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Author Topic: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum  (Read 3779 times)

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Offline JeramiahhTopic starter

Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« on: April 20, 2007, 08:46:28 PM »
http://www.slate.com/id/2164004/entry/0/fr/rss/


Officers reported to say, afterwards, that "Our city streets are now safer, with this dangerous menace behind bars."

Seriously, though, a kindergartener? I'd like to think the teacher has enough spine to stand up to someone hald their height, but I guess the police had to. Sad.

Offline Vandren

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #1 on: April 20, 2007, 09:34:55 PM »
Yep.  Had the teacher touched the kid, there'd be lawsuits galore.  Heck, even if the kid had been a 6'2", 400 lb. 21 year old football player and the teacher a 5'4", 120 lb. 40-something professor there'd be lawsuits left and right, these days.  And being sued for abuse, inappropriate contact, etc. even if the case is thrown out, can ruin a teacher's career.

One of the first things we were told on day one of orientation as teaching assistants at a state college was to never touch our students, regardless of gender.  Especially if there are no witnesses around.  (Most of us bend this and shake hands or whatnot in greeting or farewells during conferences or office hour tutoring if the student initiates it, though.)

Offline Elvi

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #2 on: April 21, 2007, 02:57:42 AM »
This is absolutely disgusting!

A six year old having a tantrum is a 'natural' thing, no matter whether she lashed out at a teacher or not, 6 year olds cannot control their emotions when they get into that state.

How do I know this?
I have an 11 year old who has a history of frustration tantrums.
On occasions when this sort of thing had happened at school, we were called in to deal with it and did.
Had the school called the police, not only would the police refuse to deal with it, (Unless she had become a knife wielding lunatic and actually was a threat to other's safety) there would have been a major enquiry over why the teacher/head of the school had actually taken that measure in the first place. 

Here, when this happens, if the child cannot be taken out of the class then the class is taken away from the child.
The rest of the pupils would have been taken elsewhere and she would have been left to calm down on her own (with an adult around to ensure she wasn't going to harm herself of course), until her parents could be contacted.

And you know what else is unforgivable?
Not only has this poor little bugger been through this ordeal, (good grief by her very actions and the police report, you can see how frightened she must have been), she has actually been NAMED in public and on the internet. 

Offline Elvi

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2007, 03:11:38 AM »
http://www.wftv.com/news/11455199/detail.html

Following the links from the page Jeramiahh gave, I think this may give a better idea of it all.

Though any parent who says their child is an angel should be smiled at sweetly and told that they are living in a land of make believe.......*smiles*

Offline Vandren

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2007, 08:14:45 AM »
On occasions when this sort of thing had happened at school, we were called in to deal with it and did.
Had the school called the police, not only would the police refuse to deal with it, (Unless she had become a knife wielding lunatic and actually was a threat to other's safety) there would have been a major enquiry over why the teacher/head of the school had actually taken that measure in the first place. 

Here, when this happens, if the child cannot be taken out of the class then the class is taken away from the child.
The rest of the pupils would have been taken elsewhere and she would have been left to calm down on her own (with an adult around to ensure she wasn't going to harm herself of course), until her parents could be contacted.

Ideally, yes, this is how such situations should be handled.  However, there's a bit of a difference between U.S. and U.K. cultures . . . U.K. society is much more sane.  As previously noted, in the U.S. had the teacher touched the child there'd be lawsuits flying left and right.  And most U.S. schools don't have the classroom space for "the class to be taken away from the child" (which itself is a legal can of worms in the U.S. and opens the teacher up to all sorts of litigation).

Quote
Not only has this poor little bugger been through this ordeal, (good grief by her very actions and the police report, you can see how frightened she must have been), she has actually been NAMED in public and on the internet.

That one is a problem, potentially.  I don't recall whether laws regarding publication of the names of minors involved in "crimes" (whether real ones of not) are done on a federal or state level, but I think it's federal.  If that is the case, then the author of the article and her source can be in serious legal trouble.

Offline Elvi

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #5 on: April 21, 2007, 08:33:53 AM »
Ideally, yes, this is how such situations should be handled.  However, there's a bit of a difference between U.S. and U.K. cultures . . . U.K. society is much more sane.  As previously noted, in the U.S. had the teacher touched the child there'd be lawsuits flying left and right.  And most U.S. schools don't have the classroom space for "the class to be taken away from the child" (which itself is a legal can of worms in the U.S. and opens the teacher up to all sorts of litigation).

