Jump to content

Menu

12 year old girl in FL arrested for pinching boy on rear end


Lanny
 Share

Recommended Posts

I am in favor of a loud and clear message when kids of middle or high school age violate another kid's personal space and it shouldn't be swept under the rug.  The article says ...

 

 "Authorities said the pinching incident occurred in March. KABC reported that the state attorney said the charge will be dismissed once the girl completes a diversion program that includes community service and a drug test."

 

It's not going to follow her, but she won't do it again and her peers might think twice about it too.  I actually think community service is an appropriate punishment. 

 

I don't know why kids in a school setting should have to put up with something I'd report to the police if I were walking down the street and some stranger did to me.  I will also say, there are often things going on behind the scenes we don't know about it cases like this.   If this is a "game" at this school, maybe it is time someone stepped up and put an end to it.  If the school was unwilling to deal with it and it's an ongoing thing, maybe the parents felt like they had to escalate it.  

 

Given the source of this news story, it wouldn't surprise me if there was more going on than meets the eye.

  • Like 13
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly. I used to work for a police dept and if someone called and 'reported' this we would have told them to have the parents and teachers handle it. I mean, yeah, it's wrong and all, but police? Sheesh. I do think there's something more going on for them to be involved. 

  • Like 15
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Meanwhile some people walk after a rape.

 

Community service and a drug test sounds insanely stupid.  How about something like a class on harassment and how to keep one's hands to themselves?  What is the logical connection between drug test, community service and the offending behavior?  Did she do it while high? 

 

 

 

 

  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

March? I wonder if this was March 17th and happened when the boy wasn't wearing green.

 

My husband thinks pinching is acceptable and expected in that situation. We just had the argument a week ago that "Hey! I didn't wear green to work and NO ONE pinched me. I'm not sure anyone even noticed" so its okay with me if the school shuts it down.

 

(But getting arrested? Better to handle it on the school level)

 

Edited by vonfirmath
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I hope there's more to the story, because if it's as innocent and a one time incident like the article makes it sound....I think it's absurd. Not saying what she did is right. And, if it had become a "common game" in the school then the entire school needs to be addressed, making it clear the school is not accepting of such game and there would be disciplinary actions if continued. But, one person in trouble, police involvement, community service... what?? So ridiculous. Not saying right or wrong in the matter, but how many kids in ps are bullied? Not once, but many times? Not a "general" school game, but really attacking/bullying someone? Years ago (when considering schools for our kids), I found out a little boy had been punched in the bathroom the first day of school, by an older kid (and we thought it was one of our better options, and we live in a peaceful area)...where was the police then? If there's nothing more to this story, the girl has no history of discipline, bullying etc, if it really was "just a pinch", this is infuriating, not only for her, but probably thousands of kids who are/have been bullied in the US.

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Arresting someone is insane. Writing a speech to give to the school on respecting the personal boundaries of others, is a consequence that would actually have a chance of modifying future behaviour. A personal apology to the person pinched.

 

I'm not necessarily saying that I agree with arresting the girl (I don't know enough about it to make a decision), but I will say that giving a speech or apologizing to the other person are often unlikely to change the behavior. Bullies view stuff like that as stupid and don't take it seriously and aren't sincere in their apologies. I can totally see the bully in question standing in front of the school rhapsodizing dramatically on the subject while all her cool friends snicker and everyone takes it as a big joke, while the injured party slumps in his chair knowing that everyone thinks he's a lame weenie.

 

But doing community service, which would not be fun and would probably be embarrassing, too, would be much more likely to persuade a kid not to do something like that again, even if it's just so they can avoid community service again.

 

And when it comes to bullying, I don't really care whether the bully stops because she's seen the light or because she fears the consequences. Makes no stinkin' difference to me. I just want the bullying stopped.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't agree with arresting the girl for what is presented as a one off thing. That said the school consequences for touching someone inappropriately should be pretty severe, even on the first offense. If it was St. Patrick's Day, even then grabbing someone's butt is not ok. If it was a boy pinching a girl's breast would people be similarly disposed to think it was no big deal?

 

And I am tired of people framing adverse reactions to physical or sexual harrassment in middle and high schools as PC run amuck. My niece is in the 8th grade and was dealing with sexual harassment at school that no one should have to live through. The school didn't take her complaints seriously. The school didn't take her mother's complaints seriously. It took me going all Al Pacino up in there for them to sit up and take notice. Worse, while my niece was bothered and scared, she was learning from the situation that it was normal for boys to treat girls that way. We had many a conversation about how "common" and "frequent" =\= normal, acceptable or morally right and that you don't need to be nice to people who corner you and grab your body and give you lewd nicknames. My son warmed my heart when I heard them talking about it and he was like "people who treat you like that ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS! Friends who side with people like that over you ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS." She was concerned she might be suspended if she pushed them away. I was like "if you get suspended for defending yourself, I will pick you up and we will go get ice cream on the way to stare down the school district attorney."

Edited by LucyStoner
  • Like 19
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, 12yo is an iffy age.  Some kids that age really are just clueless, while others are not.

 

I also feel that any kind of public punishment for this sort of behavior is risky.  The idea of shaming a 12yo for doing something borderline "sexual" will often have the effect of perpetuating or intensifying whatever issues led the girl to make a choice to pinch her classmate.

 

Then again, I don't think it should just be ignored, either.  At 12yo we should know enough to not pinch our schoolmates.  :/

 

One thing I wonder.  If this had been a girl pinching a girl, would anyone have even thought of an arrest?  I can remember things happening in school that were a lot more violent than a pinch, where nobody called the cops.  Is this a matter of the authorities making this into a big sexual thing vs. treating it the same as, say, a kick in the rear or a spock pinch?  Or do we now call the cops for every physical encounter that falls outside of the code of conduct?

