Friday, November 16, 2007

Kids or "Mini-Adults"?

A 10 year old boy who was responsible for setting some of the California wildfires because he was playing with matches will probably not see any legal repercussions due to his age. Prosecutors and legal experts agreed that it would be hard to secure a conviction because of the boy's age, and this seems to be the most compassionate, sensible position they could take on the issue.

Ah, but I have a problem with this decision because other situations have arisen where the age of the offender has not been taken into account. I'm speaking of schools who have punished students as young as six for "sexual harassment" for doing such things as...get this...hugging another student. How we let these predators attend public school is beyond me... (and yes, I'm being sarcastic here).

In none of the cases where schools have punished young children for sexual harassment did age come into play, even though these situations should consider age in their decisions. Children don't really start to notice differences in gender until around the age of the 10 year old boy responsible for some of the California wildfires. So, when they hug or kiss a fellow student on the cheek, it's not really sexual. Yet, the adults infuse the situation with sex and ignore the age of the "offender," which winds up making the adults look overbearing and foolish.

The 10 year old boy, on the other hand, cannot or should not claim ignorance due to age. When you're 10, you should know by then that you shouldn't play with matches. Yet, this concept is being lost in an attempt to look compassionate. Of course, some would dismiss the comparison I've made based on the circumstances, but it cannot be ignored that at their bases there are adults making decisions that directly impact a young life.

And it also cannot be ignored that these adults are using different standards to arrive at their decisions. With the California boy, the 10 year old is "just a child." With the 6 year olds expelled for sexual harassment, they're "little adults." What kind of message does this send to kids? You can play with matches when you're old enough to know better, but don't you dare make an innocent gesture of affection?

No wonder kids are growing up confused.

2 comments:

Stella Rondo said...

This just doesn't apply to small children. In this culture, an 18 year old is just a "kid" who is "duped" into joining the military, apparently not knowing that a war zone could be the next stop.

On the other hand, a girl as young as 12 is "old enough" to make decisions about her fertility, and can obtain powerful birth control drugs (and of course, engage in the activities that make them necessary) without the interference of the parental unit.

Anonymous said...

'ISKANDARIYA - At least two people were killed and six wounded when a suicide bomber wearing a vest packed with explosives infiltrated a meeting of Sunni Arab tribal sheikhs in Iskandariya, a town 40 km (25 miles) south of Baghdad . . .

DIYALA - Two U.S. soldiers were killed and four wounded in an explosion in Diyala province northeast of Baghdad on Tuesday, the U.S. military said.

MOSUL - A U.S. soldier was shot dead during operations near the city of Mosul, 390 km (240 miles) north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD - A roadside bomb targeting a U.S. military convoy killed two civilians and wounded three just outside the heavily fortified Green Zone in central Baghdad, police said.

BAGHDAD - A car bomb targeting a police patrol killed one civilian and wounded six others, including three policemen, in northeastern Baghdad, police said. '