The same here, gone are the days where a teacher could give a child a quick clip across the ear for being cheeky, or even think about any other punishment and there are very stringent rules as to how a child should be 'handled'.

As far as classroom space is concerned, it would not have been hard to allow the bunch of fellow six year olds to have had an extra bit of play time.
We are talking about very young children here, it's not as though they were in the middle of a life changing exam for goodness sake.

Quote
That one is a problem, potentially.  I don't recall whether laws regarding publication of the names of minors involved in "crimes" (whether real ones of not) are done on a federal or state level, but I think it's federal.  If that is the case, then the author of the article and her source can be in serious legal trouble.

The second link (the one that I posted is actually to a media website which has a clip with the mother and the child speaking on it, perhaps there was parental permission given.
Though that would be one thing that I certainly would not do.

Offline Vandren

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #6 on: April 21, 2007, 09:49:21 AM »
As far as classroom space is concerned, it would not have been hard to allow the bunch of fellow six year olds to have had an extra bit of play time.
We are talking about very young children here, it's not as though they were in the middle of a life changing exam for goodness sake.

Unfortunately, if the teacher moves the students without high level permission, (s)he opens him/herself up to a lot of litigation, these days.  And if the principle gives permission to move them, without a clear emergecny situation (say an earthquake, hurricane, fire, etc.), (s)he becomes open to litigation.  This comes, in part, thanks to parental paranoia regarding kidnapping, school shootings, pedophiles, and accountability (even though the first three make up a negligible part of the population, the media's blown the frequency of occurances out of proportion by dwelling on them 24/7 for months).  The fourth comes, in large part, thanks to "No Child Left Behind" plus budget concerns and parental paranoia, from what I've been seeing and hearing in discussions among educators and the restrictions placed on family members who teach pre-school through 5th grade.

On the other hand, no matter how this situation was handled: a) I expect lawsuits in the coming months and b) it's not really newsworthy, but it'll probably make the national news networks, if they tear their morbid gaze away from Virginia Tech and Anna Nicole's kid.

Offline Elvi

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #7 on: April 21, 2007, 09:56:59 AM »
OK.....
This is the scanario.

A child has a temper tantrum in their class and has worked themselves up so much, that they aren't able to control themselves.

The teacher has tried her damndest to deal with it, but not only is she getting nowhere, but the other kids are getting themselves worked up as well.

Said child kicks and fights and screams if the teacher or any other of the adults there go near them and won't leave the class.

Are you telling me that the teacher cannot say "Right come on children, lets go into the school hall and we'll have story time" or say "Right, it's a nice day, lets go and have a bit of extra play in the school yard." ?

(I am assuming here that the head of the school has been informed)

 

Offline Vandren

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #8 on: April 21, 2007, 11:46:26 AM »
Are you telling me that the teacher cannot say "Right come on children, lets go into the school hall and we'll have story time" or say "Right, it's a nice day, lets go and have a bit of extra play in the school yard." ?

Oh, the teacher could do that . . . and 6 times out of 10 there'd be no problem.  The other four times, though, the community would get up in arms, the local media would accuse the teacher of all sorts of things, the school board would probably reprimand the teacher, etc. etc.  Sadly, I've seen it happen in similar cases before (and I've heard a lot about the various school district/state required procedures for similar situations).  Unfortunately, Americans in general are happy to sue people for the smallest and dumbest things, so companies, schools, and other public institutions tend to err on the side of caution even if it makes things more difficult in the short run.

In this case, I imagine that the principle realized that all non-physical means of quieting the kid had been used.  In that situtation, I'd guess that (s)he decided no matter how it was handled after that point someone would be blasted by the media or sued and decided it would be better if that person/group was with the police, not the school.  Not knowing the entire situation, that's my best guess, based on similar occurances.

Quote from: HeretiKat
I wonder if the teacher was legally able to smack that brat after the kid had hit her.

Possibly, depends on the state, but chances are the parent(s) would start up a long term lawsuit against the teacher which, whether the court decided to even hear the case or not, would probably ruin the teacher's career for a good long time.

The only "schools" that allow the use of physical contact/force with students, generally, are children's homes (orphanages) and some particularly unruly (generally inner city) schools.  In the latter case, though, there are usually police walking the halls.  Heck, my midwestern, suburban, public high school had a full time police officer walking the halls during class times starting in 1998, give or take a year (it started after I graduated but before my little brother got there).