 

Of course we don't know whether this was a 1st or 10th offense or something in between.  We don't know whether the kids had been clearly warned that this "game" would get them prosecuted.  So it's hard to have a strong opinion.

 

I guess I hope that someone takes a look at whether the girl has other issues or just thought pinching a boy would be funny.

Edited by SKL
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Honestly. I used to work for a police dept and if someone called and 'reported' this we would have told them to have the parents and teachers handle it. I mean, yeah, it's wrong and all, but police? Sheesh. I do think there's something more going on for them to be involved.

Trouble is Entropy that very often schools and parents are not handling it. My brother had to make it clear to his kids' school that if they couldn't stop his oldest from being punched in the face by a boy who, at the ripe old age of 8, runs around bullying and swearing like a sailor that he would be forced to escalate the issue to the district and the district said that in cases like that the police and social services needed to get involved. Approaching the other parents just spurred them to throw a stream of obscenities and threats to my brother. What can parents with bullied kids do if the school and parents just don't give a rip?

Edited by LucyStoner
  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, 12yo is an iffy age.  Some kids that age really are just clueless, while others are not.

 

I also feel that any kind of public punishment for this sort of behavior is risky.  The idea of shaming a 12yo for doing something borderline "sexual" will often have the effect of perpetuating or intensifying whatever issues led the girl to make a choice to pinch her classmate.

 

Then again, I don't think it should just be ignored, either.  At 12yo we should know enough to not pinch our schoolmates.  :/

 

One thing I wonder.  If this had been a girl pinching a girl, would anyone have even thought of an arrest?  I can remember things happening in school that were a lot more violent than a pinch, where nobody called the cops.  Is this a matter of the authorities making this into a big sexual thing vs. treating it the same as, say, a kick in the rear or a spock pinch?  Or do we now call the cops for every physical encounter that falls outside of the code of conduct?

 

Of course we don't know whether this was a 1st or 10th offense or something in between.  We don't know whether the kids had been clearly warned that this "game" would get them prosecuted.  So it's hard to have a strong opinion.

 

I guess I hope that someone takes a look at whether the girl has other issues or just thought pinching a boy would be funny.

 

Oh I do agree.  This is not right.  I assume there must be more to this story.  A first time offense I could live with a warning.  But if it kept up, yes that's something more for sure. 

 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't agree with arresting the girl for what is presented as a one off thing. That said the school consequences for touching someone inappropriately should be pretty severe, even on the first offense. If it was St. Patrick's Day, even then grabbing someone's butt is not ok. If it was a boy pinching a girl's breast would people be similarly disposed to think it was no big deal?

 

And I am tired of people framing adverse reactions to physical or sexual harrassment in middle and high schools as PC run amuck. My niece is in the 8th grade and was dealing with sexual harassment at school that no one should have to live through. The school didn't take her complaints seriously. The school didn't take her mother's complaints seriously. It took me going all Al Pacino up in there for them to sit up and take notice. Worse, while my niece was bothered and scared, she was learning from the situation that it was normal for boys to treat girls that way. We had many a conversation about how "common" and "frequent" =\= normal, acceptable or morally right and that you don't need to be nice to people who corner you and grab your body and give you lewd nicknames. My son warmed my heart when I heard them talking about it and he was like "people how treat you like that ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS! Friends who side with people like that over you ARE NOT YOUR FRIENDS." She was concerned she might be suspended if she pushed them away. I was like "if you get suspended for defending yourself, I will pick you up and we will go get ice cream on the way to stare down the school district attorney."

Well, I did share at one point that my cousin's son WAS suspended for pushing someone away. The principal wanted to call the police and report him because the boy he pushed way was gay so it was considered a "hate crime". My cousin's son had been tormented for weeks by this boy following him everywhere, trying to flirt with him and no teacher would help at all, the administration would not help at all, my cousin's son did not hurt the boy at all but he picked him up and removed the harasser from his presence with a firm verbal warning that he was done being nice.

 

My cousin home schooled him for two years after that because the school "zero tolerance" policy was stupid beyond words.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Why drug testing ? I'm sure bottom pinching occurs in the non-drug addled also.

 

Arresting someone is insane. Writing a speech to give to the school on respecting the personal boundaries of others, is a consequence that would actually have a chance of modifying future behaviour. A personal apology to the person pinched.

 

In terms of police response, a one-off incident of harassment should surely only garner a caution ? And yes, if it was a boy pinching a girl's bottom as a one off, I'd feel the same way.

 

I think it's a ridiculous misuse of police resources.

 

It is insane unless there is a long history of bullying and this was the last straw.  I hear from too many people looking to homeschool because their kids are being bullied or even stalked in the public schools and the school doesn't do anything about it even when the parent is very involved.  I think this reaction would be warranted (get it!) if there was a pattern of aggression, and this would be pretty far down the list of interventions designed to end the problem.

 

I'm not saying that's what is happening here, just that there is probably more to the story than one pinch on the rear.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, I did share at one point that my cousin's son WAS suspended for pushing someone away. The principal wanted to call the police and report him because the boy he pushed way was gay so it was considered a "hate crime". My cousin's son had been tormented for weeks by this boy following him everywhere, trying to flirt with him and no teacher would help at all, the administration would not help at all, my cousin's son did not hurt the boy at all but he picked him up and removed the harasser from his presence with a firm verbal warning that he was done being nice.

 

My cousin home schooled him for two years after that because the school "zero tolerance" policy was stupid beyond words.

