Middle schoolers charged with sexual battery. Are we criminalizing being 13 and stupid?

School news this week sounds like a police blotter. I just read the short AJC story on the Stephenson Middle  School students criminally charged with sexual battery for touching a classmate “inappropriately” and stuffing him in a locker.

Are there more of these strange incidents occurring or are schools taking trangressions more seriously and following through on them?  At the middle school level, are we attaching sexual meaning to events that aren’t truly sexual in nature?  Are these really criminal acts or immature kids doing stupid things?

I just have a hard time believing that kids today are remarkably different than their parents or grandparents. I don’t want to excuse criminal behavior but I also don’t want to criminalize immature behaviors.

According to the AJC:

A male student was allegedly the victim of sexual battery on March 10, Davis said Wednesday. Six students at the school were identified as participants, he said. Five of those have been charged and face school disciplinary action.

The victim, a 12-year-old, was held by students, touched inappropriately, and stuffed in a locker following track practice at the school, according to WSB-TV.

66 comments Add your comment

Enlightened

March 31st, 2010
10:04 pm

I too, don’t want to excuse criminal behavior but don’t want to criminalize immature behaviors. But to answer your question “Are we criminalizing being 13 and stupid?’ ABSOLUTELY!

Say No To Hate

March 31st, 2010
10:17 pm

Our schools need to not accept inappropriate behavior. Bullying, and violence are permitted in my DCSS elementary school, so why wouldn’t this be acceptable for middle school students to do. I hear administrators make excuses and dismiss for behaviors that would get children thrown in jail as adults. Until the administration takes discipline issues seriously and principals aren’t afraid of loosing their job if too many discipline reports are written up, than the schools will remain dangerous and thugs will prevail.

Agree with Enlightened

March 31st, 2010
10:27 pm

A teacher once told me she wish that middle school could be eliminated. One, because its just sheer repetition. Two, a new and young teenage mind is as the person said before, STUPID! They just don’t think of the consequences. With the exception of the technology piece, no- kids are no different than when I was growing up. There were teens that did stupid things then and still continue today. There is one important piece missing, we had prayer in schools.

Gwinnett Parent

March 31st, 2010
10:29 pm

This reminds me of when I was in middle school and a boy touched a girl on the breast in homeroom. Eventhough the girl complained and was obviously upset, this boy was not even disciplined. This same boy is doing hard time as a serial rapist. No.. things have not changed. This happened over 25 yrs ago. Guess he was just being a silly boy, at least that’s what the school thought.

totalspill

March 31st, 2010
10:32 pm

These comments were sent to Jodie at WSBTV earler regarding the story:

Jodie,

I would like to bring some clarity to the 5:00 story that you reported from the Dekalb Middle School . As a parent of a student at the school I am concerned about the image that your story portrayed regarding our school, community and the students in the school. Your story is totally inconsistent with the facts uncovered in the school’s official investigation and totally inconsistent with statements made by the alleged victim himself. My child was not involved, but I know the events that occurred and many parents are concerned about your report.

This was clearly a case of locker room horseplay that went a bit too far. Even the child/victim has stated that during the whole incident he was laughing and he stated that they always play like that in the locker room. He stated that he only got offended when one student touched him inappropriately.

The untruths that were reported in your story are as follows and the “official” records from the school system’s investigation will confirm this:

1. I am not sure who this parent was that you interviewed, but the records show that at no point did a child run to anyone to report an incident. The account that this parent told was totally false. The credibility and reliability of the people that you chose to put on TV was more than questionable. This person had no credibility.

2. Nobody ever took the child’s clothes off and the official records will confirm this.

3. The child was NOT placed in a locker naked. This is totally incorrect.

I am concerned about such irresponsible reporting and the effects that it may have on a school system and the children involved, because the perception that your story created made these kids look like animals. As far as the supervision in the locker room and at the school everyone should be concerned about that, but as a parent of a student at the school I feel that such reporting is unwarranted and not responsible on the part of WSBTV.