Just as a sign of American legal paranoia:

A couple years ago I bought a candy bar from a vending machine.  Simple, nothing out of the ordinary.  Turning the bar over, I found instructions for opening the wrapper (and I think, duh!) as well as a warning not to eat the wrapper.  A little wondering research later, I discovered that the company put the warning on the wrapper because some idiot tried eating both bar and wrapper and sued the company (sadly, I can't recall which company or candy bar anymore . . . age is taking its toll).
« Last Edit: April 21, 2007, 12:23:31 PM by Vandren »

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Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #9 on: April 21, 2007, 12:28:13 PM »
I wonder if the teacher was legally able to smack that brat after the kid had hit her.

Issue with smacking around...  How are you going to be sure that neither the smacker nor the smackee is sexualizing the contact?  And that every teacher is going to use just enough force to intimidate but not seriously harm, given various sizes and social backgrounds among both teachers and students?

If you insist on physical contact, I'd prefer that the teachers were taught some restraining holds (although the sexual issue might still apply).  Or teach them to move the student safely into a different area.  Better if there are more than one adult working in that area.  I imagine these goals are why the police were involved - they have more experience in restraining and separating.  Unless something bigger occurs, I expect the formal charge will be wiped from the kid's record.

I don't mean to imply that so many teachers or staff are going to purposely mistreat students of that age.  But you have to shield against the possibility that responses to these incidents will play into domestic abuse.  Or that they will make social myths worse.  Children may conclude that they're being assaulted by a stranger simply because adults go on and on about the reputedly high probability that they will be.  Not to mention adults constantly thinking: 'I am well aware of the power to be nasty that comes with proximity to any child I might isolate or touch in any way'...

The abusive stranger is much less common than the abusive familiar.  But we can also add symbolic force to the myth by encouraging adults to use more real force in official capacities.

Edit:  After rereading that last line, I guess part of my reasoning is: increasing the force level decreases the perceived distance, and increases the sense of intimacy.  I mean in a physical, proximity and frequency of contact sort of thing.  It's not necessarily rough or sexual -- but it creates a situation where there's more probability of those affects being perceived.  Thus we often keep restraint to the police, who are supposed to know how to do it dispassionately.  (If/when one simply must restrain kids instead of cooling and talking.)



« Last Edit: April 21, 2007, 12:35:44 PM by kylie »

Offline Vandren

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #10 on: April 21, 2007, 12:33:36 PM »
The other question that popped into my head a little while ago was: how many of the people decrying the teacher and/or school's actions have ever tried managing a room filled with 30+ six year olds?

Personally, I haven't, but one of my immediate relatives teaches pre-school and I have no clue how she deals with 15-20 three and four year olds at a time.  Even with a state mandated assistant (required after 10 or 12 kids of that age, in this state).

Offline Elvi

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2007, 03:11:53 PM »
Quote
Quote from: HeretiKat on Today at 05:15:45 pm
The teacher could do that, but why should the teacher and 20 other kids interrupt their lessons and sit in the hall because one kid is having a violent tantrum?  Having the police take the kid away let the class get back to what it was doing and protected the teacher from lawsuits and protected the class from having their classtime wasted.
I wonder if the teacher was legally able to smack that brat after the kid had hit her.

Lets not forget Herekat, we are talking about a six year old here, not a 16 year old.

As a mother of a child who has a frustration problem that often manifests itself as 'anger', I object to a child being dubbed a 'brat', simply because it was not able to control it's emotions.
Beast girl is no angel, far from it, however, she certainly is no brat.

I think it would have been a damned sight more damaging for her classmates to see her handcuffed and dragged into a Police car, than having a short time away from their lesson.
Good grief, it's like the threat of the bogy man becoming reality.
"Stop being naughty or we'll call the Police and have you dragged away to prison"  

Treated in the correct way, a 6 year old's tantrum won't last long.
There have been occasions where my daughters school, (when she was that age) has called us, we have walked the short ten minute walk there and have found her sitting quietly, ready to apologise for what she had done.

I believe the child in question kicked the teacher, this may or may not have been on perpose or by accident.

As for wondering if the teacher would be within her rights to hit back?
Do you really think that is the correct thing to do when you are trying to teach children about how they should behave.
Believe me, I have had to deal with this type of thing for the last nine years and it most certainly is not.

Offline Elvi

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #12 on: April 21, 2007, 03:17:42 PM »
The other question that popped into my head a little while ago was: how many of the people decrying the teacher and/or school's actions have ever tried managing a room filled with 30+ six year olds?

