Precinct 333

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Disciplinary Issue Or Criminal Conduct?

I've been quite clear that I have a problem with school violence, and that I believe kids who engage in violence at school need to be dealt with severely.

But that said, I've meant real, actual violence, not fantasy violence.

Goofiness like this Florida case is simply wrong. It is zero tolerance run wild.

Two boys were arrested for making pencil-and-crayon stick figure drawings depicting a 10-year-old classmate being stabbed and hung, police said. The children, charged with a felony, were taken from school in handcuffs.

The 9- and 10-year-old boys were arrested Monday and charged with making a written

One drawing showed the two boys standing on either side of the other boy and "holding knives pointed through" his body, according to a police report. The figures were identified by written names or initials.

Another drawing showed a stick figure hanging, tears falling from his eyes, with two other stick figures standing below him. Other pieces of scrap paper listed misspelled profanities and the initials of the boy who was allegedly threatened.

The boys' parents said they thought the children should be punished by the school and families, not the legal system.

Felony charges? You've got to be kidding me. This is a matter to be handled internally by a school disciplinary system, not by the juvenile justice system. What's the beef with the other kid, and why are they drawing the pictures. Is there an actual intent to do harm to the other child, or is it just the venting of some sort of frustration. Sounds to me like there is a need for counseling, not incarceration. Or maybe just a change of television and movie viewing habits.

But in this post-Columbine world, school kids who engage in normal, even age-appropriate, behavior (or in this case, misbehavior) are determined to be criminals.

And in this case the instruments of the crime are crayons and a few sheets of paper, not guns, knives and bombs.


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a
Creative Commons License.