Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

Whatever happened to a talking-to and a non-criminal consequence?

I know that the wounds of Columbine run deep, but I found this a creepy story at more levels than I care to contemplate:

Two boys, ages 9 and 10, were charged with felonies and taken away from school in handcuffs, accused of making violent drawings of stick figures. The boys were arrested Monday on charges of making a written threat to kill or harm another person, a second-degree felony. The special education students used pencil and red crayon to draw primitive stick figure scenes on scrap paper that showed a 10-year-old classmate being stabbed and hung, police said. 'The officer found they were drawing these pictures for the sole purpose of intimidating and scaring the victim,' said Ocala Police Sgt. Russ Kern. The boy depicted in the drawings told his teacher, who took the sketches and contacted the school dean, Marty Clifford. Clifford called police, who arrested the boys after consulting with the State Attorney's Office.
Here's one of the pictures: I just can't shake the feeling that, absent extraordinary circumstances, turning what I regret to say is fairly normal boy behavior (aggression) into criminal conduct seems a bit extreme. On other other hand, maybe this is the wake-up call these boys need to learn to control their aggression and handle it in a socially more acceptable manner.