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Really that this happened?

Caught wind of this story on the local affiliate of vast right wing conspiracy radio. In Colorado, an 8 year-old boy acted out. Became violent. And the police pepper-sprayed the kid to control him. Now, my first thought was OMG! THE COPS ACTUALLY PEPPER-SPRAYED A KID. But reading further, this story is chock full of all kinds of fail.

He tore a piece of trim off a wall and sharpened it to cut people. Teachers barricaded themselves in a room. And he was throwing TVs. Apparently, this four feet tall, 80lb terror had them pinned. And instead of knocking the shit out of the kid in self defense, they called the po-po. The police show up and see an 8 year-old with a weapon. They no doubt run down their options. Shooting the kid is right out. Can’t really tackle him. What if you take him down and hurt him or he accidentally stabs himself with the sharp thing? Taser is no good. So, yeah, I can totally see pepper spraying the little turd.

But what the Hell were the teachers thinking and doing? You allowed the situation to escalate to such a point? That is ridiculous. Back when I was in prison (note: I worked there but still refer to it like I was incarcerated. Because I was for 10 hours a day), one of the units had an issue with a youth acting rowdy. And they called the police. I walked over, looked at the staff person who did that and said You know this is jail right? Then went and had a chat with kid involved and things calmed down. The police showed up and kinda laughed. I did too. It’s ours, we should control it. So should schools.

They interviewed the pepper-sprayed kid, who said he has anger issues. And always will. And he can’t help it. And this kid will use this excuse for acting out for the rest of his life. And this is the real problem. Time for the parents to be parents and unfuck this potential terror before he does some real damage. Eventually, he’ll be an adult.

44 Responses to “Really that this happened?”

  1. thirdpower Says:

    If the teachers touch the kid they could be sued unless they’re in a specialized school for bd/ld/ed students. Safer for them to just call the cops.

  2. Newman Says:

    So you can’t shoot the kid but can you shoot the mom for her dangerous parenting skills and negligence on getting the “child terrorist” help?

    Some local KC idiots on talk radio picked up the story but I don’t think they read all of the story. These “conservative” jaw wagers having no LE training or even watching a few Dirty Harry movies to see how it’s really done came to the conclusion that something else could have been done before the application of OC spray. I heard it and said out loud “hell yes I would have pepper sprayed the little shit!” The officers don’t need to put themselves or the child terrorist in more danger that necessary.

    I think they did the correct thing and because they were there and I wasn’t I’m going with the trusted officers on this one. I’d bet if the officer who sprayed the kid has children he didn’t feel so good about this but knew it was the only thing to control the boy.

    I could be wrong about this whole thing but I don’t really care.

  3. Paul Says:

    One day he will ‘anger out’ on some Crip or Blood and that will be the end of him.

    Sooner or later he WILL do something stupid and get himself killed.

  4. Paul Says:

    In fact, to get rid of him send him to a LA inner city school and they the gangs take care of him.

    See for once the gangs do have a use!

  5. harp1034 Says:

    He is the way he is because of the parents. As others have said someday someone will kill him. Either a gangbanger or the cops.

  6. SouthpawByNW Says:

    Thirdpower is correct. Teachers and administrators in a school have to be very careful when dealing with students who are being violent or aggressive. My wife works at a school and they have a police officer (Student Resource Officer) assigned to the school to deal with issues of this nature.

    The amazing part of the whole story is that the mother and child went to the media about this. If I did a fraction of what he did in school (or anywhere else) I think my parents would have pulled out the belt and then shipped me off to boarding school. Not one of those nice ones, but one of the scary ones from an episode of 60 minutes.

  7. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    “If the teachers touch the kid they could be sued unless theyíre in a specialized school for bd/ld/ed students. Safer for them to just call the cops.”

    This. The real issue for me was that it’s an 8 year old with a makeshift weapon. We’re basically talking about cops pepper-spraying a baby because taking his candy might get complicated.

  8. anon Says:

    Two things missing from the story:

    1) What did the teacher(s)/administrators do to protect the other children?

    2) Lot of criticism of the police, yet not a single offer of any alternative course of action. The mother whines that they should have _talked_ to him, while completely ignoring the fact that they did, and he wasn’t listening.

    Eventually, the little delinquent is going to encounter a peer who doesn’t feel like dealing with his behavior, and he’s going to get the beat-down of his life.