Our son was "suspended" from 1st grade when he, after months of well documented bullying that the school staff ignored or minimized, grabbed the ring leader by his hoodie and screamed. The suspension was very short lived as that night the district legal department reviewed it and told the principal that punishing my son when none of the other kids had ever been punished for their actions was not allowed. We recieved an apologetic call the next morning with the principal assuring us he was welcome back and trying to apologize but we made it clear that we were d.o.n.e. and we never sent him back. Turns out my son wasn't the only one who was being tormented by the same group of kids and that the principal had spent all year overlooking and excusing their behavior. That summer the principal resigned to spend more time with her family. Sure.

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sexual harassment is serious, even at age 12. There should be clear, real consequences. I do consider making a public speech or apology effective, at least for most kids. You'd be shocked how hard this is for kids that age sometimes. I worked in a small school where this was a common consequence for serious misbehavior - you violate someone or some rule in front of the community, you address it in front of the community. I cannot tell you how many times we had parents begging - BEGGING - don't make little Janey or Timmy do this, it's too HARD! And the kid, usually all tough, literally weeping, asking to be suspended longer or to have to do more work or any other consequence. And this wasn't "don't throw me in that briar patch" stuff. We'd make kids do it before worship and you wouldn't be able to get them in the room sometimes. Those experiences convinced me of how essential it is to confess and ask forgiveness for kids to make a safe community. Of course, every once in awhile there would come along a kid who would just be like, whatever, sorry, everyone, my bad. But those were the exception, not the rule.

 

The inability of schools to handle discipline without the police is insane these days. It makes me so mad. It's the school to prison pipeline. For real.

Edited by Farrar
  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is asinine.  We criminalize everything.  There are other ways to handle unacceptable behavior.  Sheesh.

 

Thanks for sharing, Lanny.

 

I think.

 

Exactly!

And yet, the real criminals get away with murder - in some cases literally. Leaving this thread now. It's too maddening. :leaving:

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure why it is so certain that the pinch is considered sexual harassment. A pinch on the butt? Isn't that just something kids do because they are copying others? My friends and I would pinch boys in a crowded area for fun at age 12 because the guys couldn't figure out who did it. It was a joke, and definitely not done for a thrill or to harass the guys. Having to give an apology to the entire class would have been beyond mortifying and would have made me feel like everyone considered me a criminal.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Just to be clear, I do think this is likely a case of school not handling behavioral issues seriously and with authority. 

 

To me, it's a game if everyone is playing and has given consent.  That was not the case here.

 

I suffered what I would as an adult call emotional abuse and sexual harassment (bullying) as a middle school age girl at a Catholic School.  For example, I was once shoved and locked into a boy's bathroom crying.  The 12 year old boys involved no doubt thought it was hilarious.  It wasn't.  There's a reason I am no longer Catholic.  I don't doubt there are clueless 12 year olds.  I also think there are young adults that don't understand the boundaries of rape.  Kids need to be taught early and often that they do not have the right to get in anyone's personal space without their permission IMO and I think it should be treated seriously.

Edited by WoolySocks
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What irritates me is behavior like this has been acceptable boys against girls forEVER and boys haven't been punished.  I can't even count how many times my bra was snapped in school - starting in 5th grade.  & no matter how much I complained I was supposed to just let it go.  Should be flattered even.

 

None of that means that I think girls should be able to do similar things to boys.  

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you make of the girl's father's comment at end of article?  â€œI’m sorry my kid touched your kid. But I’m sorry because you need some help, I think -- too overprotective -- let your kid be your kid. He might get some friends, and that’s all I have to say.â€

Link to comment
Share on other sites

What do you make of the girl's father's comment at end of article?  â€œI’m sorry my kid touched your kid. But I’m sorry because you need some help, I think -- too overprotective -- let your kid be your kid. He might get some friends, and that’s all I have to say.â€

 

I think he sounds like an ass.

 

I think we need to take steps to teach our kids (and our adults, too, apparently) that this kind of thing is unacceptable in our schools.  No matter if they're boys or girls.

  • Like 8
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am in favor of a loud and clear message when kids of middle or high school age violate another kid's personal space and it shouldn't be swept under the rug.  The article says ...

 

 "Authorities said the pinching incident occurred in March. KABC reported that the state attorney said the charge will be dismissed once the girl completes a diversion program that includes community service and a drug test."

 

It's not going to follow her, but she won't do it again and her peers might think twice about it too.  I actually think community service is an appropriate punishment. 

 

I don't know why kids in a school setting should have to put up with something I'd report to the police if I were walking down the street and some stranger did to me.  

 

YES, especially to the bolded line.  In an article from a slightly more local news source, the girl says she didn't even know the kid but that it's a game that is played in school.  So now there are butt pinching games going on?  For how long?  This crap bugs me and adults saying, "Oh,kid will be kids" just makes it more acceptable.  

 

I remember going to NFL football games with my dad as a preteen/early teen and when we were walking through the crowd, I'd occasionally get my butt pinched.  Almost every time we went.  You'd never know who it was, but chances were that it was an ADULT man and when I told my dad, he just brushed it off.  PISSED me off even though there really wasn't anything that could have been done.  Any kid who doesn't want ANY part of their body touched without permission has a right to complain.  And when it's blown off, I'm not surprised in the least that someone would make a stink.  (I'm not saying the punishment given was the best option, I'm not even sure what ist, but to say pursuing anything was "overboard" is BS.)

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The girl's dad apparently knows the boy well enough to know he has no friends, even though the girl apparently did not know him at all.     ???

 

 

Boy w/o friends apparently was upset enough to tell his mom, else she would not have known about it to seek criminal remedy. To me the dad's comment suggests that this was a harassment of an unpopular kid, not a group of friends who enjoyed this game.

