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Kindergartner Charged with Battery. Why Are We Criminalizing Kids?

When a six-year-old boy kicked his school principal last week, the school called in police, not parents.

The student had already been suspended for kicking and biting another official, when he allegedly threatened a teacher and kicked Principal Pat Lumbley. This time, the child was placed in police custody and charged with battery and intimidation.

Read more: School’s battery charges against 6-year-old

"In the big picture … I have to look at school safety and have to look at student safety," Lumbley, an Indiana elementary school administrator, told a local Fox affiliate. The county’s police lieutenant defended the decision, adding “putting him into the system can open up avenues perhaps the parents don’t have.”

But can the penal system really help a troubled kindergartner?

Increasingly, precincts have become de facto detention centers. In Albuquerque alone 90,000 students, were arrested between 2009-2010. In Texas, an estimated 300,000 kids were give misdemeanors in 2010. That number includes children as young as 6.

"You’ve gradually seen this morphing from schools taking care of their own environments to the police and security personnel, and all of a sudden it just became more and more that we were relying on law enforcement to control everyday behavior," Austin-based juvenile court judge Jeanne Meurer told The Guardian in an investigative report on the policing of children in America. The British newspaper’s in-depth article was published in January, four months before a Georgia 6-year-old was carted out of her kindergarten classroom in handcuffs after allegedly throwing a caustic tantrum.

Handcuffs, really? “There is no age discrimination on that rule,” a Georgia police chief told local news. The child’s parents have started a petition in an effort to change that.

Over the past year, kids under the age of 13 have been arrested, or threatened with arrest, for giving wedgies, having a food fight and spraying perfume. In more serious circumstances, children are facing real prison time over hockey game fouls and threatening classroom notes. One 6-year-old was accused of sexual assault by school officials during a recess game of tag. In order to have the sexual battery charge wiped from his school record, the child’s parents had to hire a lawyer to prove that the charges had no legal basis.

Read more: Student hockey player may face criminal charges

"Everyone suffers when adults don’t have the skills and support to manage unsafe or respectful behavior such as kicking and tantrums effectively," Irene van der Zande, executive director and founder of Kidpower, tells Shine. Her California-based non-profit program helps schools and parents teach kids safety, respect and tolerance independent of police intervention.

But many school officials feel law enforcement is the only place to turn for help. The rapid increase in school shootings since the Columbine tragedy has left administrators scrambling for better safety measures. Overcrowding, financial cutbacks and access to weapons in the information age are all conditions of new generation and a system struggling to adapt to it. As a result a higher percentage of students between the ages of 12 and 18, say they’re more afraid of attack or harm at school than away from school, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. In 2010, 85 percent of public schools cited incidents of violence, theft, and other criminal activity. That same year, 60 percent of schools called in police for backup.

Advocates of school policing believe crackdowns send a message to the student body, and help keep large underage populations in check and safe. Principal Lumbley feels he protected the rest of his elementary school’s student body by having a 6-year-old student arrested. But critics say those punitive measures are really designed to protect teachers.

"Teachers rely on the police to enforce discipline," Kady Simpkins, a juvenile defense lawyer, told The Guardian. "Part of it is that they’re not accountable. They’re not going to get into trouble for it. The parent can’t come in and yell at them. They say: it’s not us, it’s the police."

The hard-line approach isn’t only happening in schools. Recently, TSA officials subjected a frightened, crying 4-year-old girl to a pat-down after she ran through Kansas airport security to hug her grandmother. While the family understood the reasoning behind tightened security measures, they didn’t feel the understanding was reciprocated.

Read more: traveling with kids and the TSA

"There was no common sense and there was no compassion," the child’s grandmother Lori Croft told the Associated Press. The little girl hadn’t yet learned about terrorism, but had been briefed on the concept of “stranger danger.”

"To her, someone was trying to kidnap her or harm her in some way," Croft explained to the AP.

As for the Indiana 6-year-old student charged with battery and intimidation, it’s hard to believe he’s any wiser.

"I can’t imagine the prosecution being able to sustain a battery charge against a six year old," a New York Family Law Attorney, who chose to remain anonymous, tells Shine. "There is a ‘mens rea’ or ‘state of mind’ element to all crimes and I can’t imagine a prosecutor being able to successfully argue that a six-year-old could meet the state of mind requirement for battery or any crime for that matter."

That’s not to say that kids with severe behavioral problems should be dealt with the same way as other students, but child advocates believe that criminalizing their actions doesn’t solve any problems.

"Kids who have trouble behaving well in school can almost always be turned around with preparation, firm, respectful interventions, and a plan of action that gets school officials and parents working together as a team," Kidpower’s van der Zande tells Shine. “When adults overreact, the harm done is not only to the child involved but also to other children who witness this.”

