Monday, April 25, 2005

Handcuffing Kindergarteners....

My first reaction was no way. What could a five year old possibly do to warrant being handcuffed? I was thinking of one of my little guys in cuffs...and so very scared.

Then I watched the whole video. This little girl (Jieesha -spelling of which I have no idea) is HORRIBLE. An undisciplined abhorrent child, with a “Future Resident of a Women's Correctional Facility" sign practically hanging around her neck. I can't fathom ANY jury having one ounce of compassion for this child...nor should they for the mother. Who raises a child that acts like this? Which one of us would have ever destroyed our classrooms -ripping down and tearing up bulletin boards, then destroyed the Assistant principle's office and then repeatedly punched her like a little wild beast? It would have never even been a possibility in my mind--and nor would it ever be in the minds of my children.

Reporters are saying that the girl "appears to have calmed down", before the police cuffed her. Wrong. The girl sees the police and then sits down. The school called the girl's mother to inform them of the situation, yet the mother couldn't come get her. So what other recourse than to call the police? Teachers can't lay a hand on a child and are scared to death of law suits-- and that is quite apparent from this video as the Asst. Principle allows the girl to punch her over and over keeping her own hands in view of the camera. 30K a year (or whatever paltry salaries teachers are bringing in these days) is NOT worth having to deal with someone else's parenting disaster.

Something else that is not being reported is the police KNOW the five year old already. Upon entering the room, the male officer says, "Jieesha, do you remember me? I'm the one you told your mom put handcuffs on ya." At five she has had previous dealings with the police...where is DHS? Why isn't the mother in handcuffs? Why are the police being penalized for someone else's poor parenting?

This may have been Jieesha's one shot at being 'scared straight' --this may have altered her seemingly apparent path right to lock up. But no, her mother will press charges -further undermining authority (what the hell, she already assaulted a Principle at age 5) and will send the message to her daughter that her behavior was acceptable and the police are people with no real authority. This lesson will carry right through into her teenage years and will grant her the permanent wardrobe of an orange jumpsuit.

As you watch the video and see this girl destroying everything and being violent (the newspapers are saying 'unruly'), you really have to credit this teacher for being dammed patient. There is NO WAY I would have let that little girl destroy my classroom and oh, the temptation to knock her out would have been overwhelming. (and this from someone that doesn't hit her kids...)

My vote is to lock up the mom... Can we get a law that holds parents directly responsible for the actions of kids under 10? If they are acting like that already there must be something real bad going on at home. Unfortunately in Jieesha’s case, it would seem the damage is already done –so we now have to deal with it from here. The question is how.

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