  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it should have been handled with discipline at the school level. Criminal delinquency charges are going overboard. That's not the same as saying "kids will be kids" and the girl should not have been disciplined at all. 

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it should have been handled with discipline at the school level. Criminal delinquency charges are going overboard. That's not the same as saying "kids will be kids" and the girl should not have been disciplined at all. 

 

 

I agree that it should have been.

 

But maybe it wasn't being if this was a "popular game" at that school that the kids were playing: the game being to pinch the butts of unpopular kids, unknown to the pincher, apparently, and the girl thought it was fine, so,  apparently no one has ever stopped them, or told them it is not fine. Unfortunately sometimes teachers and others side with the kids who do the bullying. Perhaps the attitude in that comment by the dad is common from adults at the school.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm not sure why it is so certain that the pinch is considered sexual harassment. A pinch on the butt? Isn't that just something kids do because they are copying others? My friends and I would pinch boys in a crowded area for fun at age 12 because the guys couldn't figure out who did it. It was a joke, and definitely not done for a thrill or to harass the guys. Having to give an apology to the entire class would have been beyond mortifying and would have made me feel like everyone considered me a criminal.

Touching someone intentionally or in a non emergency context requires some form of consent. This is inviolate.

 

What feels like a game to the pincher may not be taken that way by the person being pinched. The person who pinches someone else doesn't get to tell the person they are touching that it is no big deal if that person feels otherwise.

 

If someone was intentionally touching my 12 year old son's butt in a school setting he would be beyond embarrassed. Like to the point he might not be willing to go to the class anymore. His opinion on what happened is more important than the opinion of a person who might touch him without his consent. I would not suggest that the child be arrested but it would be made clear that further similar behavior would potentially cause the school many headaches.

 

On the school bus my freshman year some kids liked to grab the butts of students walking by, ha ha funny because they didn't see who it was. Um, yeah. No.

 

What remedy do you suggest if you think issuing a public apology is too much? If your child's butt was being touched, would you think "no big deal?"

Edited by LucyStoner
  • Like 7
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it should have been handled with discipline at the school level. Criminal delinquency charges are going overboard. That's not the same as saying "kids will be kids" and the girl should not have been disciplined at all.

She's not getting a lasting criminal record over this. While I agree arresting schoolchildren shouldn't ever be necessary, I don't really feel too badly for someone who only has to do a diversion program and community service. I do think the school should have handed out that consequence over the court system though.

Edited by LucyStoner
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What irritates me is behavior like this has been acceptable boys against girls forEVER and boys haven't been punished.  I can't even count how many times my bra was snapped in school - starting in 5th grade.  & no matter how much I complained I was supposed to just let it go.  Should be flattered even.

 

None of that means that I think girls should be able to do similar things to boys.  

 

I remember the bra snapping clearly, and I resent that it was ever "accepted".  I resent that adults allowed girls to expect and constantly brace for physical and emotional discomfort and allowed boys to be amused by their group efforts to touch and even attempt to UNsnap our undergarments.

 

I don't know yet how I feel about this particular punishment, but there is nothing "PC" about protecting a person's right to bodily integrity.

  • Like 10
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Trouble is Entropy that very often schools and parents are not handling it. My brother had to make it clear to his kids' school that if they couldn't stop his oldest from being punched in the face by a boy who, at the ripe old age of 8, runs around bullying and swearing like a sailor that he would be forced to escalate the issue to the district and the district said that in cases like that the police and social services needed to get involved. Approaching the other parents just spurred them to throw a stream of obscenities and threats to my brother. What can parents with bullied kids do if the school and parents just don't give a rip?

 

Good point, and that's why I think there's more to the story. Maybe the parents had tried to deal with it and weren't able to get the school to cooperate. Maybe this has been an ongoing issue. Who knows? I can nearly guarantee this article isn't telling the full story, because one pinch between middle school students does not get you a police response. Unless this was a school resource officer? I don't remember seeing that. 

 

Was it sexual harassment? I don't know. 12 is a funny age; some 12 year olds are quite sexually mature and socially adept and yeah, capable of sexual harassment. Others are totally clueless and have NO idea that their game isn't funny to other kids. An adult stranger pinching someone's backside is totally different than 12 year old classmates doing it, especially if it's a one time thing. All adults should know that touching a stranger's sensitive bits is a no-no, not so with all kids and their friends. I disagree that we should treat kids in school with their peers the way we treat adults dealing with society at large. School is a place to learn and grow. OTOH, what are they learning if these things aren't handled properly? Very touchy subject, and even harder to navigate when we're not dealing with people and events we know personally. 

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I think it was bound to happen. Teens were criminalized first (you should see the Facebook posts on our neighborhood page: "There are four teens walking down the street - I'm calling the police." Now children are being criminalized. 

 

I do not think the incident should be ignored. A person's body should not be violated and I would think a one or two day suspension would be in order. Police involvement - if it's a first time incident for this girl and part of an ongoing game that the kids have been getting away with up until this point? No. The problem really lies with the school that let the game go on unchallenged. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

Was it sexual harassment? I don't know. 12 is a funny age; some 12 year olds are quite sexually mature and socially adept and yeah, capable of sexual harassment. Others are totally clueless and have NO idea that their game isn't funny to other kids. An adult stranger pinching someone's backside is totally different than 12 year old classmates doing it, especially if it's a one time thing. 

 

I don't think whether or not the 12 year old girl knew it was inappropriate is relevant. It was inappropriate - end of story. It is inappropriate at any age 4, 12, 20, 40, 80 years old. It doesn't matter. People should be taught to keep their hands to themselves. It's a lesson that will do them well throughout their lives. 

