I have been masking my utter disgust regarding an event that happened last week by blogging some light hearted posts until I could wrap my head around what I wanted to say. Last week was a banner week for juvenile delinquents in this town. There has been outrage expressed at the cold blooded murders of the two Madison convenience store clerks by a 16-year-old girl, and two males, ages 18 & 20. Usually, I would just shake my head in resignation, and comment on how society has gone to the dogs and something needs to be done about these thugs, and then go back to my regularly scheduled life. That was until this whole issue hit WAY too close to home.
Tuesday night around 8pm, my little girl came into my room and broke down in tears. "I have to tell you something, Mommy." I tried my best to be as calming to her as I could while my heart was sinking inside, because I knew this was going to be bad with the state of mind she came to me in. I held her and reassured her that she could tell Mommy anything. She told me that a boy in her class--First Grade, age 6--grabbed her, shoved her into the bathroom of the classroom, held her down, and sexually assaulted her!!!! I tried to hold it together and stay calm. I promised her that we would go talk to her Principal and take care of this first thing the next morning. I was not prepared for the unbelievable "pulling of teeth" it took to get the school to take appropriate action in line with the severity of the offense this child committed on my daughter!
First, I was told the child would not be taken out of the classroom, even for that day, because it was one child’s word against the other. Then when I refused to accept that answer--and told them that he would not be in the same class as my child ever again--they offered to let me take my child home or to another class for the day.
Wait, what??? How is it justified that MY child--the victim--is the one who must have her routine disrupted even more than it has already while the offender is being coddled? Then, they agreed to let me take my daughter to her classroom while they took the boy down another hallway, and to the office for questioning. Gee, thanks, but ok. Any chance this child might be disciplined? Suspended? Expelled? He did physically and sexually assault an innocent girl, after all.
I was adamantly told that even though this child had been in the principal’s office at least 4 other times in a month for his disruption and trouble making, there would be no expulsion. What happened to “zero tolerance”? Well, zero tolerance only applies if the child has a weapon (knife, gun) or drugs. I find that ridiculous…to me, the logic in that is if a kid got so violent that he beat another child to a pulp, he would still be in school because he didn’t use a weapon. My response: BUT HE USED HIS BARE HANDS AND HIS BODY AS A WEAPON!!!
After going around and around with the school, central office, school resource officer…
Final solution: move the boy to another class. He won’t be in gym, recess or any other activities with her, except for lunch where they will be at separate tables.
Um, am I the only one who realizes that they have just removed this troubled child from one class and into another just to do the same thing to another child?
I have gotten a lot of talk of things like “we may not know if the child is old enough to understand right from wrong and the consequences of his action”. Right. So when are we going to wake up to the fact that we are growing up a generation of people who have never had to pay the consequences for anything they do wrong because we’re afraid of infringing upon their rights?
My child has the right to be able to attend school without fear or intimidation.
Chief Serpas was on the radio the morning after the murders in Madison, and from his words, it is obvious that he has a fervent desire to get the court system to actually enforce the sentences they impart to criminals. What a concept! Is it any wonder why we have repeat offenders? Because they haven’t had to fully pay the consequences for their actions the first time around! Why are we seeing younger and younger violent criminals and more teenagers being transferred to adult courts because they are committing progressively more severe offenses? Because they haven’t had to pay the consequences for their actions the first time around! Yes, it is true that a six-year-old may be too young to press charges against, but something must be done to rattle the parents and rattle the child enough that he will never hurt anyone again. I have zero tolerance for excuses. It starts now so that in the future he won’t end up in the same boat as the 16-year-old murderer is now.
We as a community and a society must insist that sentences are carried out to the end, kids are punished at the appropriate level of their misconduct, and if they are delinquents, send them to a correctional institution to either be rehabilitated or prevent them from hurting anybody else again.
If we don’t start insisting on this now, we will all pay the consequences.