Sticks & Stones

By GotDesign
Before you any further, please read this article that I found over at Drudge.

When I was growing up, I did the normal things that kids do. I was combative with my sisters, I got into my fair share of fights, I was a bit of rascal. But this story (above) is taking things too far. While I am basing my opinion solely on the linked article, right now that's all I can do. I normally like to have much more information. But here goes....

An 11-yr old girl arrested for throwing a rock at, and hitting, an 8-yr old boy. Whatever happened to the age old aphorism I quoted in my title? What ever happened to "kids will be kids?" Now I might feel a little different if this girl in question had thrown a fairly large rock -- something on the order of a softball-sized rock...or as we called it in the Army, a BFR. But, as far as I can tell from the article, it was your garden-variety small rock as is often found in driveways or along the roadside. The girl claims it slipped from her hand. And yet for this indiscretion she was incarcerated for 5 days and will face a trial in court.

As I mentioned, I was a rascal. I put a frog down my youngest sister's pants once. I even slipped itching powder into her clothing once. We fought tooth and nail on a few occasions. But if this case is any indication, it would seem that I should have been charged with sexual harassment or malicious mischief or even assault. All for what is fairly common among children. Have I lost whatever precious mind I have left? Is this more serious than I am understanding? Should children be punished under law for throwing rocks?

But there are cases where I think it is appropriate to charge children with crimes. When children throw objects from overpasses into passing traffic. When children commit murder. There is a level of severity that can be crossed and therefore should be dealt with through legal means. I, like many others, feel that the recent Supreme Court ruling barring the execution of anyone who was a minor at the time the crime was committed is a serious miscarriage of justice. Just because someone was 16 when they deliberately shot someone in the head shouldn't get them a free pass. The unfortunate truth is that children are acting more like adults every day. But they lack the maturity to know that actions have consequences. But we shouldn't reinforce this misconception by allowing minors to get off lightly when major crimes are committed.

I personally think this girl should have been spanked, grounded and given a serious talking-to. But jail time and a court date is going a little overboard. Am I wrong?

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