  9. Tam Says:

    Weíre basically talking about cops pepper-spraying a baby because taking his candy might get complicated.

    So they should have pig-piled him instead? Suppose he broke his arm or dislocated his shoulder or sprained his wrist or got stabbed with his own improvised shiv in the scuffle?

    Everybody who yells about pepper spray or Tasers needs to remember that before they were invented, the general solution for situations like this was to beat somebody with a hardwood club. Contrary to Hollywood, it doesn’t take much of a miscalculation to accidentally kill somebody with a hickory baton. Gimme the pepper spray any day.

  10. mike w. Says:

    I’m betting this kid ends up getting shot before he turns 18.

  11. OrangeNeck Says:

    The irony of this whole situation is that the teachers brought this upon themselves. Thirty some-odd years ago, when teachers were telling kids to rat out their parents if they were ever physically disciplined, the morons couldn’t foresee that the kids would eventually turn on them. So, now we have kids who don’t behave at home, nor in school and this is what you get – a couple of generations of brain-dead, me me me, lazy, disrespectful, anti-social kids. God help us all.

  12. Heather Says:

    Yeah, OrangeNeck, that was totally the teachers fault. No one else at all has any responsibility. *eyeroll*

  13. Jake Says:

    Given his history as reported, either a) the kid has some serious brain-chemistry issues that make him prone to violent and uncontrollable rages, or b) mama needs to apply the back of a hairbrush to his butt, repeatedly and with vigor. I think “b” is far more likely, but I’ll allow for the possibility of “a”.

    Either way, she needs to do something to get him under control, and if she can’t figure it out herself, she needs to get him to a shrink, pronto, before he goes and kills someone – and make no mistake, if he is allowed to continue with this behaviour he will eventually try to kill someone.

  14. Heather Says:

    “But what the Hell were the teachers thinking and doing? You allowed the situation to escalate to such a point? That is ridiculous.”

    As many people have already said, legally there is jack a teacher can do. I have involved myself physically ONCE with a violent student, and that was only to put myself between the student and the student that the first student was attacking. Even that could have been sketchy in some places.

  15. SayUncle Says:

    legally there is jack a teacher can do.

    If someone is threatening you with a pointy stick while throwing TVs at you, I’m pretty sure your well within anyone’s justification of self-defense.

  16. comatus Says:

    Heather you talk like a teacher. The way you just power-emoted past Orange above, it seems like you must think like one too.

    What the man said was, when you chose to be in this job, you joined the ranks of those who swore to change the world. Know it or not, this is the world you made. Look real close: those words are all one syl

  17. divemedic Says:

    1 Schools cannot expel trouble makers. The little monsters have a RIGHT, doncha know?
    2 The worst that happens is that the kids gets suspended for a few days. Fine with them, they don’t want to go to school anyway.
    3 The teacher who touches a child (even in self defense) is fired. F-I-R-E-D, fired. Parent who physically punishes child goes to jail.
    4 Kids, being smart, eventually figure out that authority figures are powerless. Kids escalates the situation.
    5 Parents or teachers realize they have lost control, are left with no option but to call cops.
    6 Any time cops are involved, they do one thing: use force to enforce the law. They are not counselors, referees, arbitrators, or psychologists.

    This is the logical result of all this child psychology we have been trying to raise children with.

  18. Robert Says:

    “If someone is threatening you with a pointy stick while throwing TVs at you, Iím pretty sure your well within anyoneís justification of self-defense”

    If I was a teacher, I wouldn’t risk my career and life betting that a jury would see it that way, especially once the lawyers got done throwing out all of the evidence. Of course any record of what this youngun may have done in the past would be sealed and inadmissable as evidence. All the jury would see is an 8 yr old dressed up like an angel, and a sobbing momma who declares that her baby dint do nuthin.

  19. John Smith. Says:

    Jesus they should have just shot the little shit and saved the taxpayers some money. If this is the last time you think anyone will hear of the little prick you are dead wrong….

  20. nk Says:

    What kind of pussies they make cops these days? I don’t care what an 80 lb. kid carries. I would worry about hurting him, and not him hurting me. For crying out loud.

  21. mikee Says:

    My older brother liked to sneak up behind me and hit me. He stopped picking on me after I nutted him once with an admittedly lucky wild swing of my fist, just before he hit me from behind. There is a lesson there for all of us, I think.