Agree with Enlightened

March 31st, 2010
10:44 pm

To totalspill, thank you for the clarification. Just goes to show you how the media has and continues to paint the negative pictures that it so often does of our community without ever being confronted.

twisted

March 31st, 2010
11:10 pm

Not saying that things don’t happen that need to be addressed. However I too have witnessed teenage boys doing immature things and then it getting totally twisted and turned around. By the time I re-heard the story these boys were being accused of being viewed as sexual predators. All because of a game called truth or dare! Everything is blown out of porportion these days. You can’t even look at someone one way and not be accused of something! Yet the real rapist and murderers and being let out of jail. Go figure.

Ole Guy

April 1st, 2010
12:11 am

We used to rub Bengay into the jock straps of a few team mates while they were not watching…made for some temporary distraction from the pains of football practice. When the coach found out, he first asked for the culprit(s) to step forward. Upon the culprit(s) decision to remain anonymous, the coach lined us all up and administered three pops on the six with that dreaded paddle.

I don’t know if events like this served their intended purpose, or simply drew us together in a common bond of shared adversity…the pc gods have really screwed up a coupla generations.

Terry

April 1st, 2010
1:39 am

I’m the parent of a student at Stephenson Middle and your story was a total fabrication. My son is very good friends with the “victim” and we all know that this was just boys being boys. The kids were horseplaying in the locker room and the “victim” didnt seem to mind. The 8th graders were playing with the 7th graders. Nothing was of a sexual nature and it will be shameful to label these kids as sexual predators. You guys are pitiful and will do anything to sell a paper or a story. These are our kids and we will not allow them to be portrayed that way. As for the poster who talked about the serial rapist, get a life.

Stop finger pointing

April 1st, 2010
2:01 am

I find it offensive of parents supporting wrong doing in or out of a locker room. Things could have totally went bad if the child had suffered any injuries or suffocated. Parents talk with your children about taking responsibility for their actions. They were at school…not at home, on the way home or in their parent’s care.This behavior along with the 3 young men dancing and gyrating in a music class in which the teacher was terminated is self-destructive and sends the wrong message. Enough of passing the buck…stand up and be parents and not their friends. Stop supporting wrongful actions of these children and tell them to save the horseplay for your homes…not our schools…This would not be an issue to report if it had not occured to begin with.

Teaching in FL is worse

April 1st, 2010
5:20 am

Right or not, we teachers get crucified in the press either way. If the child who was harrassed/bullied committed suicide, everyone would ask, “Why was nothing done?”

I personally prefer to err on the conservative side. I’d rather be called too strict. Lately I have been very sympathetic with police. It damned if you do and damned if don’t.

Old School

April 1st, 2010
6:02 am

Whether the story was incorrectly reported or not, I take everything I hear and read with a very big grain of salt… especially anonymous posts. I’ve been in education for over 36 years and know that unless I witness something first hand, there’s often a lot of extras added to the story each time it is related. Kid truth does contain some fact but there’s a lot of self-preservation mixed in which alters the reality.
That being said, our children are not the same innocent kids of yesterday. Many are just plain meaner than they used to be and that saddens me.

Norma Rae

April 1st, 2010
6:15 am

Sheesh, didn’t anyone see the movie, “Porky’s?” But seriously, Old School is right on.

MS Man

April 1st, 2010
6:51 am

By the posts on here, it looks like if school raise class sizes (as most are and the legislature has approved) then there is no hope for disciplining disruptive students. Obviously, kids should be allowed to do what they want even if it includes bullying, intimidation, inappropriate touching, or just being down right mean and disrespectful to one another. I think this is more telling of the lack of support for education in this state than even the budgetary problems districts are having.

A Different Opinion

April 1st, 2010
7:34 am

Local news coverage in Atlanta is pitiful at best and WSB-TV seems to be the gang leader in providing news that is the most liberal in the south with people like Monica what’s her name (it’s a horrible crime, please don’t smile while you’re reporting on it) and Johnny Blah-Blah Pruitt following right along. It does not surprise me that the story reported by this station was a mess. Folks, this was a prank, pure and simply……these kind of things have been happening for generations and it’s all a part of growing up……WSB-TV, get your priorities straight and stop reporting on things like this that don’t belong on our TV Screens……if you’re gonna be a news program, report only on those things that are newsworthy.

