13
Dec
11

idiots or miscreants?

Who are these school and public officials who cause very young children to be expelled from school or charged with very dubious felonies? And why the hell are they doing it? Are they just plain stupid, or do they have more complicated motives?

 

Meet Jerry Bostic, the (now former) principal of Brookside Elementary School in Gastonia NC. Earlier this month he suspended a 9-year-old black boy named Emanyea Lockett when the child was overheard by a substitute teacher telling a friend that he thought a certain teacher was “cute.”

Putting aside that the kid is nine, when did telling a third party that someone is cute become ‘sexual harassment’?” asks Jonathan Turley, a leading legal expert and blogger.

“Amazingly, the school found it was sexual harassment and suspended the boy. The principal reportedly informed the mother that she has a sexual harasser in her midst…This strikes me as rather bizarre and another example of zero tolerance becoming zero judgment by school officials,” says Turley.

In a refreshing departure from standard procedure, school superintendent L. Revees McGlohon reportedly gave Bostic one hour to decide whether he would be fired or allowed to retire due to the firestorm of negative publicity his decision had brought to the school district. Bostic retired.

“Because of some syndicated columnist in New York or California, I don’t have a job,” Bostic complained. The story went viral with reports showing up on Fox News, CNN and the Huffington Post in addition to papers and blogs across the country.

 “I made a mistake, but I’ve worked for Gaston County Schools for forty-four years and Reeves McGlohon could have cared less,” said Bostic. “One mistake in forty-four years, and I’m not given the benefit of the doubt.”

Only one mistake in so many years? In the light of this bone-headed move, that claim strains credulity.

 
Not to be outdone by Gastonia’s zero-tolerance lunacy, principal Eileen Morales of South Boston’s Joseph B. Tynan Elementary school launched an investigation of 7-year-old Mark Curran as a presumed “sexual harasser” because he kicked another boy in the crotch in a playground tussle.

Mark’s mother says that Mark kicked the other boy because the boy was bullying him and was choking him at the time of the kick. The school, however, insisted that the location of the kick made it a matter of suspected sexual harassment. Mark’s mom says that the official told her, “Your son kicked a little boy in the testicles. We call that sexual harassment.”

“For kids who have not even had sex ed, sexual harassment seems a rather unlikely motivation in a schoolyard squabble,” comments Jonathon Turley. “This seems like another case of zero thought by administrators.”

 

Oh, but here’s the topper. Grant County WI District Attorney Lisa Riniker has charged a 6-year-old boy with first-degree sexual assault, a Class B felony, for what the family says was playing doctor with a 5-year-old girl. Notably, the girl (and her brother who was also involved in the game) are the children of a powerful political figure in the county and were not charged.

If convicted, the boy would be forced to register as a sex offender when he is 18 and spend the rest of his life under the same restrictions imposed on rapists and child molesters.

Riniker rejects criticism that she is failing to apply not only discretion but reason. Instead, she says “the legislature could have put an age restriction in the statute if it wanted to. The legislature did no such thing.” What is astonishing is that Riniker appears to have maintained a willful blindness to the fact that she is prosecuting a toddler.

According to a lawsuit filed against her by the boy’s parents, Riniker was addressing and sending mail to the 6 year-old, rather than to the parents, and that she refers to the 6 year-old not by his first name but as “Mr._____.” Furthermore, she sends or causes to be sent to the 6 year-old paperwork that tells him that he could go to jail if he does not show up for court.

The boy suffers from ADHD, but neither his disability nor his age appears to matter to Riniker.

Faced with overwhelming criticism from lawyers and non-lawyers alike, Riniker went to Judge Bill Dyke in Iowa County WI and demanded a gag order. Dyke gave it to her but the order is not silencing the growing number of critics denouncing the case as an abuse of power.

“Perhaps there was something that made Riniker feel that the boy was culpable in this incident. However, to charge a toddler with felony sexual assault defies reason,” says Turley. “The use of a felony charge to force a child into supervision is an abuse of the criminal code in my view.”

 

In my view, and in the words of today’s song, it’s all so “Dumb, dumb, dumb.”

 

(BTW… I learned about all three of these cases on Jonathan Turley’s informative and entertaining website at: http://jonathanturley.org/. I encourage you to check out his site. I think you’ll love it!)

۞ 

Groove of the Day 

Listen to Juliana Hatfield performing “Dumb Fun” 


11 Responses to “idiots or miscreants?”


  1. December 13, 2011 at 3:40 pm

    I am convinced that the dumbest and laziest by in large are the ones who seek jobs as teachers and administrators in the public school system. If you look at the majority of folks who enter the public sector most are lazy and fairly stupid so they want to find a job that will pay well and it is hard if not impossible to be fired from. There are some good teachers and principles out their but most are just fools. Heck, I just got done helping two friends run for school board as I ran for a township position. They both lost because they didn’t want to through money down the rabbit hole anymore and actually want what money they allocate go towards teaching the students and not the administration and building new facilities.