  22. The second anonymous Says:

    A series of half fatal beatings will rid the anger issue in him.

    Having anger issue is not a sickness; it’s called being an asshole.

  23. Gerry Says:

    Having gone to Catholic school in the 60’s I find this story sadly amusing.

    Sister Mohra would have jacked this little thug up so fast his head would have been spining.

    Her favorite line, “You brazen pup, I’m going to box your ears!”

  24. Heather Says:

    comatus, feel free to become a teacher and try the self defense excuse.

    I’m the first to agree that there are serious problems with education today. But I’m sure not putting all the blame on the teachers, either.

  25. Heather Says:

    Pardon, that comment should not have been directed at comatus.

  26. Rivrdog Says:

    …and I cleaned my guns, and prepped for Armageddon.

  27. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    “So they should have pig-piled him instead? Suppose he broke his arm or dislocated his shoulder or sprained his wrist or got stabbed with his own improvised shiv in the scuffle?”

    He’s small and spry and has a sharp stick. You’re stronger with better reach and hand-eye. It’s still not a fair fight. If you’re wearing a jacket and gloves (let alone kevlar), the pointy stick isn’t going to do much unless he stabs you in the face. You make a line with the other cops and corral the kid in one part of the room. One guy goes in while the others hang back in case the kid squirts free. The cop who goes in take the sharp stick away (probably by grabbing it or by grabbing the arm holding it) and then subdues the kid appropriately. They don’t need to pigpile him or use excessive force because he’s not a full-sized crack head, he’s an 8 year-old. I suppose it might be possible to hurt his wrist, but I’m better the worst that would happen is the kid getting slippers.

    “Everybody who yells about pepper spray or Tasers needs to remember that before they were invented, the general solution for situations like this was to beat somebody with a hardwood club.”

    They were also invented and designed to subdue adults and not children. They are significantly more dangerous when used against someone with less than adult size and body mass. What adult needs a hardwood club to subdue an 8 year-old?

    If the kid was older or had a real weapon like a knife instead of broken piece of wooden trim, I could see it being a problem. But he’s a third grader with a pointy stick. I’ve taken care of more trouble than that at a family picnic. The only reason to call the cops is because of legal requirements.

  28. Bubblehead Les Says:

    Barricade the Kid (sorry, he did it for you already). Call the Game Warden and have him toss a Net, unless you want to use a Dart Gun. Problem solved.

  29. Jeff the Baptist Says:

    Doh! Splinters not slippers.

  30. Bubblehead Les Says:

    OOOPS! SORRY! MY BAD! It was ALL the GROWN UPS who Barricaded themselves in place and called 911 to handle ONE 80 pound Kid with a Stick.

    O.K., maybe 2 Nets. Or the Janitor with the Mop shoving it into the Kids face until he gets pushed into a Corner, where 3 people tackle him and sit on the Kids chest.

  31. divemedic Says:

    It never ceases to amaze me that everyone always seems to know more about doing someone’s job than the person whose job it is to do it.

    As a firefighter, I constantly am barraged with people who are full of advice on how I am doing it all wrong. Funny thing is, none of those people have ever tried to do my job. (and that includes most volunteers. When I was a volunteer, I used to think being a volunteer firefighter was like being a full time one. I was wrong, and so are you.)

  32. Will Says:

    Jake makes a good point. I know someone who adopted fraternal twin infants from Russia. Turns out they suffered from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. The boy eventually tried to kill his sister a couple times, and injured others. He had to be committed. I’m told the sister may end up the same way, as she seems to be following the same track.

  33. Ancient Woodsman Says:

    The mom – and a few others here – miss a crucial point: a sharp stick can be construed as a threat of deadly force. So it was an 8-year-old; some here suggested because it was a youngster he posed no threat. You weren’t there, were you? Yet numerous other adults that were there, for any number of reasons we can armchair-quarterback, felt threatened enough to call for help. The LE took requisite steps to mitigate the situation without putting anyone but the jerk in anymore danger than necessary – and closing with an armed subject (even a little one with ‘only’ a sharp stick) is definitely more dangerous than a squirt of OC from a distance.

