reflect back on it and think "what would my parents do if I was arrested for breaking the law and riding my dirt bike in city limits?" (which I did, but never got caught, and whether or not the kid was doing, we will never know because of the brilliant liberal media). They would have screamed at me and by the time the police were done with me I would have received the belt or wooden spoon (keep in mind this would have been 10 - 12 years ago).

I have seen and heard (from my peers with young children) first hand what undisciplined kids can do and will do because there is NO FEAR! When I was in elementary school, if I broke any of the rules, I was picking up trash on the playground for at least 1 hour after school and my parents would support the teachers/principals decision to make me do so. It only took ONCE for me to learn to obey.

Today there is too much fear from school officials, teachers, even parents to discipline their children to get rid of the behavior that isn't productive to society. I mean, a guest at your house that sees you spank your child for acting out can alert the authorities of abuse?! What the hell is that about? When I was a kid, if I acted out when someone else was over, and if they felt they were in danger or threatened by my behavior, they would have got second shot at my ass. NO ONE can blame the cops for what they did in this case, especially if the kid was causing bodily harm to others. If the parents won't take responsibility for what their kids do (pro actively) and it's left to the police, then that is what it's going to take to clue them in.

I don't have any children yet, but I do know what kept me in line. When I do have children you can bet that my belt or wooden spoon are going to be right handy if they feel the need to disobey the law or put ANYONE in any kind of risk. If I go to jail for "child abuse" because I gave them a red ass, then so be it. As long as they learn they need to respect others as they expect others to do to them.

dixiedog said...

I guess in your small hamlet in the Idaho wilderness, Will, you never witness just how corrupt, profane, and savage little TOTS can be these days. And, of course, there were no such events as school shootings as I recall in the 1970s. I even had my own boomstick by 12, before that a Ben Sheridan pellet gun.

But with the heathens today? No wonder there's LAWS prohibiting them from possessing these air guns, or regulating them. Like I've said countless times already, Will, the cultural condition is what molds the legal framework within it. In addition, as a symptom of this degraded culture, many children of today have sorry, spineless parents, or worse, just ONE sorry, spineless parent who is supposed to guide them into adulthood.

Most of these parents today are merely kids themselves, hence no wonder so many children today, as early as eight or ten years old, are often incorrigible or darn close to it.

Now, when it comes to a six or seven year old kid acting up, calling the cops and handcuffin' the heathen is over the top, IMO, but like others here have pointed out, Will, LAWS and REGULATIONS make that about the only recourse! The teacher's hands are tied (parents will raise cain and sue): they cannot paddle anymore, whip your hands with rulers, wash your mouth out with soup, make you sit in a room for hours, etc., etc. On the other hand, the parents, like the teachers, also have their hands tied (teachers act as spies on parents using their kids): cannot spank their kids or they'll be arrested for abuse, etc., ad nauseam. Then, to complicate this whole matter, there's the irony that both the parents AND the teachers are usually both culturally neutered in their own worldview regarding children. Their respective minds are saturated with the "children are holy and always innocent" gospel that they've become paralyzed and adults, as well as children like Deseree Watson, suffer the consequences because of it.

People are going to have to be able "connect-the-dots" to see the big picture and understand how and why this happens. Given all the above, kids ending up in 'cuffs is quite yawningly predictable.

Dakota C:\> said...

The police is getting too nuts these days. I had an electric scooter, nothing fancy. The police in our town were taking them away from people. I was riding from the post office when... I was told by an officer that I couldn't ride it. What the heck was I to do, PUSH it home? I got out of view and took off.

Of course a quote from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City comes back to me...
In a police car:
Dispatcher: "Crime is up. Just bag anyone."
Officer: "I'm on it!"

Anonymous said...

In my opinion the police officer in question who handcuffed a six year old girl was a pedophile and likely into B&D/S&M. He should be charged with a sex crime, labeled as a sex offender and jailed as such,

david said...

Isn't it amazing the number of "anonymous" comments. Have a spine and put your name, or at least handle, to it. And as far as making the parents "responsible" I'm afraid you people tend to forget that they themselves are the very product of the system that currently "educates" their young. Who is to blame? The idiotic parents or the very system that purportedly created them? Hmmmm? The Public school re-education establishment continuously hollows out the family unit, seeks to drive a wedge between children and parents and then when the uncontrollable "events" occur then the parents are once again factored as the failure all the while leaving themselves, the educrats, out of the debate and not responsible in any way for how things have come to pass. How very convenient.

Fred said...


It's pretty entertaining to read so many comments about adults feeling "threatened" or being "assaulted" by the wee ones. I'm wondering if they'd say the same about a cop who felt threatened by an adult who walked toward him in dim light holding an object in a menacing manner.

