Thursday, April 23, 2009

Thinking about kids

Big surprise right?

Two news stories just jumped out at me this week. First is the story of the mom who dropped her two battling daughters off at the side of the road and drove away. The details are the daughters are 10 and 12, mom is 45 and a partner in a NYC law firm. The girls were in the back of the vehicle fighting like siblings do. My bet is that there was a fair amount of screaming going on. So mom pulls over tells them to get out in the business district of White Plains and drives away. Some of the details remain unclear. It appears that the older child did "catch up" with the mom but the younger child didn't and had to be rescued by a good Samaritan. To me that says that Mom went out of sight. Now I have to admit to having done something similar. The kid could be quite a willful child (still can be) when she was little and would sometimes refuse to come when it was time to leave a store. After trying to get her to cooperate I would inform her that it was time to go and I was leaving. I'd then walk out of her sight BUT WHERE I COULD ALWAYS SEE HER. It usually only took a few seconds before she'd be "ready to go". I'd never leave her to stew or anything like that. I'm astounded to see that mom apparently didn't go right back for the younger daughter or that the older daughter would leave her little sister.

To me this says the whole family has major issues that need some serious work.

The other story is currently being heard by the Supreme Court of the U.S. It involves a 13 year old honor student with no record of misbehavior who ends up getting strip searched (down to her bra and panties) when she is accused of carrying a prescription strength ibuprofen. She was also told to "shake out" her underwear in front of the school nurse and one other (female) staff person. No drugs were found. Family sued school and it has made its way up the judicial food chain.

My first thought was - I'd lose my job. In fact I was hard pressed to come up with a scenario where I'd even consider doing such a thing to a youth. Drugs? Nah. Weapons? Hmmmm, probably not. If I thought, really seriously thought, that a kid had a really serious weapon I'd call the cops if they wouldn't hand it over. But just a suspicion based on another kid saying it? No way. I can not imagine how the school officials justified this idea to themselves. How do you convince yourself this is a good idea? Some of it no doubt grows out of the "zero tolerance" concept, which is one of the stupider ideas of the last 20 years. Zero Tolerance is zero intelligence, zero common sense and zero worthwhile.

Two stories. Both about not taking enough care of our kids. One by doing too little, the other by doing too much.



1 comment:

forsythia said...

We've had several cases of parents kicking kids out of the car and driving off, on the Washington Beltway, no less.

As for schools, it makes me nervous when I read that an 8-year-old boy is expelled from school for pointing his finger at his friend and saying, "Bang!"