  2. 2 Wolfgang
    December 13, 2011 at 3:47 pm

    I just think where is the common sense of those people? Just to have the idea to charge a 6 year old is lacking any common sense!

  3. 3 matt
    December 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Had to laugh at it all; kind of like reading the annual Darwin Awards. I think my favorite quote was, “the legislature could have put an age restriction in the statute if it wanted to. The legislature did no such thing.” Does any community really want someone with that attitude and demonstrated poor judgment representing “the people”?

    In the name of consumer protection, I will now call for all laws to include a mandatory “stupidity clause”, and prominently bear the following: “Warning: Failure to use proper judgment when enforcing this law/regulation may have legal, moral, social, or professional ramifications.”

    • 4 Gloria
      December 13, 2011 at 4:49 pm

      my same thought Matt, why anyone would elect that person for her job ever again? I couldn’t help but laught at the sutpidity of all of it. I had a look into the link Dan provided and found the one of the 6 year old and there was this intersting comment on that particular article.
      Quoted from Otteray Scribe1, November 25, 2011 at 9:46 am

      This is not the first time I have seen this kind of prosecutor idiocy. Several years ago, I was consulted on the case of a nine year old little boy who was charged with rape of a minor. On examination, I found the child had an IQ of 70, which is classified as mild mental retardation. He was in special education. Furthermore, he had no idea of the concept of sexual intercourse. When asked if his “dingus” (which is what he called his penis) sometimes got stiff and stood out, he said yes but had no idea why. Just said it happened early in the morning when he needed to go to the bathroom and “feels funny” when it does that.

      An older cousin had brought home a porn tape of lesbian sex, and he noticed that the girls did not have a ‘dingus.’ A neighbor girl offered to show him that she did not have one either. That was the “rape.” As for the porn tape, he said it was boring and he fell asleep.

      After the judge got my report, he dismissed the charge.

      As for the District Attorney? His picture was in the paper recently.

      http://www2.tricities.com/news/2011/oct/04/6/former-d-crumley-court-reckless-driving-evading-ar-ar-1358603/

      Completely agree with you there should be a huge Warning as you say: Failure to use proper judgment when enforcing this law/regulation may have legal, moral, social, or professional ramifications.”

  4. 5 Frank Manning
    December 13, 2011 at 8:00 pm

    George Bernard Shaw once famously remarked: “For some problems, the only solution is BANG BANG.” Kudos to Mr. L. Revees McGlohon.

    I often wonder whether school superintendents, school principals, teachers, prosecutors, and other officials who behave so idiotically when dealing with children are just stupid or have some sort of pathological hatred of kids. To achieve those positions of authority they must have some intelligence, and have been highly educated. So the stupidity part doesn’t quite make sense. That makes the problem a scary one: if they’re not stupid then they must be psychotic. How can we allow all these psychopaths to work with our children, our most precious resource?

    Great work Dan! I don’t agree with everything you say, but what’s being done to these kids you advocate for just makes my blood boil. I volunteer with juvenile offenders at a state school here in WA. These kids are special, so in need of love and nuturing. They have a special place in my heart.

    • 6 matt
      December 14, 2011 at 7:05 am

      Good on you, Sir! I am certain that the personal time you give to those kids is very important to them, but unfortunately, something they may not have received much of, in their short, troubled lives.

      • 7 Frank Manning
        December 14, 2011 at 5:38 pm

        Working with “my angels” has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. Yes, these young people commited crimes, sometimes awful violent crimes. But they’re still children, and people who care can make a huge difference in their lives. We can turn these kids around, but only through humane and compassionate treatment–not harsh punishment by soulless functionaries. The kids I’ve come to care so much about are lucky in one respect–the state they live in recognizes how juvenile rehabilitation must be implemented. And it also welcomes volunteers from the community to come in and help give these kids some positive experiences. It gets hard when a kid finally starts trusting you and tells you about their experiences in life, what his home life was like, what his meth-addict dad did to him. You take a lot of that home with you. But then you go back and show him that someone really does care about him and actually comes to see him as promised. And the healing goes on.

  5. December 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Three Children… and these are stories we hear about, how many more we don’t.

  6. 9 Jeanne
    December 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Idots AND miscreants.

  7. 10 Jeanne
    December 15, 2011 at 10:51 pm

    Idiots AND miscreants.


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