  • Like 9
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am in favor of a loud and clear message when kids of middle or high school age violate another kid's personal space and it shouldn't be swept under the rug. The article says ...

 

"Authorities said the pinching incident occurred in March. KABC reported that the state attorney said the charge will be dismissed once the girl completes a diversion program that includes community service and a drug test."

 

It's not going to follow her, but she won't do it again and her peers might think twice about it too. I actually think community service is an appropriate punishment.

 

I don't know why kids in a school setting should have to put up with something I'd report to the police if I were walking down the street and some stranger did to me. I will also say, there are often things going on behind the scenes we don't know about it cases like this. If this is a "game" at this school, maybe it is time someone stepped up and put an end to it. If the school was unwilling to deal with it and it's an ongoing thing, maybe the parents felt like they had to escalate it.

 

Given the source of this news story, it wouldn't surprise me if there was more going on than meets the eye.

"I don't know why kids in a school setting should have to put up with something I'd report to the police if I were walking down the street and some stranger did to me."

 

I can't bold on iPad. Just thinking about this though. No way would it ever be okay, and I'd tell them to knock it off in the strongest terms possible. Don't get me wrong. But would I report a pinch on the butt to the police? No. I don't think it rises to the level of criminal. Harassing, inappropriate, all sorts of things, but not criminal. The police are not the solution to every problem, in my opinion.

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think whether or not the 12 year old girl knew it was inappropriate is relevant. It was inappropriate - end of story. It is inappropriate at any age 4, 12, 20, 40, 80 years old. It doesn't matter. People should be taught to keep their hands to themselves. It's a lesson that will do them well throughout their lives. 

 

Of course it is inappropriate at any age. But do you think a 4-year-old who pinches a classmate should be arrested? I don't. I don't even think a 4-year-old should get suspended the first time. Just corrected and instructed to apologize. A 12-year-old, on the other hand, should get more than just a correction even for the first offense. Age and maturity need to be factored in when it comes to consequences. I wouldn't jump straight to an arrest even at 12, but we don't know the history in this case.

 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Of course it is inappropriate at any age. But do you think a 4-year-old who pinches a classmate should be arrested? I don't. I don't even think a 4-year-old should get suspended the first time. Just corrected and instructed to apologize. A 12-year-old, on the other hand, should get more than just a correction even for the first offense. Age and maturity need to be factored in when it comes to consequences. I wouldn't jump straight to an arrest even at 12, but we don't know the history in this case.

 

 

I wasn't writing about the appropriateness of an arrest. I was writing about the inappropriateness of the behavior. Age is not an excuse for violating someone's body. 

Edited by TechWife
  • Like 4
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Touching someone intentionally or in a non emergency context requires some form of consent. This is inviolate.

 

What feels like a game to the pincher may not be taken that way by the person being pinched. The person who pinches someone else doesn't get to tell the person they are touching that it is no big deal if that person feels otherwise.

 

If someone was intentionally touching my 12 year old son's butt in a school setting he would be beyond embarrassed. Like to the point he might not be willing to go to the class anymore. His opinion on what happened is more important than the opinion of a person who might touch him without his consent. I would not suggest that the child be arrested but it would be made clear that further similar behavior would potentially cause the school many headaches.

 

On the school bus my freshman year some kids liked to grab the butts of students walking by, ha ha funny because they didn't see who it was. Um, yeah. No.

 

What remedy do you suggest if you think issuing a public apology is too much? If your child's butt was being touched, would you think "no big deal?"

 

My middle schooler hasn't been raised in the middle school culture so I'm not sure how he would react. If he was embarrassed, I would definitely discuss the two sides to every interaction - perception and intent. And while his perception of the event is valid, intention DOES matter. Someone who touches him with the intent to intimidate, harass, or embarrass is definitely in the wrong, but someone who thinks it is a harmless joke needs to be given a little grace and set straight without overreacting. It's a hugely important Life Skill to learn to shrug off minor embarrassments and give people the benefit of the doubt instead of protesting every perceived injustice as "not fair!" Stand up straight, say, "That wasn't cool," and don't make a big deal of it unless it becomes a pattern. (Unfortunately necessary disclaimer- I am only talking about minor behavior that is in that gray zone like picking someone up, hugging, pinching cheeks, ruffling hair- not for blatantly offensive behavior like groping someone's body or sticking a hand under someone's clothes).

 

In no universe can I imagine a group of middle schoolers asking for verbal consent before touching. Is it really necessary to get consent before putting your arm around someone? Hugging them? Are permission slips in order (time-stamped, because consent can always be revoked)? Note that I am not saying "anything goes," just that getting explicit consent before any kind of touch is unrealistic. People are going to use their judgment to anticipate what is going to be perceived with the spirit a touch is intended. Some people will perceive it differently, but that doesn't automatically make the toucher WRONG and BAD. (Of course there will be people who do have bad intentions- but there's a difference between someone who hugs someone out of what they perceive to be mutual affection and someone who hugs to exert dominance).

 

I teach my kids to use their best judgment, but that they can't control anyone else's interpretations of their actions. Everyone has their own backgrounds, previous experiences, judgments, and sensitivities, and often it's really not about you at all.

 

Although I respect the rights of others to feel differently, I do think that some go too far in criminalizing childish behavior.

 

ETA: I just asked my 8th grader what he would do, and he rolled his eyes. He wouldn't do anything but tell them to stop.

Edited by ondreeuh
Link to comment
Share on other sites

And I am tired of people framing adverse reactions to physical or sexual harrassment in middle and high schools as PC run amuck. My niece is in the 8th grade and was dealing with sexual harassment at school that no one should have to live through. The school didn't take her complaints seriously. 