But let's not mix apples and oranges. We're talking kids here. Is anyone under the age of- oh, say 14 or thereabouts- even capable of puttin a whuppin on a grown up? Maybe they can cause some discomfort or a cut/bruise. That's nothing more than an occupational hazard. It should be tolerated just as the cops are expected to tolerate it when they are dealing with the basest of the base.

We know there's no shortage of savage behavior in schools. But the actions are those of a CHILD. Saddly the child probably hasn't had the necessary love and guidance he needs to learn to behave properly. This will become even more common as we tumble and glide down the slippery slope.

I'll reiterate the spirit of a previous post: Wait a few years. The Super Predators are coming. They'll be coming for us, even though we created them. Tyrants past and present will be envious of the brutality meted out by this new breed.

Al Newberry said...

To Fred:

It may sound silly that a kid could cause damage to an adult. Under reasonable circumstances they couldn't. But when the adult is prevented legally from defending himself/herself, even a small child may do some damage.

I'm guessing you've never actually been assaulted by a child.

Ten years ago in the field of residential treatment, people were not questioned about using reasonable force to defend ourselves. But nowadays, we are expected to allow a child to repeatedly strike us before we can physically intervene.

The biggest problem with this is that problems escalate to a dangerous level before the adult can intervene. This actually makes the situation riskier for both the adult and the child. It would be much safer if I could catch a child's arm and hold it when he or she strikes me than it is to go into a full physical restraint--and that's about the only option left these days.

Darrell Kern said...

Welcome to Facism! If you think this is not true- then you are an idiot.

George Bush does an amazing libing impersonation of Adolph Hitler.

dixiedog said...

It's pretty entertaining to read so many comments about adults feeling "threatened" or being "assaulted" by the wee ones. I'm wondering if they'd say the same about a cop who felt threatened by an adult who walked toward him in dim light holding an object in a menacing manner.

Lawdy, sigh, I cannot believe this is so confusingly difficult to grok for some. Fred, it’s not about being afraid of the little tots/kids/teens or feeling "threatened" by them, it’s about being afraid of, and threatened by, the very real legal ramifications if the teachers (the few who are not culturally neutered themselves) put the Kinder in their place like they used to do when I was in elementary and middle school as late as the 1970s.

You know, Fred, it’s like when cops, let’s say, get a “domestic disturbance” call to some couple’s homestead and the call, in this scenario, was made by the man. The cop gets there and the hypothetical dialog goes thusly:

Cop: What’s the problem, Mr. Fud?

Mr. Fud: My wife is acting up and I can’t get her to calm down. We’ve been arguing and she slapped me across the face and hit me with a frying pan. So, I called you guys.

Cop: [laughing heartily] “Mr. Fud, you mean to tell me that a big burly man like yourself is paralyzed with fear in the face of a woman? So you need protection against injury by your wife?” [resumes his epileptic fit of laughter].

Mr. Fud: “No, not at all, sir. I could smash her face into the wall and end it quicktime, but I’m just trying to end this peaceably and “never lay a hand on a woman” is the constant refrain of today after all. I also couldn’t handle the legal gauntlet that would smash my head otherwise. Does that make it any clearer?

It’s also true that minus your badge and that gun, I could squeeze your head until the snot shot out and you’d crumple to the ground as well. But again, the legal sledgehammer would crash down upon me and I’d be off to the slammer, or dead at the hands of your comrades because ‘one of our own’ was beat down. You know, you cops stick together and all that, right?”

Cop: Uh yeah, Mr. Fud. Okay, so she did hit ya with a frying pan, at least, so I guess we’ll have to take her into custody.” [reluctantly arrests the wife]

Now, is the picture more clear in your mind, Fred?

But let's not mix apples and oranges. We're talking kids here. Is anyone under the age of- oh, say 14 or thereabouts- even capable of puttin a whuppin on a grown up? Maybe they can cause some discomfort or a cut/bruise. That's nothing more than an occupational hazard. It should be tolerated just as the cops are expected to tolerate it when they are dealing with the basest of the base.

The confusion reigns unfettered, it seems. Are they “capable” of puttin’ a whippin’ on a grown up? Hell yes! Especially if the “grown up” is a woman and/or when the “grown up” is supposed to stand there, paralyzed, and do nothing. If your kid(s) doesn’t know how to act and behave themselves in a public setting, the parent better discipline and teach them how to act in public or they should keep them at home, period.