Related:
Is your child acting out in school?
Kindergartener handcuffed after tantrum
Students arrested for missing classes

harsha23:

melodifaris:

This is just funny!
mommybyfaith:

coriworld:

the-itsy-bitsy:

I love this.. I saw it on FB and had to share:
A man came home from work and found his 3 children outside, still in their pyjamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn around garden, The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and no sign of the dog, walking in the door, he found …an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, the throw rug was against one wall, In the front room the TV was on loudly with the cartoon channel, the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pyjamas, reading a novel… She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, ‘What happened here today?’ She again smiled and answered, ‘You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?…
”Yes,” was his incredulous reply..
She answered, ‘Well, today I didn’t do it.’

This is wonderfulVery true

I saw this on Facebook as well as thought immediately of this class! Thank you to whoever posted it because I tried to find it again but couldn’t! : )


so true lol… really shows how much a woman has to do at home lol…. ;)

harsha23:

melodifaris:

This is just funny!

mommybyfaith:

coriworld:

the-itsy-bitsy:

I love this.. I saw it on FB and had to share:

A man came home from work and found his 3 children outside, still in their pyjamas, playing in the mud, with empty food boxes and wrappers strewn around garden, The door of his wife’s car was open, as was the front door to the house and no sign of the dog, walking in the door, he found …an even bigger mess. A lamp had been knocked over, the throw rug was against one wall, In the front room the TV was on loudly with the cartoon channel, the family room was strewn with toys and various items of clothing. In the kitchen, dishes filled the sink, breakfast food was spilled on the counter, the fridge door was open wide, dog food was spilled on the floor, a broken glass lay under the table, and a small pile of sand was spread by the back door. He quickly headed up the stairs, stepping over toys and more piles of clothes, looking for his wife. He was worried she might be ill, or that something serious had happened. He was met with a small trickle of water as it made its way out the bathroom door. As he peered inside he found wet towels, scummy soap and more toys strewn over the floor. Miles of toilet paper lay in a heap and toothpaste had been smeared over the mirror and walls. As he rushed to the bedroom, he found his wife still curled up in the bed in her pyjamas, reading a novel… She looked up at him, smiled and asked how his day went. He looked at her bewildered and asked, ‘What happened here today?’ She again smiled and answered, ‘You know every day when you come home from work and you ask me what in the world do I do all day?…

”Yes,” was his incredulous reply..

She answered, ‘Well, today I didn’t do it.’

This is wonderful
Very true

I saw this on Facebook as well as thought immediately of this class! Thank you to whoever posted it because I tried to find it again but couldn’t! : )

so true lol… really shows how much a woman has to do at home lol…. ;)

Whats with all the pictures of the women breast-feeding?  Its great to see a lot of women doing it.  I did not breast feed of course I tried….it just did not work for me.

Whats with all the pictures of the women breast-feeding?  Its great to see a lot of women doing it.  I did not breast feed of course I tried….it just did not work for me.

(Source: horseenchiladashoho, via wendywang18)

Adopted Russian Boy Rejected by U.S. Mother Adjusts in Foster Care

Adopted Russian Boy Rejected by U.S. Mother Adjusts in Foster CareTOMILINO, Russia - Artyom Saleviev’s mischievous grin quickly fades when asked about the five months he spent in the United States.

"I do not want to talk about this," he said quietly, as he looked down at the floor. Asked if he would ever go back he said nothing and emphatically shook his head no.

In 2010 Artyom made headlines around the world after his American adoptive mother Torry Hansen put the then seven-year-old boy back on a plane to Russia alone with a letter that said she didn’t want him anymore.

Artyom’s new foster mother still cannot believe what happened to him.

"It’s inhumane," Vera Egorova told ABC News in an interview in the home where she cares for him and several other children. Artyom is her 17th foster child.

"He should have been accompanied by adults and not just sent like a package by plane with his documents. It’s bad. As a woman and a mother I could have never done this," she said.

The case sparked outrage in Russia and the government froze adoptions to the United States while it sought assurances that Russian children would be properly cared for by their adoptive parents. An accord was finally reached last year and the Russian parliament may soon ratify it in the coming weeks.

In the meantime the world has seen very little of Artyom since he was the scared little boy being whisked away by authorities.

Russian officials say he spent time in a hospital and in various institutions before finally ending up here, at an orphan colony in the suburbs of Moscow.

Now nearly ten years-old - his birthday is on Monday - Artyom remembers only a few words of English.

"My name is Artyom," he said sheepishly without looking up from his Legos.

