I can’t believe [untitled] generated so many responses… my response was so long that it warranted a new post… here’s some source material: Kindergartner Charged With Felony Tantrum. Also this must-read article on how schools are turning discipline over to the police as standard operating procedure: http://www.advancementproject.org/reports/ArstdDvpm_5.pdf. (I know I said must read, but truthfully I haven’t read it yet. I will…)
My points with the original post (and the original article, I believe):
1) police are not equipped to handle children; if they create a children’s unit with trained children’s counsellors and child-sized handcuffs and keeps them isolated from adult criminals, well then maybe that’s O—- what the hell am I saying? that’s still messed up. I know many of you will even deride this half-way solution as “too liberal”, so I guess that’s not a smart idea on my part.
2) there are a lot of things that people do that we don’t like, but criminalizing the activity is the not the right thing to do. I’ve ranted on this before — the long list of marginally bad things that we’ve criminalized has marginalized crime in general. you all know how I feel about seatbelt laws, cellphone-driving laws, etc. throwing a tantrum in school should not be a crime. the kid should have received punishment and consequences, but from the school and parents and not from the state.
3) teachers who complain about being “victims”, “assaulted” by a 6-year-old are pansies; if they are backed into that corner by liberal lawyers, well that sucks, but it doesn’t change the fact that adopting a victim mentality like that makes you a weak person. if the situation is so horribly dire, grow a pair and leave. go find a school that will back up and support their teachers, or find another vocation where you are not expected to be treated like a punching bag for troubled youth. trust me, I’d much rather see the institutions change to empower teachers than see them all leave, and I’m not saying that this would be an easy decision or process, but life isn’t easy or fair. deal with it.
and I know you’re all going to think this is a huge stretch, but I believe the impotence of teachers and loss of control in the classroom is directly related to the fact that it’s a public institution. if educational institutions were privatized and could decide who gets to stay and who is expelled, that would contribute to a solution. this gets back to my whole “get government out of education” theme…
another point, branching off #3 above — the whittling away at teachers rights/power in the classroom (to the point that they are helpless victims of a 6 year-old) seems to be directly comparable to the reduction of our individual liberties in the name of fighting drugs, terrorism, immigration (etc). I try to demonstrate examples where conceding power and decisions to the state is a bad idea, I’m accused of being a liberal (which I am, in the classical sense, not in the Liberal-vs-Conservative sense). so which is it? please, choose one side or the other, just stop being hypocritical.