Police arrested a six-year-old boy after he threatened, and then struck, a principal. Notes Reuters:
Police in a small Indiana town hauled a six-year-old from his elementary school and charged him with battery and intimidation after he kicked and threatened a principal, police said on Wednesday.
The incident followed one earlier in April where police handcuffed a 6-year-old girl who was screaming and crying and had injured a principal and damaged property at an elementary school in Milledgeville, Georgia. She was not charged.
The Indiana student, who had been suspended from school recently for biting and hitting a staff member, was arrested April 18 at Hendricks Elementary School in Shelbyville, which is about 30 miles southeast of Indianapolis.
On Twitter, David Kozin flagged Radley Balko: “
@radleybalko I dislike this theme. RT @youranonnews: Police arrest 6-year-old who threatens, kicks principal.” Balko, whose writing focuses on civil liberties abuses, retweeted in endorsement (I assume, anyway, since he’s disapprovingly linked to similar stories in the past).
Now, to be clear, I’m with Balko on this one: Arresting little kids for getting into fights in school is asinine. But it’s not the school’s fault or the principal’s fault or even really the police’s fault. Rather, the fault lies with our ridiculous society and its tendency to permit lawsuits over every stupid little thing. In a sane and rational world, a principal would, after being threatened by a child, be allowed to place his hands on said child and physically move him into a “timeout” chair or (some-such nonsense) and then, if the child struck the principal or one of his employees, be allowed to (gently, always gently) show the child the error of his ways physically. Possibly with a paddle.
If you touch a kid as a teacher, however, you’re liable to get sued into oblivion. (Of course, parents are forced to resort to lawsuits to fire even the worst educators since teachers unions have made it virtually impossible for school systems to fire lousy teachers, but that’s a post for another day.) And maybe that’s the way this generation of namby-pamby parents wants it, what with their “self-esteem building” and other various and sundry bullshit. But let’s ask ourselves what’s more sane: A world in which a principal can give a demon-child a quick swat on the butt, or a world in which said demon-child is dealt with by local PD because trial lawyers and whiny parents have tied his hands?
(And……CUE outraged parents in the comments. It’s fine, I deserve it. Go ahead. I am, how do you say, a “terrible person.”)
(Don’t waste my time with “physical punishment doesn’t change the behavior of children” comments, though. I find that line or reasoning to be absurd. Worked for millennia, still works today.)