 

When I look back at what went on at my school that was considered "no big deal, just boys being boys" I am appalled.  If anyone ever did those things to my daughter you darn well better believe I'd be calling the police if the school didn't handle it.   And yes, it did seem to normalize that behavior in my mind as "no big deal".  

 

I can see that some schools may be swinging the pendulum too far, but it's been a long time coming for it to be taken seriously.

 

We even had trouble with a friend, whose son had ADHD and was always poking and touching others.  When DD hit puberty she got very uncomfortable and spoke very directly to him to stop touching her, she didn't like it.  He continued, and the mother (a close friend at the time) would not take it seriously or intervene. We ultimately ended the friendship over that (plus a few other issues). The mother thought DD was totally "over-reacting".   I knew I needed to support DD that she had control of her body and no one had a right to violate that or minimize it. 

  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What if the game were to trip random people to see reaction?  Or what if the game were to drop pennies out of window in a tall building to see reaction of people below? Or similar, but with dropping water balloons onto people's heads instead of pennies? Or what about pulling chairs out from under people?  Or what if it were to put an object with a needle sticking up from it onto someone's chair to see if it will poke them when they sit down and how they'll react?  All of these are things that a kid might do thinking it is a big fun joke.

 

Does it matter if someone is hurt (physically or emotionally) or not?  Are the behaviors okay as long as no one complains?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

"I don't know why kids in a school setting should have to put up with something I'd report to the police if I were walking down the street and some stranger did to me."

 

I can't bold on iPad. Just thinking about this though. No way would it ever be okay, and I'd tell them to knock it off in the strongest terms possible. Don't get me wrong. But would I report a pinch on the butt to the police? No. I don't think it rises to the level of criminal. Harassing, inappropriate, all sorts of things, but not criminal. The police are not the solution to every problem, in my opinion.

 

If it were happening repeatedly in the same venue and security there wasn't dealing with the problem, I could absolutely see it becoming a police matter.   I do think this is more about the school not dealing with an ongoing issue.

 

I am totally not in favor of arresting young kids for minor infractions.  But I'm also in favor of schools and parents sending strong messages about individuals having autonomy in regards to their own bodies, in particular a personal part of their body.  Does that mean I don't talk to my kids regularly about why sometimes other kids might make bad decisions about this kind of thing and not have mature impulse control?  Of course not.  My own 11 year old has boundary issues some days.  However, it's one thing if she's fooling around with her friends and there's implied consent and everyone knows what is going on.  It's another touching the butt of someone she does not know.   We also ended a friendship with one family because their very large teen would not respect personal space. 

 

I will say I'm glad I'm homeschooling through the middle school years. 

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

I don't think whether or not the 12 year old girl knew it was inappropriate is relevant. It was inappropriate - end of story. It is inappropriate at any age 4, 12, 20, 40, 80 years old. It doesn't matter. People should be taught to keep their hands to themselves. It's a lesson that will do them well throughout their lives. 

 

I teach mine to keep their bodies to themselves.  Because you know as soon as you say "keep your hands to yourself" they will start poking with an elbow, head, or toe.  :glare:

 

My middle schooler hasn't been raised in the middle school culture so I'm not sure how he would react. If he was embarrassed, I would definitely discuss the two sides to every interaction - perception and intent. And while his perception of the event is valid, intention DOES matter. Someone who touches him with the intent to intimidate, harass, or embarrass is definitely in the wrong, but someone who thinks it is a harmless joke needs to be given a little grace and set straight without overreacting. It's a hugely important Life Skill to learn to shrug off minor embarrassments and give people the benefit of the doubt instead of protesting every perceived injustice as "not fair!" Stand up straight, say, "That wasn't cool," and don't make a big deal of it unless it becomes a pattern. (Unfortunately necessary disclaimer- I am only talking about minor behavior that is in that gray zone like picking someone up, hugging, pinching cheeks, ruffling hair- not for blatantly offensive behavior like groping someone's body or sticking a hand under someone's clothes).

 

In no universe can I imagine a group of middle schoolers asking for verbal consent before touching. Is it really necessary to get consent before putting your arm around someone? Hugging them? Are permission slips in order (time-stamped, because consent can always be revoked)? Note that I am not saying "anything goes," just that getting explicit consent before any kind of touch is unrealistic. People are going to use their judgment to anticipate what is going to be perceived with the spirit a touch is intended. Some people will perceive it differently, but that doesn't automatically make the toucher WRONG and BAD. (Of course there will be people who do have bad intentions- but there's a difference between someone who hugs someone out of what they perceive to be mutual affection and someone who hugs to exert dominance).

 

I teach my kids to use their best judgment, but that they can't control anyone else's interpretations of their actions. Everyone has their own backgrounds, previous experiences, judgments, and sensitivities, and often it's really not about you at all.

 

Although I respect the rights of others to feel differently, I do think that some go too far in criminalizing childish behavior.

 

ETA: I just asked my 8th grader what he would do, and he rolled his eyes. He wouldn't do anything but tell them to stop.

 

And what do you do when they don't stop?  And other kids join in?  And your kid is being pinched by multiple kids multiple times per day?  And you go to the administration who doesn't do anything about it? 

 

That's what we're talking about here.  I'd be willing to bet this wasn't a first offense, and based on the second article mentioned in this thread it seems it was multiple kids engaged in the behavior.