    Remind mom and the rest of the world that OC is merely one step in the force continuum – and one of the few that can be used across a wide range of that continuum – and that there are much more severe & final tools to use in such an encounter. Yes, a baton can be considered deadly force if used with certain strikes; a taser is not always ‘the’ tool of choice. Louder tools are often used for lethal force threats, followed by the crying mom on TV screaming ‘why didn’t they shoot him in the leg?’ Judging by the history of the tot, she may get her chance yet for that interview.

    I am a LEO and a LEFI, counting down less than 1 year to retire.

    Mom should shut the hell up and get some serious help for her and the kid.

  34. Ben Branam Says:

    The teachers do all they can. My wife teaches and if she yells at a kid she will be in trouble and possibly fired. When she asks administrators for help they just send the kid back and say it’s her problem.

    This is a parenting and society issue. Society is telling him he has anger issues and it’s not his fault. The teachers and or cops should have beat the snot out of him. At least pepper spray hurts like a mother!

  35. Don Gwinn Says:

    I do teach in an alternative school (meaning the school you go to if all the other middle schools in the district throw you out) in a medium-size city of about 120,000. I also have 14-year-old twin boys, who I adopted when they were six years old, with serious developmental problems including Fetal Alcohol Syndrome (a term which here includes all pre-natal drug use) and a history of serious abuse and neglect.

    I can tell you that in a classroom in a “standard” public school, a student with BD who acts out is usually handled by the teachers and attendants. I’m trained in a system of conflict resolution called CPI, which does include a hands-on component. It’s basically the fine art of de-escalating someone before they reach that “acting-out person” stage of physically acting out, along with some fairly simple and theoretically very safe physical restraint techniques (they only work against someone much shorter and weaker than you are, but they do avoid problems like positional asphyxiation–you can probably guess that a lot of the reason schools pay for this training is that they want to know the fine art of not getting sued so much.)

    I’m curious about some statements I disagreed with when I read them here:

    1. It seems to be implied by more than one person that it’s understandable that the police used pepper spray against someone with a weapon even though he was a child. However, the teachers, who don’t have that option and would likely be disciplined for attempting to physically restrain a kid acting out in that manner, don’t get that pass. They’re castigating for not controlling their place. Why?
    Yes, they should have it under control based on routine and clear expectations most of the time, but there are students who aren’t reached by those things.

    2. Uncle’s verbal confrontation with the kid in jail worked at least in part because Uncle and his staff were in control at the jail. That is not the case in many schools, especially with students with a history of BD or violent acting out. Such students are taught over time that unless they place importance on getting good grades and passing (and often, not even then, since they will be passed to the next grade even with failing grades from the teacher in some cases) they are in control. In their minds, the bottom line is that as long as they are tough enough to take the consequences (detention, suspension, failing, expulsion) they are in control. And the truth is, in many places, that they’re right.

    3. We all often act as if the issue of students acting out, even violently, in school and out of it, is new . . . but it’s not. To Kill a Mockingbird wasn’t written in 2011, and neither were the Little House On the Prairie books. In the LHOP books, there’s the story of the time a group of “big boys” who refused to obey the school teacher resolved give the teacher severe beatings and close down the school, at the urging of their parents. Almanzo’s father resolved the situation by loaning the teacher his “black snake whip.” That’s frowned upon today.

  36. Tam Says:

    nk,

    What kind of pussies they make cops these days? I donít care what an 80 lb. kid carries. I would worry about hurting him…

    That’s exactly what they were worried about. Which would shortly have been followed by the lawyers hired by the little monster’s parents hurting them.

    You see how much she wigged out over fifteen minutes of stinging eyes? What do you think she’d have done if her precious peach had his shoulder dislocated in the scuffle?

  37. hist_ed Says:

    I also teach (in a nice, safe, suburban junior high school). I’m 6′ 4″ and 230 so, given my school’s population, I don’t really have problems that a loud yell can’t solve. We have been told repeatedly that we are not to touch students in any way to discipline or control them.

    My mother also taught for many years. She was in an alternative school in a tough rural district. Years ago she had two girls start fighting in her class. She had been instructed to never physically intervene but to call for an administrator. She timed it and it took about four and a half minutes for her principal to waddle to her room. In that time the larger girl had the smaller one down on the floor and was pummeling her. Smaller kid wound up in the hospital for weeks with a shattered jaw and (relatively mild) brain damage. Mom quit the day of the fight after asking the principal if the policy would remain the same. My mom raised five big sons and would have broken that fight up in seconds.

