December 13, 2004

Gotta Ban Something

What would you guess would be the emotional impact on a 10 year old girl of being hauled off in handcuffs in a police wagon to the local police station? That happened to a girl in Philadelphia who had scissors in her book bag at school.

School district and police officials said yesterday that they were following state law and procedures in dealing with students who have weapons on school property. They say that those rules demand police be called and that procedures call for handcuffing suspects regardless of age or crime.

Porsche Brown's mother, Rose Jackson, was outraged.

"My daughter cried and cried," Jackson said yesterday. "She had no idea what she did was wrong. I think that was way too harsh."

School district officials acknowledged that the girl was not using the item as a weapon or threatening anyone with it. The scissors were found Thursday morning during a search of students' belongings after something was discovered missing from the teacher's desk area, Gallard said.

The scissors, however, qualified as a possible weapon under a long-standing state law, and the school followed proper procedure by calling city police, he said.

Porsche will be suspended for five days, and the district will then decide whether to expel her to a disciplinary school or allow her to return to Holme, he said.

City police, meanwhile, decided not to charge her with a crime because they determined that she had no intent to use the scissors as a weapon, said Inspector William Colarulo, a police spokesman. In fact, police believe she had the scissors to unwrap a new CD, Colarulo said.

He defended the police officers' decision to handcuff the child and take her to Eighth Police District headquarters. All suspects, regardless of age or crime, are handcuffed, he said. "The officers acted in good faith," he said.

At the very least, this girl will likely trust police considerably less than she used to. She will also likely trust teachers and administrators less than she used to. By extension, she may trust all adults less than she used to. So, for the "crime" of bringing school supplies to school to work on a school project, this girl has now been mistreated, and made suspicious of adults. Way to go, Principal Cabry!

You know, if legislators want to ban dangerous things at school, they should ban thinking. Ah! Now it makes sense!

Posted by Jeff at December 13, 2004 07:14 PM | Link Cosmos

What makes you think they've already banned thinking?

Posted by: Tim on December 28, 2004 02:12 PM

Oop's, that was supposed to be "they haven't already".

Posted by: Tim on December 28, 2004 02:14 PM
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