  • Like 6
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My middle schooler hasn't been raised in the middle school culture so I'm not sure how he would react. If he was embarrassed, I would definitely discuss the two sides to every interaction - perception and intent. And while his perception of the event is valid, intention DOES matter. Someone who touches him with the intent to intimidate, harass, or embarrass is definitely in the wrong, but someone who thinks it is a harmless joke needs to be given a little grace and set straight without overreacting. It's a hugely important Life Skill to learn to shrug off minor embarrassments and give people the benefit of the doubt instead of protesting every perceived injustice as "not fair!" Stand up straight, say, "That wasn't cool," and don't make a big deal of it unless it becomes a pattern. (Unfortunately necessary disclaimer- I am only talking about minor behavior that is in that gray zone like picking someone up, hugging, pinching cheeks, ruffling hair- not for blatantly offensive behavior like groping someone's body or sticking a hand under someone's clothes).

 

In no universe can I imagine a group of middle schoolers asking for verbal consent before touching. Is it really necessary to get consent before putting your arm around someone? Hugging them? Are permission slips in order (time-stamped, because consent can always be revoked)? Note that I am not saying "anything goes," just that getting explicit consent before any kind of touch is unrealistic. People are going to use their judgment to anticipate what is going to be perceived with the spirit a touch is intended. Some people will perceive it differently, but that doesn't automatically make the toucher WRONG and BAD. (Of course there will be people who do have bad intentions- but there's a difference between someone who hugs someone out of what they perceive to be mutual affection and someone who hugs to exert dominance).

 

I teach my kids to use their best judgment, but that they can't control anyone else's interpretations of their actions. Everyone has their own backgrounds, previous experiences, judgments, and sensitivities, and often it's really not about you at all.

 

Although I respect the rights of others to feel differently, I do think that some go too far in criminalizing childish behavior.

 

ETA: I just asked my 8th grader what he would do, and he rolled his eyes. He wouldn't do anything but tell them to stop.

The child who is touching others inappropriately is not "bad" or "wrong" but their actions are wrong and must be addressed so they learn to keep their hands to themselves.

 

Where do you think rape culture starts? In part from telling people that don't want to be touched, pinched, groped or their undergarments fiddled with that they are the ones with the problem and they should just let it go.

 

Note my comments are general, not specific to this article.

 

Dollars to doughnuts ondreeuh, you would not be ok with your child being subjected to ongoing harassment or likely even 1/12 of what my niece was subjected to at ages 12 and 13.and much of it fell into what you seem to say is a gray area. Picking up, and refusing to put down someone a lot smaller than you is for instance, NOT a gray area. Nor is touching someone's private areas ok even if it is over clothing. It is really naive of you to think that kids caught up in a game or replicating poor boundaries/exhibiting poor judgment will just stop when told to stop by the child they are touching. IME, that is exactly the opposite of what happens. It usually escalates when the child realizes they can get away with it.

Edited by LucyStoner
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

jr high/middle school is indeed a time to learn.  even in my day (back in the 70s') some kids were very s3xualized. I was repeatedly s3xually harassed (he and his friends thought it was funny) - but I didn't understand that's what it was.  I'd taken other things to the school counselor myself - and both she and my mother ignored lessor things, and nothing was done.  so why bother telling reporting that?

 

as an adult, I know what it was.  i fully expect if  i were to do a search on this guy - he'd have harassment complaints against him as an adult.

 

in this case - yes, the girl was out of line, and should be held accountable.   I also think there's more (possibly ALOT more) to the story than is being told.

 

 

eta: kids who "enjoy" getting into other kids space?  almost *never* respond to being told knock it off by the person whose space they're invading.  telling them to knock it off is actually a reward to them.  they know they're getting to you.

Edited by gardenmom5
  • Like 5
Link to comment
Share on other sites

So what if your coworker did this to you and just meant it as a joke? 

Granted, I'd hold an adult to a higher standard than a 12 year old, but intent sometimes doesn't matter as much as how the person felt on the receiving end.  I wouldn't consider this incident as described as so super serious so I basically don't disagree with you.  Just...I think it is not always as simple as intent. 

 

 

My middle schooler hasn't been raised in the middle school culture so I'm not sure how he would react. If he was embarrassed, I would definitely discuss the two sides to every interaction - perception and intent. And while his perception of the event is valid, intention DOES matter. Someone who touches him with the intent to intimidate, harass, or embarrass is definitely in the wrong, but someone who thinks it is a harmless joke needs to be given a little grace and set straight without overreacting. It's a hugely important Life Skill to learn to shrug off minor embarrassments and give people the benefit of the doubt instead of protesting every perceived injustice as "not fair!" Stand up straight, say, "That wasn't cool," and don't make a big deal of it unless it becomes a pattern. (Unfortunately necessary disclaimer- I am only talking about minor behavior that is in that gray zone like picking someone up, hugging, pinching cheeks, ruffling hair- not for blatantly offensive behavior like groping someone's body or sticking a hand under someone's clothes).

 

In no universe can I imagine a group of middle schoolers asking for verbal consent before touching. Is it really necessary to get consent before putting your arm around someone? Hugging them? Are permission slips in order (time-stamped, because consent can always be revoked)? Note that I am not saying "anything goes," just that getting explicit consent before any kind of touch is unrealistic. People are going to use their judgment to anticipate what is going to be perceived with the spirit a touch is intended. Some people will perceive it differently, but that doesn't automatically make the toucher WRONG and BAD. (Of course there will be people who do have bad intentions- but there's a difference between someone who hugs someone out of what they perceive to be mutual affection and someone who hugs to exert dominance).

 

I teach my kids to use their best judgment, but that they can't control anyone else's interpretations of their actions. Everyone has their own backgrounds, previous experiences, judgments, and sensitivities, and often it's really not about you at all.

 

Although I respect the rights of others to feel differently, I do think that some go too far in criminalizing childish behavior.