He’s perhaps small for his age, slim, and soft spoken. Like many boys his age, he enjoys watching television, playing with his toys, and horsing around with friends. He also seems to like showing off to the camera. When ABC News filmed him playing on the playground he immediately climbed to the top of the jungle gym and jumped off into a pile of snow, but not before glancing over to make sure the camera was rolling.

Ms. Egorova says he has taken to calling her “mama.” She says he’s struggling at school and is prone to acting up in class, but she attributes that to the trauma he experienced and the class time he has lost as a result.

Egorova says she has seen none of the “psychopathic” issues that Torry Hansen wrote about in her letter which caused her to reject Artyom. She says many foster children are traumatized by what they have experienced and Artyom is no different.

"We did a lot of tests and visited several specialists and they say there are no disorders," she said.

A U.S. court last month ordered Torry Hansen to pay child support for Artyom’s care. A hearing has been set for May 17 to determine how much she will pay, which will depend on her income level and how much it costs to take care of the boy in Russia.

A lawyer representing Artyom visited Russia this week to meet him and to determine how much money to request, as well as to ensure that it will reach him.

Ray Stoner, an attorney for the National Council for Adoptions, says he’s confident the judge will give them what they are looking for. He hopes no other child will ever share Artyom’s experience.

"What we’re trying to assure is that something like this never happens again. And that there’s a consequence to what Ms. Hansom did. And that send an important message on behalf of all parents," he told ABC News.

"This is an issue that transcends America, or Russia, this is just the way that children should be treated in any civilized society," Stoner said.

In the meantime, the top Russian official for adoptions, Children’s Ombudsman Pavel Astakhov, said he expected no further delays for American families hoping to adopt a Russian child.

"There are (sic) not any artificial obstacles for this process," he told ABC News.

Ms. Hansen was unable to be found for comment, despite efforts to locate her.

Also Read

Lizzie McGuire….a mother…Wow!

Hilary Duff is officially a mom!

The 24-year-old actress/singer and her husband, Mike Comrie, welcomed a son on Tuesday.

PLAY IT NOW: Access Hollywood Live: Hilary Duff On Being ‘Devoted’ To Her Second Book & ‘Odd Dreams’ During Pregnancy

"Welcome to the World Luca Cruz Comrie! Tuesday evening, we became proud parents of a healthy 7 pound 6 ounce beautiful boy," the new mom Tweeted on Thursday.

"We are overjoyed and feel like the luckiest parents in the world," she added "He is surrounded by so much love!! Mom and baby are both doing extremely well."

VIEW THE PHOTOS: Hollywood’s Smokin’ Hot Couples

The former “Lizzie McGuire” star first announced her pregnancy back in August in a post on her Facebook page.

"This weekend, Mike and I are celebrating our 1 year anniversary… I can’t believe it has already been a year, time really flies when you’re having fun!" she wrote at the time. "We also want to share the exciting news that…… BABY MAKES THREE!!! We are extremely happy and ready to start this new chapter of our lives."

Luca is the first child for Hilary and Mike, who married in Santa Barbara, Calif., in 2010 after first meeting at an Idaho resort in 2007.

Toddler Tantrum Gets Family Booted from JetBlue Flight. Is Flying Still Kid-friendly?

Is a 2-year-old girl really a flight risk? Of course not, unless she’s having a temper tantrum.

Colette Vieau and her family were heading home from vacation, when their toddler had a code red melt-down after boarding the plane. Refusing to stay seated and buckled up, and possibly agitating her 3-year-old sister, Vieau’s youngest daughter, Natalie, became public enemy number one as the plane crew waited for take off.

Related: First-Class Flying Penguins Delight Delta Passengers

"We were holding them down with all of our might, seat belt on. And I said, ‘We have them seated. Can we go now?" Colette, a pediatrician, told Rhode Island’s NBC 10. “[The flight attendant] said the pilot’s made a decision to turn the plane around.”

Things got worse from there, according to the New England-based mom. The plane turned around on the tarmac and promptly booted the family of four from the flight.

A representative for JetBlue backed the pilot’s decision, stating the flight had “customers that did not comply with crew-member instructions for a prolonged time period. The captain elected to remove the customers involved for the safety of all customers and crew-members on board.”

Scrambling to find four seats on another Turks and Caicos flight bound for Boston, the Vieau family were forced to spent $2000 on overnight accommodations. Needless to say, their vacation ended on a bad note, but rules are rules.

Related: 15 Food Etiquette Rules You Should Know When You Travel

Federal aviation regulations require all passengers over 2-years-old to be buckled up in their seats, seated upright, with cell phones turned off before take-off. With passenger safety and airline security under more scrutiny than ever, nobody is an exception. Not a 2-year-old, not a 102-year-old. Not even Alec Baldwin.

"I don’t know that I could blame JetBlue, to be totally fair," Colette told the local news affiliate. "I just feel like it’s airplane travel today in general."