Elizabeth

April 1st, 2010
8:30 am

Kids of today are NOT the same as kids of yesterday. Yes, their brain and maturity development are the same. But today kids are bombarded from all sides with violent , bullying, and sexual behavior from every electronic medium available. Add to that the fact that parents of today think that their children can do no wrong and the fact that many people IN THIS BLOG are passing this incident off as a normal, high spirited prank means that kids to day do not have the controls upon acceptqable behavior that used to be in place. Kids today run the schools and thieir parents and they know it.

If the boy bullied in this incident had taken his own life or brought gun to school, the school would be comdemned for not doing something. Yet when the school takes a hard line on these issues, they ar villified for over reacting. We cannot win.

I was bullied in high school, although only verbally for the most part. But in 1960-65, such bullying was dismissed with the “sticks and stones” comment. I hust received an invitation to my 45th high school reunion at Jonesboro High School in Clayton County. I have never been to a reunion and I never will go. Why would I want to see people who treated me as an object of scorn, ridicule, and verbally abused me, ignored me, and laughed at me behind my back for 5 years? I stopped caring my senior year, so it does not hurt anymore. But my real friends from high school are still my best friends. I have no desire to associate with the ones who treated me and some of my friends in that manner. I am certain they have not changed.They probably still treat the different ones in the same way. And you know who you are, JSHS class of 1965.

It always amazes me that some parents think tht “boys will be boys” and that this is part of a boy ritual of some kind. Harrassment is unacceptable in any form and should be dealt with severely. But, as usual, the schools are vilified no matter which way they handle it. Either way, we are doomed because no one will let us, the experts, do anything to the precious little darlings that are, in reality, controlling their parents and the schools. We are held hostage by an entitled generation who thinks that they can do no wrong and should never have consequences for thier actions. I don’t care how much you think that boy “enjoyed ” it, I promise you, he was crying inside. Don’t believe it? Be glad he did not show up with a weapon one day or you might have had another Columbine. And I am NOT exagerating.

no mas

April 1st, 2010
8:31 am

Maureen-

I refer you to your own blog entry of 29 March “Why Didn’t Someone Save Pheobe?”

http://blogs.ajc.com/get-schooled-blog/2010/03/29/was-irish-teen-driven-to-suicide-by-unchecked-bullying-in-her-new-american-school/

Imagine what the 12-year-old victim in this case felt like. Imagine what he went through when word spread – and it did, because the boys who allegedly attacked him were eager to tell everybody. Imagine what he will continue to go through.

Allen

April 1st, 2010
8:52 am

Not sure, based on conversations here, of the particulars of what actually happened–but TAH’S WHAT A TRIAL IS FOR. Boys being boys has been the excuse too often–I’d far rather see a trial, even if all are acquitted, than to have another Jaheem Herrera half million $ coverup.

Roach

April 1st, 2010
9:02 am

Why wait? Let’s start giving the little abusers a pass early on, so they learn that there often are no consequences for violating others. And let’s start teaching victims early on that no one cares about them, and they should carry weapons if they want to feel safe. Maybe you concerned souls would like to volunteer to be victimized, in their place? Yep, good lessons all around, and the earlier the better.

Pam

April 1st, 2010
9:11 am

We have let this kind of bullying and bad behavior go unnoticed for too long. These acts need to be addressed and taken seriously. The time of over-looking or ignoring this type of behavior is no more. Our children need discipline, responsibility and consequences for the actions. IT IS NOT OKAY!!!

DeKalb Conservative

April 1st, 2010
9:13 am

What was sexual about this?

mystery poster

April 1st, 2010
9:13 am

I think you can expand that statement to:

Are we criminalizing any age person for being stupid.

Just look at the lewd dancing trial.

Also, I don’t think people are saying there shouldn’t be consequences for these actions, they are just saying the consequences should NOT be criminal.

Hey, It's Enrico Pallazzo!