I guess you’ve missed news stories about kiddies who murdered their parents, or parent, in one case. The media marionettes, predictably, always show the children as “sweet, harmless, innocent, holy” beings that just couldn’t think up such a horror on their OWN, without the help of another adult. Nonsense, pure fantasy. When I was ten, I could easily have slaughtered my mother if I had wanted to with little difficulty, so this thought that children are pure holiness is a trap. I wasn’t when I was a child. And now, it’s not that uncommon to hear small children (and certainly 11 or 12 year olds) cuss like a sailor since their parents (or parent) don’t keep any lids on what the dung tube spews into their minds.

The Super Predators are already among us, Fred. You’re unaware of Columbine?

Yep, the rulers hail from the ruled. So however the culture molds and shapes the ruled, so shall it also mold and shape, even more coarsely, the rulers who spring forth out of the ruled.

Jerri Lynn Ward, J.D. said...

When I was 5 years old, my mother took me to the hospital for a blood test (this was in the late 50's). At the site of the sticky thing, I began to shriek and run. I ran all through that hospital shrieking at the top of my lungs. The closer adults got, the more panicked and frightened I got.

I got cornered and started swinging my arms and shrieking some more. The nurses and my mothers wisely let me fall down from exhaustion and didn't try to grab me.

I will never forget how terrified I was being chased by what seemed like giants to me.

I think the girl was terrified and the adults were stupid and bent on her submission at whatever cost.

I don't have kids, but I babysit a 6 year old. No way that kid could hurt me.

As for those who think being taken by police might be beneficial for a recalcitrant kid, the cops aren't like Andy Griffith these days.

Seamus said...

I thought that, under common law, a child younger than seven was conclusively presumed incapable of forming criminal intent. Has that been changed by statute or judicial decision in Florida? If not, how could the police have any cause to arrest?

Fred said...


Good points. I agree the Super Predators are already among us. The younger more efficient generation are yet to appear. And there will be more. That was the point of my comment; we're creating them, and we'll react to their actions with more force and more laws.

I'm more familiar with Columbine than I wish to be. But I often read comments hear about the MILITARIZATION of the police in the schools, and how the reaction and preparation of the police in response to these tragedies (and the ovrall increase of violence) is some ominous plan the cops came up with over beers (I added the beers part).

I've made it clear before I despise the thought of people charged with a responsibility for the safety of others, or with an obligation to protect others, to be paralyzed with fear because sombody, somewhere will sit back in his fine leather chair and calculate how much money they can make on the deal if/when it gets to court.
As I've said before, it's The System.

Any teacher or "educator" who's entered or been in the work force over the past decade or two knows darn well there are an increasing number of kids who'll flip out. They will have to take action or go hide. If their school doesn't allow them to do anything to protect themselves other than calling the fuzz, and the teacher doesn't like that, they can search long and hard for another place to work, or another occupation. Personally, I think instead of calling the law they should be allowed to smack the disobedient ones, and shoot the crazies who pop up more and more often. But that will never happen. In the meantime they will just have to take their licks. We already know parents will not intervene.

It's nothing more than a game of "pass the buck" that starts with parents. Then........Teachers restrain barbaric child = school is liable. Cops restrain barbaric child= cops are liable. Cops refuse to respond to restrain child in school because they get sued= cops are liable for what happens if they don't respond. The cops are used as the last resort for some who cannot or will not deal with their own problems, among some legitimate reasons. And the lawyers love every bit of it.

I do agree there are many of these cases. But I also think there is PLENTY of over-reaction by the schools and the cops to a child flailing his arms, kicking and screaming about this or that. The cops get called so the schools can wash their hands with the whole affair. This is why schools don't allow staff to do anything; why bother? Let somone else do our dirty work. Let THEM get sued.

Removing such a child from school once and for all would be ideal. Seldom happens. When it does, the school sends a teacher to their home, or the disciplinary problem children are herded into a building containing others like them. A prison of sorts where they learn more unacceptable behavior from their peers. Or worse, they stay in the same school and class.

The REAL concern, as you pointed out, is the fear of being sued. I think this fear exaggerates the perceived problem of a disobedient or out of control child in a classroom. The suits are always a consideration for those whose work is compensated with tax dollars (deep pockets).

I agree a maladjusted youth is capable of doing all sorts of horrible deeds. But a 6,7,8, or whatever year old child acting a fool is still a child- albeit a poorly raised.

I think the totality of the circumstances should be considered for each case, i.e. age, size. REAL weapons, etc. The ambiguous "assault" allegations I've read here and elsewhere don't cut it.

Call me a softy for the wee ones.

Anonymous said...

I have read alot of comments playing the blame game, but nowhere has anyone said why the 6 year old was upset and acting out. Did anyone bother to ask or exlain what casued the ruckus in the first place? Cause and effect?