Wednesday, February 08, 2006

It's "Uncle Sam" and not "Dad" for a reason.

Michelle Shingal over at Hammer of Truth posted tonight about a six-year-old boy who was expelled from a Brockton, MA school for touching a female student in a presumably inappropriate place, on charges, of course, of sexual harassment. The boy claims that the girl touched him first. Either way, however, it should be remembered that these are first graders who probably don't even know how sex works, much less have any measurable quantities of sex hormones in their blood. They were just curious, as clever little kids are, and should suffer no more serious punishment than to be told that touching other people isn't good. (They can, and will, figure out for themselves when it is good.)

I've seen worse. The middle-school child of a friend of my mother's was arrested and sent to Ju-V because, after consistent harassment in the locker room, he reacted violently, as middle schoolers are apt to do, and unfortunately had a Master lock in his hand. What should have happened is his parents, the other kid's parents, and both the kids should have talked and dealt with it, instead of anybody being sent to jail.

It's illogical to apply adult laws, or even standards, to young teenagers in the first place. (Note how I'm excepting "older teenagers", including myself, so that I'm not being one of those "waah it's not fair" people.) The sudden changes of puberty wreak havoc on more than just kid's faces. The brain changes radically during this time too, including major restructuring in areas important to decision-making.

And especially in cases of victimless, but probably bad, decisions, it's up to parents to deal with the problem (yes, I'm talking about alcohol, drugs, and sex here), or the state to bring the kid to the parents if found inebriated. As scary as it sometimes is, parents have a right to raise the children they chose to have, and the state should have no role.


Anonymous Nicole said...

"As scary as it sometimes is, parents have a right to raise the children they chose to have, and the state should have no role."

So does that make children the property of their parents?

12:04 AM  
Blogger Nigel Watt said...

They're kind of a middle ground. Perhaps I went to far, in that sometimes parents abuse their children and such, and at that point intervention is necessary from some source, but the point stands.

6:44 PM  
Blogger nicole said...

I see what you mean. The libertarian philosophy does seem to have some holes when it comes to children, as far as I'm concerned. Where do the parents rights stop and the childrens start? It's a blurry line...

12:57 AM  
Anonymous micheshi said...

Children are not property of their parents. As a parent, I feel it is my duty to guide my girls until they are mature enough to make their own decisions. That doesn't mean that I let them get away with murder. The little one is not old enough to be independent of me, so she must follow the house rules. When children are self-supporting, they can make decisions on their own. I think that the give and take makes them stronger people. If Riss wants to hang out with her friends on a Saturday, instead of working on a project, she knows that she will get no grief from me. The first time she bombs a test over it will mean the end of her freedom. She generally chooses wisely. Ash is living as an adult. If she chooses to go out instead of work, she pays that price. Likewise, she chooses wisely.

8:45 PM  

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