April 1st, 2010
9:15 am

No Mas is correct. Two days ago this blog was afire with “why didn’t the teachers, adminstrators and parents do something to protect Phoebe?” Today, it is just boys being boys. You can not have it both ways. Either both incidents are wrong or they are both right. I would say punish the perpetrators and protect the victim in all cases.

c mix

April 1st, 2010
9:20 am

I also agree that they should be punished, but by running laps after practice or somthing like that. Not being charged with commiment of a crime….

Gwinnett Parent

April 1st, 2010
10:10 am

Totalspill- “He stated that he only got offended when one student touched him inappropriately.” Isn’t this the whole point? Again, going back to the girl in my 8th grade homeroom class. She did not complain until she was touched inappropriately. I would hate to have been the teacher that pushed it under the rug. She might have been able to help prevent something more sinister. Touching anyone inappropriately is a serious offense, not matter what gender they are. If the student got offended, that’s enough. Perhaps the parents need to explain to their children about touching in appropriately or they might need to learn about boundaries themselves.

H

April 1st, 2010
11:01 am

Amen Ole Guy…for those of you who may be misinformed, let me explain how corporal punishment would work in today’s world as opposed to when “Ole Guy” was in school. First of all, corporal punishment is still legal in the state of Georgia as well as many other states (mainly in the south). However, it is left up to the individual school boards whether or not to implement. Many of those counties who choose to allow corporal punishment have the parents sign a waiver either agreeing or not agreeing for such discipline. The waiver basically states that if your child commits an offence their consequence may result in a paddling. If parents refused to sign the waiver and their child commits an offence, then the parent is required to come pick their child up immediately. If the parent can’t come pick the child up, then the sheriff or student resource officer will take the child to the parent. If the parent pulls the old “I can’t take the child at this time”, then the child will be taken to the Division of Family and Children Services. This puts the responsibility of discipline back on the parents, not the schools. However, there are kids who never get discipline from home and come to school lacking that structure or “fear of consequences”. Schools have to take part in the students discipline and behavior in order to run an effective school. In the rural counties where CP is still used, the procedure works like this: A student receives an office referral which is sent to the administration, the administration reviews the referral and the students past disciplinary record. The administrator deems a “fitting” consequence/punishment for the infraction (may not be CP). Keep in mind, in order for CP to work effectively, there must be a line drawn. You don’t spank a kid for childish irresponsibility…however, willful defiance would be deemed an offence worthy of CP. In this particular case of horseplay…well, it would have to be investigated by the administration properly in order to determine an appropriate form of discipline.

jj

April 1st, 2010
11:06 am

Interesting reading the comments. There are two types of respondants / parents in these responses. 1) They are well grounded, have involvement with their child and school and tell their kids there are consequences for your actions. 2) It’s not my fault I’m too busy, it’s the schools responsibility, the government will take care of everything. Personally I prefer group #1 who will generally use common sense when determining how to solve a problem, not run to the lawyers. Common sense….not so common anymore.

gsteinum

April 1st, 2010
12:25 pm

crime is big business. the prison system that goes with it is big business. social programs since raygun have been cut, under staffed and under funded. noone seems to want tax hikes for “socialism”, but noone wants funding to prisons and jails cut do they? many parents work two jobs, even with both parents working. trying kids as criminals seems to be the most convenient solution. notice i didn’t say the appropriate solution.

Panda8

April 1st, 2010
12:43 pm

It does seem sad when children may be treated as criminals for something they do in school…. but that would certainly be the result if they did those things in any other public place, so they ought to be aware of the possible consequences (it’s hard to tell what the details actually are on this incident but more in general….). Obviously the school’s non-court sort of punishments and resources have entirely failed once it escalates to that point. If running laps didn’t stop any more kid-like sort of harassment, it is obviously inadequate once it goes further. Suspension often means left at home alone to play video games – that’s practically a reward. Detention is often excused if a parent complains due to schedules/ transportation/ clubs. The schools have only so many things they can do – especially now. The punishments are quite limited and many children aren’t bothered by any of the punishments available – particularly if those aren’t backed up at home.
Eventually it reaches a point where the options are ignore it or get the cops – and I’d prefer to see the victims protected with a slight overreaction than to let a bully terrorize their classmates unrestrained. If they are truly incapable of knowing any better, then they pose the same or more risk anywhere outside school with no teachers to intervene, and there’d be no safety keep this out of courts net there. We do them a disservice when these actions aren’t taken seriously – they hurt the victims and make the bullies believe they can break rules and laws without consequence.