Personally, I haven't, but one of my immediate relatives teaches pre-school and I have no clue how she deals with 15-20 three and four year olds at a time.  Even with a state mandated assistant (required after 10 or 12 kids of that age, in this state).

Yes I agree......not for all the tea in china is my answer, there is no way I could do their job and all of my daughter's teachers have had my full support and sympathy.
Though it certainly would have been a different matter if they had involved the Police for an issue like this.


On your previous post Vandren.
I am still having a lot of trouble understanding what a parent would sue the teacher/school for, if they had done as I had suggested.
Could you explain please, I am really having a problem getting my head around this.

Offline Jefepato

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #13 on: April 21, 2007, 03:28:03 PM »
It's Florida.  What else is new?

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #14 on: April 21, 2007, 03:58:41 PM »
It's Florida.  What else is new?

Ah, it's Florida.
:)

Offline Pumpkin Seeds

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #15 on: April 21, 2007, 09:44:22 PM »
I will try to field your scenerio as best I can Elvi.  I'm not a teacher or mother, but this will just be my toss in for the flame.  Well, the teacher could end call an early recess for the children and send them out to the yard for playtime.  This effectively does keep the child from harming other children, but who watches the fussing six year old?  A teacher then has to watch a group of children running around the playground while caring for a screaming and ranting six year old.  Most public schools cannot afford full time teacher assistants, especially for such a young group. 

Then what happens if the event repeats itself or if a particularly vocal parent decides the teacher was wrong for interrupting class time for the actions of one child.  Suddenly the teacher is being asked why he removed the rest of the class from their education, which the teacher is paid to maintain, so they could play.  I doubt most parents would be as understanding of a tantrum if it involved the education of their little one.  So the teacher could possibly face charges of criminal neglect or whatever the equivalent would be in that case and also be fired for not doing his "job" of teaching.

I'm not saying that your way is bad or that I disagree with it, according to most studies a child throwing a temper tantrum is best dealt with in similiar ways.  The problem is that teachers are reprimanded no matter which way they move because everyone has their own idea of how a child should be disciplined and educated.  This does take us back to the US school system debate, which I'll end the train of thought now in fear of entering.  Anyway, my two cents..could be worthless..doubtfully golden.

Offline Vandren

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #16 on: April 22, 2007, 08:23:46 AM »
On your previous post Vandren.
I am still having a lot of trouble understanding what a parent would sue the teacher/school for, if they had done as I had suggested.
Could you explain please, I am really having a problem getting my head around this.

We're in the same boat on that one.  However, it's happened in the past and schools are overly careful about such things anymore.  I think part of it comes from the "my child's a darling little angel" mentality combined with a paranoid fear that pedophiles and corporal punishers are everywhere, mixed with a sad view that punishing kids means you're a bad parent (saw this last one yesterday in a video store, woman at the counter, both kids running around tearing up the place, including entering the "employees only" areas, parent just laughed along with the kids).  This all seems to be especially true of baby boomers and (I'm sorry to say) my generation.  Plus, many Americans will sue over any little thing - a "your tree dropped some leaves in my garden, I'll sue" mentality, heck people've sued restaurants because the coffee was hot and they apparently didn't realize this.  There is even a fair segment of the, non-lawyer, population that makes its living by leveling lawsuits against anyone and everyone.  Unfortunately, seeing as we have the highest number of lawyers per capita in the world . . . I don't see this changing anytime soon.

Honestly, schools are justifiably concerned about lawsuits both for the school reputation and the fact that school funding in this country - on both the federal and state levels - is abyssmally low.  Additionally, getting involved and potentially sued is more than most teachers' jobs are worth, seeing as a typical public school teacher's salary in the first few years is barely over the poverty line.  Which means that many of the best and brightest are going to other jobs - case in point, the college graduate in chemistry who enjoys teaching, could teach at a school for a starting pay of $24,000 (~12,000 pounds) a year or (s)he could go work as a chemical engineer at a company for $60-75,000 a year (~30-38,000 pounds).  With rent, bills, gas, student loans, and other things to pay, which is less stressful and better pay?  So, in the teacher's defense (s)he may not be the brightest bulb in the pack, nor might the principal for that matter.  Then there's the fact that the school board is also the one that sets up policies regarding these situations, assuming the principal was following a pre-determined policy.

Offline Elvi

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #17 on: April 22, 2007, 08:51:49 AM »
Then I am afraid that I can say nothing that would either be constructive or helpful.

It's just so sad that this is another example of how a country cannot get their priorities in the right order.


