So, a teenager facing 27 criminal charges couldn’t be held in jail. Kid steals a car and smacks into a vehicle at high speed, killing a mother of three.
The teenager was described throughout the report as a "troubled boy," had tried to evade police and was high on drugs at the time.
He’s been sentenced to 4 ½ years in custody for the death.
27 charges? And he isn’t even so young that they aren’t naming names. The victim’s family is pushing for answers. They think they’re being heard, but the skeptic in me says that things are a long way from being better where young offenders are concerned.
Why? Have you heard about this “incident”where two kids threw a rock from an overpass and killed a bus driver?
I saw the headline yesterday. No jail time.
And what gets me about that is, it isn’t the first time this has happened. There have been several incidents where drivers have been lucky to survive having a rock strike their windshield while driving on a highway.
Meanwhile, Graffiti discovered in the playground of an elementary school was so sexually explicit, students weren't allowed outside for recess or lunch yesterday, say officials.
And police said it's becoming a disturbing trend they're seeing more frequently at schools across the city. Goody goody gumdrops – this story comes from Calgary.
So, across my fair nation we have druggie criminal teens stealing cars and killing people, getting slapped on the wrist for it, other kids not being held responsible for throwing rocks off overpasses and killing someone….
Is anyone going to jail anymore?
Why yes. Yes, someone is. The kid that played with his Christmas present.
Let me give Mom here this much credit. She at least realizes that kids need to face consequences. But this story infuriates me, for a number of reasons.
We’ve got kids who are actually criminals who need to be locked up for serious crimes who are being let run free, but we expect our police to waste time, energy and money incarcerating a kid who wouldn’t listen to his mother?
And then we come to the infamous, “The mother said her son was diagnosed in the last year with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder but his medicine does not seem to help” lines.
Would it be wrong of me to show up at her house and smack her? Seriously, I did one of my special education reports on ADHD. The fucking drugs are only one component in a six-part strategy for affecting behaviour. You don’t just pump the kids full of drugs and expect them to be better! That’s why I lean a bit on the no-drug side – not because the drugs are never effective. Sometimes they’re very effective. But the way they’re being used is just to sedate kids who aren’t being taught coping skills or strategies for handling themselves when they aren’t medicated. And that’s a problem.
The drugs are all too often being used as a band-aid, and that’s not what they should be used for. Okay, in fairness to Mom here, yes it sounds like the kid has some other problems. But if you’re going to have your child arrested maybe you should do it when he assaults a human being, not opens a Christmas gift early, ya think?
Beyond that, the fact that the solution here is to call the police… What happened to counseling? Talking to the doctor who prescribes his medication? Reading a book about your son’s condition and maybe trying to make some lifestyle changes that will help?
Did you know that in some countries doctors aren’t allowed to prescribe ridilin until they can prove dietary intervention has failed?
Now, it’s funny, because this is the topic I had planned for yesterday, but blogger wasn’t working. Otherwise it would have followed by post about the kids I worked with five years ago.
Remember the violent one? We discovered through careful monitoring that there were foods contributing to his behavioural issues. Every day for months I wrote in his journal what he ate, what his mood was like, positive and negative behaviours, and we started to see the connections.
Part of the reason that the room split also worked for him was that he needed to be able to focus without distraction. He could cope in a room with 9 other children. He couldn’t concentrate with 26 others.
About 9 years ago now, I worked in a different place. One child, in the center of a custodial conflict, was ADHD. He had the foulest mouth I’ve ever heard, and that takes some doing. Fuck was his favourite word. He was 7. And before you dismiss it to any gangster stuff, he was Caucasian and attended Catholic School, played hockey and had no street exposure.
One parent didn’t want him medicated. Another did. So what that parent did was provide his teacher with chocolate and meds and the teacher put the meds in the chocolate and gave him some every morning. He didn’t even know he was being drugged.
Now, he did stop swearing so much. And he really was a hyper kid. Reminded me a bit of a monkey, always running around, swinging off of whatever, could not sit still for two seconds, absolutely no respect for authority either.
That changed. He became lethargic, listless and didn’t have the same energy for sports (the only thing that saved this kid and the staff, because we could channel that energy).
But you can only medicate kids on ridilin for a fixed number of hours. Then they come off of it. And if you haven’t been using the ‘down’ time to teach them about behaviour, to provide an environment that helps them learn and focus so that they can begin to implement coping strategies, you haven’t done anything but make a teacher’s life a bit easier for a few hours.
You certainly haven’t helped the kid learn. And since he doesn’t know he’s being medicated and Mom isn’t there to see it during the day, how do you assess if the dosage is correct? Who’s monitoring the side effects to see if maybe that should be changed? It’s certainly not a teacher’s responsibility, and I hate to say it, but all too many of them are just happy not to deal with the outbursts. Some really don’t care as long as the kid shuts up.
I’m only pointing it out to say that when I see these parents all of a sudden snap and go medieval and blame the drugs for not working I want to scream. I guess I’ve worked with too many of them, who want the quick fix. And they think that being ‘tolerant’ and overlooking all their child’s misbehaviour is love. It isn’t – it’s bullshit. You overlook your seven-year-old son calling you a fucking bitch? You overlook him bullying other children? You overlook him hitting other kids with a hockey stick? You overlook him running away from his instructors and refusing to listen to them? You overlook him doing his schoolwork?
And then one day you’ve had enough and you do what, exactly? It isn’t like you’ve ever disciplined him.
And I’m not even opposed to ridilin, btw. Oh, sure, it would be nice if we didn’t rely so much on medication. But the goal here is supposed to be addressing the child’s issues in an effective manner that allows them to cope with their condition.
Because it’s one they have to live with for life. And at some point, they have to be able to handle life without the drugs.
You haven’t done anything to help your kid if you haven’t helped them face that. It isn’t love to not teach your child how to be responsible and independent.
Sometimes, I really miss kids and think about going back to work.
And then I think about the parents.