Ole Guy

April 1st, 2010
12:55 pm

H, thanks for the description of current-day protocol in the administration of corporal punishment. Not to ruffle any religous feathers, but it seems sort of like trying to do the dirty deed through a paper bag…possible in theory; doubtful in outcome. Talk about a self-defeating mechanism.

Huh?

April 1st, 2010
12:59 pm

Maureen,

In an age where kids are being bullied so bad that they’re considering suicide, and some following through with it, I don’t see how you could ask such a question. How quickly we forget Jaheem Herrera, right in our own backyard.

I have yet to see where such an extreme consequence has occured elsewhere, so I’m guessing the severity of the offense made it warranted. But of course no one wants to see kids held accountable for their actions anymore. Just ask any given school teacher what these kids are able to get away with these days.

What if that 12 year old was your kid? If you have “a hard time believing that kids today are remarkably different than their parents or grandparents” I urge you to take a look at our current crime statistics. We are NOT living in those days anymore.

These days, you get into a fight, and actually win, someone might come back for your life. All of you who think this isn’t a big deal and that these kids are being unfairly criminalized, I urge you to watch American Teenager, these kids are not only brutal but desensitized to their actions. 20/20 did a follow-up special on bullying where a young girl was practically bragging on how she drove a classmate to commit suicide. It was like a badge of honor for her and sickening to watch.

If you don’t think this is a big deal, tell that to these kids’ parents.

Huh?

April 1st, 2010
1:02 pm

“There were teens that did stupid things then and still continue today. There is one important piece missing, we had prayer in schools.”

We also had corporal punishment, and teachers who were revered by parents. You are fooling yourselves if you think there hasn’t been a generational shift for the worst.

Huh?

April 1st, 2010
1:15 pm

All these “concerned parents” who know so much about the story, I dare you to downplay it when it happens to your kid. Most of you would have a lawyer before the bell rang.

Another thing that makes us VERY different from this generation.

Huh?

April 1st, 2010
1:24 pm

“I don’t care how much you think that boy “enjoyed ” it, I promise you, he was crying inside.”

“NO Snitching”…for those who think these kids are like us

Huh?

April 1st, 2010
1:32 pm

H-

I don’t know what county you and Ole guy came up in but I was once “paddled” for missing detention. This was the early 90s.

Huh?

April 1st, 2010
1:34 pm

I guess my other posts were eaten by the blog monster

H

April 1st, 2010
1:48 pm

In my opinion…schools should be able to have CP in their arsenal of behavior consequences. Schools having to control unruly students without the option of using (or at least them knowing you can use) CP is just like sending our soldiers to Afghanistan and telling them they can only use .22 caliber weapons to fight the enemy with…(knowing damn well if we used what we really had in our arsenal the war would be over in a heartbeat). It’s like fighting with one arm tied behind your back…and yes, it’s all for political correctness. The abuse of CP, or the “on-the-spot” paddling, by just any ole school personal which (Ole Guy experienced), is the primary reason that you don’t see it as much today. CP needs to be administered behind closed doors (with witnesses) by an administrator. Let’s take the bible out of it for a moment, we can still have separation of church and state if you apply scientific research… Research shows that when you associate physical pain with certain undesirable behaviors those behaviors can be prevented. Perfect example: The shock collar for your dog…dog barks = zap…dog associates bark with pain…But why would we want our schools to be orderly???

H

April 1st, 2010
1:52 pm

Huh?-

Again, the procedure of the administering CP is left up to the school BOE. It may differ from county to county. Sounds like the school system you were in was kinda lax at the time.