 

ETA: I just asked my 8th grader what he would do, and he rolled his eyes. He wouldn't do anything but tell them to stop.

 

  • Like 3
Link to comment
Share on other sites

jr high/middle school is indeed a time to learn.  even in my day (back in the 70s') some kids were very s3xualized. I was repeatedly s3xually harassed (he and his friends thought it was funny) - but I didn't understand that's what it was.  I'd taken other things to the school counselor myself - and both she and my mother ignored lessor things, and nothing was done.  so why bother telling reporting that?

 

as an adult, I know what it was.  i fully expect if  i were to do a search on this guy - he'd have harassment complaints against him as an adult.

 

in this case - yes, the girl was out of line, and should be held accountable.   I also think there's more (possibly ALOT more) to the story than is being told.

 

 

eta: kids who "enjoy" getting into other kids space?  almost *never* respond to being told knock it off by the person whose space they're invading.  telling them to knock it off is actually a reward to them.  they know they're getting to you.

 

What I find interesting is that when I was in Jr. high there was no effort made to explain these things.  Yet in most jobs I've had there was some training on harassment.  We'd often watch some video that discussed various forms of harassment, etc. I'd expect an adult to know these things, but obviously nobody was taking any chances and assuming.  Yet, a 12 year old is assumed to know this?

 

Maybe some schools do take the time to talk about this.  They just did not when I was a student. 

  • Like 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

If it were happening repeatedly in the same venue and security there wasn't dealing with the problem, I could absolutely see it becoming a police matter. I do think this is more about the school not dealing with an ongoing issue.

 

I am totally not in favor of arresting young kids for minor infractions. But I'm also in favor of schools and parents sending strong messages about individuals having autonomy in regards to their own bodies, in particular a personal part of their body. Does that mean I don't talk to my kids regularly about why sometimes other kids might make bad decisions about this kind of thing and not have mature impulse control? Of course not. My own 11 year old has boundary issues some days. However, it's one thing if she's fooling around with her friends and there's implied consent and everyone knows what is going on. It's another touching the butt of someone she does not know. We also ended a friendship with one family because their very large teen would not respect personal space.

 

I will say I'm glad I'm homeschooling through the middle school years.

I do agree that it could become a police matter, if it was ongoing harassment. The article, as well as another one, implies that it was once. So that's what I was basing my statement on. Imagining myself walking down the street and a man pinching my butt (one incident). And I could not imagine calling the police over that. Now if every time I left my house he pinched my butt, that's a different matter, of course. We don't know the circumstances surrounding this incident. It could be a childish prank, something that should have been dealt with by the schools and not involving law enforcement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So what if your coworker did this to you and just meant it as a joke? 

Granted, I'd hold an adult to a higher standard than a 12 year old, but intent sometimes doesn't matter as much as how the person felt on the receiving end.  I wouldn't consider this incident as described as so super serious so I basically don't disagree with you.  Just...I think it is not always as simple as intent. 

 

I didn't say it was as simple as intent. I said that both intent and perception were considerations when it came to consequences.

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

What I find interesting is that when I was in Jr. high there was no effort made to explain these things.  Yet in most jobs I've had there was some training on harassment.  We'd often watch some video that discussed various forms of harassment, etc. I'd expect an adult to know these things, but obviously nobody was taking any chances and assuming.  Yet, a 12 year old is assumed to know this?

 

Maybe some schools do take the time to talk about this.  They just did not when I was a student. 

 

you were working later than when you were in school.  they could have enacted things in the meantime.  it seems like my olders had stuff in school.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The child who is touching others inappropriately is not "bad" or "wrong" but their actions are wrong and must be addressed so they learn to keep their hands to themselves.

 

Where do you think rape culture starts? In part from telling people that don't want to be touched, pinched, groped or their undergarments fiddled with that they are the ones with the problem and they should just let it go.

 

Note my comments are general, not specific to this article.

 

Dollars to doughnuts ondreeuh, you would not be ok with your child being subjected to ongoing harassment or likely even 1/12 of what my niece was subjected to at ages 12 and 13.and much of it fell into what you seem to say is a gray area. Picking up, and refusing to put down someone a lot smaller than you is for instance, NOT a gray area. Nor is touching someone's private areas ok even if it is over clothing. It is really naive of you to think that kids caught up in a game or replicating poor boundaries/exhibiting poor judgment will just stop when told to stop by the child they are touching. IME, that is exactly the opposite of what happens. It usually escalates when the child realizes they can get away with it.

 

But this isn't about your niece. You are taking the harassment your niece endured and tracing it back to butt-pinching. For all we know this was an innocent, one-time thing. It is NOT necessarily part of a pattern of escalating behaviors.

 

When you twist what I say, it just becomes a straw man argument. It really feels like if anyone is not 100% with you, that you will stretch what they say to make them sound like they are 100% against you, yet there is no such dichotomy. There is a spectrum of beliefs and opinions, and I am not on the far end. You like to place me there because it's easier, much like many politicians do to their opponents to make their own arguments look stronger. Instead of responding to actual examples I gave (picking someone up), you twisted it into picking someone a lot smaller than you up and refusing to put them down. Not the same thing. And as for butt-pinching being touching someone's private areas - it's no more touching privates than butt-slapping, which sports teams do all the time (as well as friends who tease each other). It's not even in the realm of grabbing breasts or penises. You are saying that I believe those things are OK and thus I am out of line. I did NOT say those were OK - straw man right there.

 

I am not even sure what you mean by your last line - OK maybe some kids won't stop when called out, but does that mean that they shouldn't even be given the opportunity? They should just be publicly shamed and labeled a pervert at the first offense? How on earth does that help things?

  • Like 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...