Offline Vandren

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2007, 09:13:29 AM »
Like I said, the U.K. is much saner in many respects.   :-[

Offline Vandren

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #19 on: April 22, 2007, 11:48:45 AM »
A new addendum . . .

I just talked to my pre-school teaching relative a little while ago.  She said that in the school she is at, they have a person who is specially trained to physically deal with situations like this one.  If the teachers feel that a situation has gotten out of hand and/or a student begins physically attacking other students, the teacher, or him/herself, they are supposed to call this person into the room to try to take care of the situation.

However, she added that not every building in the distict (there are five K-5 schools, two 6-8 schools, and two high schools) have one of these people.  For those schools, she said she thinks they are likely to call the police in for three reasons: 1) to have a trained professional on hand to deal with the situation, 2) to make sure an accurate report is officially filed, and 3) to provide support for the school both during and after the incident.  She also suggested that there may be a history regarding this particular student or with her siblings, if there are any, and that for this sort of school response there is probably some such history between the school and the family/student.

The other thing that came up regarding calling the parents is the question of whether it was even possible to contact them.  Three things could cause problems there: 1) parents were called, but no one answered, 2) parents moved or changed jobs and didn't bother to update their phone number(s) with the school, or 3) parents gave the school a false phone number in the first place - whether due to illegal activities, to falsify residence, or whatever.  It is entirely possible that the school tried contacting the parent(s) but was unable to do so.

She also pointed out that the teacher may not be completely coherent since she and many of her colleagues put in 10-12 hour days on average, five days a week throughout the school year, and there's only so long a person can do that before there are mental and physical effects.

Offline OldSchoolGamer

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #20 on: May 04, 2007, 04:33:29 AM »
With all the bullshit that goes on in school districts, you couldn't pay me enough to work in an American school, in any capacity.  I don't care if you paid me in gold bullion. 

Not just no, hell no.

Offline Monica

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #21 on: May 20, 2007, 01:36:18 AM »
This is absolutely disgusting!

A six year old having a tantrum is a 'natural' thing, no matter whether she lashed out at a teacher or not, 6 year olds cannot control their emotions when they get into that state.

How do I know this?
I have an 11 year old who has a history of frustration tantrums.
On occasions when this sort of thing had happened at school, we were called in to deal with it and did.
Had the school called the police, not only would the police refuse to deal with it, (Unless she had become a knife wielding lunatic and actually was a threat to other's safety) there would have been a major enquiry over why the teacher/head of the school had actually taken that measure in the first place. 

Here, when this happens, if the child cannot be taken out of the class then the class is taken away from the child.
The rest of the pupils would have been taken elsewhere and she would have been left to calm down on her own (with an adult around to ensure she wasn't going to harm herself of course), until her parents could be contacted.

And you know what else is unforgivable?
Not only has this poor little bugger been through this ordeal, (good grief by her very actions and the police report, you can see how frightened she must have been), she has actually been NAMED in public and on the internet. 


Well of course its a horrible way to handle a child's tantrum to any sane person, but this is the American justice system we're talking about here!

Granted, while this is a time of lawsuits and sexual misconduct at even a stern glance, disciplinary action at this level seems-- well, out of proportion. Any school around here, including the one I went to as a child, would have dealt firmly with the situation: though, the parents would agree with the course taken 97% of the time. Still, though, that was a time where we said prayers before we went to lunch... in a public school. Tip o' the hat to North Carolina!


Offline BK Geno

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Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #22 on: June 13, 2007, 02:44:45 PM »
One of the many things I plan to change after taking over the world.

But seriously, the lawsuit happy mentality of America can be easily explained, because of over extensive media coverage on the few people who MAKE A LIVING off of this kind of crap.

 There is a college student, can not remember where, how is making his living with 12 unregistered or aliased phones and sues telephone sales companies when they call him. He has paid for his college education with the procedes, and has enough to live luxuriously for the next 5 yrs, last I heard.

(P.S. going b memory, think I saw this on CNN, so please correct me if I am wrong here)

Offline Swedish Steel

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #23 on: June 13, 2007, 02:47:21 PM »
Huh. Such cases would be thrown right out of court here, plus he would have to pay the defendants legal costs. That's how we deal with that.

Offline Celestial Goblin

Re: Six-year-old charged with felony tantrum
« Reply #24 on: June 13, 2007, 03:00:08 PM »
Huh. Such cases would be thrown right out of court here, plus he would have to pay the defendants legal costs. That's how we deal with that.

You mean you don't leave people naked on a little island, each armed with a sword and let Odin give the verdict?