Gwinnett Teacher

April 1st, 2010
2:25 pm

My 12 year old daughter tells me what goes on in her middle school on a daily basis-she had come to believe that it’s “boys being boys” behavior even though we have called the school and brought these events to their attention. Boys regularly make sexual comments to girls about their bodies.The first time she told me it occurred she told me the teacher heard it and did nothing except tell the boy to be quiet. The second through fifth time my daughter retorted “shut up you’re a pervert” which gave her the power.Like I told my daughter “it is normal to have those thoughts, but’s abnormal to say it”. Middle school students need to be taught what is ok and what isn’t ok. They see inappropriate material in television, films, and the internet, so they think its perfectly fine to tell a 6th grader that she has a nice … Schools must explain that these comments aren’t ok and schools must have a clear cut consequence for such behavior.

Philosopher

April 1st, 2010
4:57 pm

@H: Touch my kid and you will pay for it for as long as you live!!
Having said that-and I mean every word of it- not one of my kids ever even met the principal. Spanking is a lazy, bullying act of violence that gives the paddler a great sense of power and satisfaction and is only a temporary solution to any problem. It has been proven over and over again that kids can be disciplined without hitting. We did it and raised 3, great kids who never bullied, fought or behaved disrepectfully. I wouldn’t even want you TEACHING my kids!!

Biased?

April 1st, 2010
8:30 pm

I wonder if Maureen would be so cavalier about it if five boys had touched a 12 year old girl inappropriately?

Tony

April 1st, 2010
8:35 pm

Excuse me for being so gruff, but….

THIS KIND OF BEHAVIOR DOES NOT BELONG IN SCHOOLS AND THE STUDENTS SHOULD BE KICKED OUT.

Why do we have so many people that trivialize such atrocious behavior?

Philosopher

April 1st, 2010
8:56 pm

It seems that we adults cannot agree on what is egregious behavior vs simply fooling around. I noticed the same thing with the behavior towards Phoebe in the bullying blog. Why should adults even be having these discussions?! Why don’t adults know right from wrong? Is it any wonder with so many mixed messages that our kids can’t get it straight? We parents should have a nonnegotiable line with regard to these issues that WILL NOT be crossed. There should be no question, (and it beats me why there ever would have been!), but if there is, and your personal, religious or moral standards don’t help you, check out the law. And then the kids need to be taught, held accountable to these standards and disciplined when they cross the line…so they, too, will know right from wrong. Period!

Teacher

April 1st, 2010
9:46 pm

If the public new of half the discipline infractions going on in schools across America, they would be truly shocked. So much gets swept under the rug to keep it out of the media hands for fear of endangering a school’s reputation. If only an I-Team investigation could go into our schools, the public would get to see what a mess our schools are in due to student disruptions.

Ole Guy

April 1st, 2010
10:53 pm

Huh, thanks for including me in such august company as H. I guess, Philo, once again, we diverge, not on principle, but on application. You, sir, have created, with your family, a home environment which fosters, within children, the basic values of responsible citizenship. Armed with this value set, they approach life, in the school setting, and in their out-of-school social lives, prepared. As they enter the adult world, I have no doubt they, and their peers who have taken THEIR examples, will become excellent contributors to our society.

Unfortunately, (I would estimate) the majority of kids either not been blessed with such a nurturing home environment, have fallen into the “wrong crowd”, and have not been exposed to the positive influences of their peers, or, like yours truly, always insisted on “pushing the envelope” of acceptable decorum.

Once upon a time, Philo, it was the schools’ dual obligation to educate kids, AND to ensure, as best they could, that these “missing values” were re-acquired. This was/and, I presume continues to be accomplished through the positive influences of the adults, outside the home…teachers, coaches, Mr. So-And-So at the bakery, etc. AS A LAST RESORT, AND/OR FOR STUBBORN CEMENT HEADS LIKE YOURS TRULY, educators employed the paddle as an attention-getter, NOT TO BOLSTER THEIR EGOS, AND NOT TO GARNER A LOST SENSE OF POWER. As I have so-often indicated, the 12-year educational pipeline is a short one. Both educators, AND lawmakers of the day, realizing this, saw the wisdom in relying on corporal punishment in two lights: First and foremost, it was (and would be today) the quickest means of getting the wayward kid back on track. The dual purpose here was obviously saving the kid, over time and MANY paddle sessions…AND restoring the classroom to an optimal learning environment. Secondly (and this is, admittedly, pure conjecture), CP, or the behavior-altering threat of CP, created the path to responsible adulthood.