    She later met with the school and the union and both supported continuing the policy. Had mom injured a kid in breaking up the fight, the district would almost certainly have lost a lawsuit. When the district was sued for allowing the fight that injured the kid, they won because they had a consistent policy that was followed even though it allowed unnecessary injury to a kid.

    Thatís the legal climate in which we teach. We didnít make it; the school district administrators and lawyers did. Almost every one of my colleagues want to be able to stop this kid of shit, but we will lose our jobs if we do (districts canít fire incompetents who canít teach, mind you, but injure a kid while wrestling him off some other students and you can sure as hell get fired).

    I donít know how I would react if something like this happened. I donít think I could sit there and not act if one student was seriously injuring another even though I might lose my job over it. But in the situation above, no one was being injured. I might do what those teachers did because I have kids to feed and losing my job over something like this is not a decision I would make.

    By the way, this situation will not change until the parents of the good kids-the vast majority, start yelling enough about the assholes screwing up their kids’ education.

  38. SDN Says:

    My mother was a 30 year teacher in Alabama public schools. The limits on her disciplinary options were the following:

    Couldn’t keep them after school because they couldn’t miss the bus.
    Couldn’t deny them the opportunity to buy “snacks” because the school wanted the money.
    Couldn’t (of course) restrain them physically because the parent (usually only one) would sue.
    Couldn’t flunk them more than one year because a) they needed the space and b) trying to deal with “4th graders” who needed a shave or tampons would have been a nightmare.

    Add to that the fact that a white teacher like her was an automatic “raaaaacist” who would lose in front of a jury….

    She also had three daughters and told all of them not to even consider teaching. No wonder education majors are the bottom of the barrel as a rule.

  39. Justthisguy Says:

    +100 on what Tam wrote above.

    I remember my 8th-grade General Science teacher telling us a story from when he was an Army officer in the Philippines in the Twenties of the last century. An MP had hit a sojer on the head with stick, sojer died. There was a court-martial.

    My teacher got to look at the skull of the dead sojer and noticed that it seemed very thin where the stick smashed it in. He consulted a physician, who concurred with him that the skull was indeed unusually thin. The MP was acquitted.

    There is no telling what will happen when you hit someone upside the head.

  40. Justthisguy Says:

    On reading all of the comments, all I can say is that I feel so very old. (Hey, I turned 60 recently, I have a right to feel old!)

    I recall, in Jr. High School in FL in the early sixties, one of the rowdier boys getting several licks with a paddle on his behind for being mean to some other kids. It seemed to work. I mean, I don’t think he did it again when he thought a grownup might be looking.

  41. Justthisguy Says:

    P.s. Back then, we still had a lot of male teachers, even in Elementary School, and a lot of them were Second World War vets, who didn’t take any shit. I recall my fifth-grade teacher picking up a rowdy kid by the collar and the back of the waistband and “counseling” the kid while said kid was up in the air.

    We still had some badass female teachers back then, too. My first grade teacher, Mrs. Miller, had white hair in 1955. She was a tough old 19th-Century gal who took no nonsense from either us, or the silly principal, and taught all of us how to read phonetically, and also tried to teach us patience and toughness.

    Sadly, my 2nd-grade teacher, Mrs. Nash, was a silly young doodah. I lost all respect for her when I had to explain the difference between “contract’ and “retract” to her. I honestly think she didn’t know the difference.

  42. Justthisguy Says:

    P.s. No, I lie. It was the sixth-grade teacher, a straight arrow, who hoicked the kid up into the air. My fifth-grade teacher was a rather tight-assed scaredy-cat dickhead, though quite competent at trying to make us learn things.

    I mean, I mostly had teachers who were at least _trying_ to do right when I was a kid. Also, lots of my fellow pupils were Jews, which tended to keep up a certain academic standard.

  43. Kim du Toit Says:

    From what I’ve read, pepper spray seems to have been about the right remedy. A serious beating on his 8-year-old backside would have been better, but that’s not an option in our pussified modern world.

    One day, this little asshole is going to get himself killed, either by someone else or by the State. And Momma is still going to think he’s innocent.

  44. Andrew Says:

    No chance of him ever being an adult, because his parents are not adults.

    Future serial killer at the worst. Or plate maker at the least.

    Full blown ass whipping needed before he changes. And I don’t see that happening.