While celebrities and kids alike are subjected to the same federal aviation rules, moms and dads are baring the brunt of the backlash.

Between heightened, kid-startling TSA security, and a growing screaming baby-phobia amongst passengers, parents are in the crosshairs. If kids are more revved up and anxious by the time they get on a flight, childless passengers are less tolerant and more ticked-off. In 2010, a mom claimed her son was assaulted by a passenger because he wouldn’t stop kicking the seat in front of him. In 2011, a Virgin Atlantic flight attendant stuck a 1-year old in an overhead storage compartment as a bizarre joke that other passengers found hysterical. The parents weren’t laughing.

Airlines, meanwhile, have their own desperate financial and security concerns that don’t factor in the unique needs of two-year olds. In 2009, a mom and her 2-year-old son were reportedly removed from a Southwest Airlines flight after the child’s relentless screams for the plane to take off became unbearable. Earlier this year, a family of six complained of being kicked off a flight for having too many kids. And last year, babies were banned outright from some first class flights on Malaysia Airlines.

Gone are the days of the Pan Am pins and cockpit visits, and that’s just fine. But are the days of kid-friendly skies gone with them?

<div><iframe frameborder=”0” width=”576” height=”324” src=”http://d.yimg.com/nl/shine/site/player.html#browseCarouselUI=hide&vid=28564422”></iframe></div>

The Twenty-Five Words Every Toddler Needs to Know

25 key vocab building blocksA two-year-old’s limited vocabulary may red flag hearing problems, autism, or a developmental disorder such as dyslexia. Researchers from the Child Study Institute at Bryn Mawr College have identified a list of 25 words every toddler should be using by age two. Dr. Leslie Rescorla, the director of the institute, presented her findings at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. The Daily News reports that Professor Nan Bernstein Ratner, who moderated the panel, described these words as the “canary in the coal mine.”

The average toddler uses 75-225 words and is able to combine them into phrases. Twenty-five is considered the minimum for late talkers. In a previous study, Rescorla demonstrated that children with normal delayed speech tend to catch up by four or five. She adds that when helping late talkers build their language skills, it’s a good idea to focus on basic vocabulary.

The 25 common words that should form the building blocks of a toddler’s vocabulary:

-all gone

-baby

-ball

-banana

-bath

-bye bye

-book

-car

-cat

-cookie

-daddy

-dog

-eye

-hat

-hello/hi

-hot

-juice

-milk

-mommy

-more

-no

-nose

-shoe

-thank you

-yes

Rescorla says parents shouldn’t panic if their toddler is using fewer words than average, but they should consider having them evaluated by an expert. Early intervention offers the best outcome.

Copyright © 2012 Yahoo Inc.

How old is too old to have a baby?

Dr. Oz asks his studio audience this question. “How old is too old to have a baby?” he also wanted to know if a women could really have it all (a career and children). His guests were a psychologist, fertility doctor, and an ob/gyn.  Of course the psychologist argues the point that a woman should not have a baby after 40 due to health reasons for the mother as well as the child. She was also against fertility drugs.  The fertility doctor of course stated that a woman should try fertility drugs if she is having problems and truly wants to have a baby if it is her last option.  The ob/gyn was in the middle she agreed with both sides.  However all agreed that a woman should try to conceive before she is 40 if she wants to have a baby. They stated that a woman chances are less than five percent if she wants to conceive.

I feel that if a woman wants to try to conceive after 40 she should, however I think it’s harder if a woman has never given birth to conceive for the first time.  I know a lot of women and have heard about women who have children that are in college or graduated from high school and end up pregnant, most were in the late 30s early 40s.  I think that a woman can have it all, but not the way we probably   planned it…..

How old is too old to have a baby?

Dr. Oz asks his studio audience this question. “How old is too old to have a baby?” he also wanted to know if a women could really have it all (a career and children). His guests were a psychologist, fertility doctor, and an ob/gyn.  Of course the psychologist argues the point that a woman should not have a baby after 40 due to health reasons for the mother as well as the child. She was also against fertility drugs.  The fertility doctor of course stated that a woman should try fertility drugs if she is having problems and truly wants to have a baby if it is her last option.  The ob/gyn was in the middle she agreed with both sides.  However all agreed that a woman should try to conceive before she is 40 if she wants to have a baby. They stated that a woman chances are less than five percent if she wants to conceive.

I feel that if a woman wants to try to conceive after 40 she should, however I think it’s harder if a woman has never given birth to conceive for the first time.  I know a lot of women and have heard about women who have children that are in college or graduated from high school and end up pregnant, most were in the late 30s early 40s.  I think that a woman can have it all, but not the way we probably   planned it…..