I am no sociologist, but I would surmise that rates of incarceration, and all the wonderful earmarks we see today which only point to a slow decline in civilization can all be traced back to that lack of fear in the schools…fear being merely the “rough diamond” form of discipline.

As usual, Philo, I enjoy sharing our thoughts.

Philosopher

April 2nd, 2010
7:55 am

Ole Guy- I would hope (and I do assume so) that your idea of “pushing the envelope” of acceptable decorum” does not include touching others in an inappropriate manner or joining in with a bunch of thugs bullying a young girl to the edge of suicide and beyond. For those kids, the time for parental discipline that would have molded a decent kid is past…time for the real authorities to step in.
As for the school control issues…nothing you can say will make beating a kid with a paddle OK…no exceptions. But I bet if the schools would step up to the plate and turn kids who disrupt and disobey OUT of the school and back to the parents to deal with, there would be a big change. The way I see it, the teachers and administrators are afraid of the parents when it is the kids who should be afraid ..afraid of what their parents will do when the PARENTS have to find alternative education for their kids.

You Asked

April 2nd, 2010
9:10 am

Schools are overreacting to stupid but non-criminal acts. They don’t want to take responsibility for disciplining the kiddies so they elevate these dumb acts by reporting them as crimes and having the juvenile justice system take care of it.

My son was accused of wanting to plant bombs in his Jr. High by an administrator who was listening to a group of students determined to get their classmates in trouble. They thought it was a funny joke that got 36+ classmates expelled without evidence. The “evidence” against my son was a map of the Jr. High with various locations highlighted on the map. When the investigation looked into the map it was found that the map was one supplied by the school on the first day of classes and the locations highlighted were the rooms where his classes were held. He highlighted them the first day so he could find his new classrooms.

A friend of his was also caught in the “terrorist sting” when he was accused of having a gun at school. After two weeks of in school suspension based on the accusation no evidence was found and he was returned to class with no explaination or apology.

Similar things happened to 36+ classmates who were expelled for the year without due process or evidence- just accusations by a cabal of classmates who learned to work the system with the cooperation of a borderline paranoid assistant principal.

One Juvenile Justice worker I talked to said they were fed up with the schools pawning off what should be in house discipline on them. It wasted time and resources better spend dealing with youth involved in real criminal behavior not disciplinary problems and imagined crimes.

You Asked

April 2nd, 2010
9:20 am

Philosipher – could you define the difference between beating a kid and a pop on the backside with a paddle. I suspect old timer isn’t talking about a beating but more of a psycologically impactful but non-harmful pop that leaves no bruises or trauma, but creates embarassment for the misbehaving student(s).

There is a huge difference.

Philosopher

April 2nd, 2010
10:06 am

@You Asked: Hitting is hitting-there is absolutely no difference…no matter how you try to white-wash it. It is still violence by an adult against a child. Persons who choose to paddle do so because they like to. Discuss it with the kid from Tennessee with the principal-induced bruised kidneys. Discuss it with all the battered and murdered kids around the country. Adults have no business hitting children-especially adults with no emotional ties to the kids. If you can’t discipline without hitting, you are lazy, unimaginative and a bully…period!

You Asked

April 2nd, 2010
10:18 am

Bruised kidneys is abuse. A pop on the butt is not.

Not all hitting is the same. Ask my wife who was beaten by her step father and no one from DFCS stepped in to help. She occasionally spanked when our children were little (running into the street, putting objects into an electric socket, immenent danger stuff) but there was never abuse.

Her sister (another victim of abuse) was so afraid to discipline her children that we often watched her in tears as her 3 year old boy refused to obey, throwing tantrums and making his mother pick up after the messes he made. That was sad and wrong in a whole other way.

There is a huge difference between corporal punishement applied judiciously and mildly and abuse. I’m not a fan of corporal punishment in schools for the record. I just think saying all spankings or light paddlings are abusive is a silly and sometimes dangerous overgeneralization.

I’ve raised 7 well adjusted children by the way (all from the same marriage). My rule of thumb is always show them more love than discipline and the studies about the influence of parents validate that approach.