Let me just interject a brief caveat on children and police officers. When examining such matters, it's important to remember that there is an all out systemic attempt to weaken parental authority. It's an attack on the family structure. The less power parents have, the more chaos we will see.
Here in Washington state, it is perfectly legal for police officers to march onto school grounds and interrogate your child without parental consent. The only requirement is that they must read the child their rights. Considering investigatie manipulation tactics used and the fact that the average child has no idea what the "right to an attorney" means, I take issue with this type of legislation.
In the case of the 5-year-old Florida girl, I believe we're looking at the culmination of three different failures: parental failure, governmental failure, and lastly, educational failure.
Parental Failure: It's politically incorrect to blame parents for their children's behavior, but I'm all for it. After all, this is the land of the free and the home of the blame. Children (not adults, but children) are direct products of their upbringing. They mimic what they see; they test boundaries; they don't always know right from wrong. From what has been reported, this is not the first time the police have been called and this behavior clearly isn't isolated. If kids are allowed to throw temper tantrums at home, they will surely do it in public (and to the nth degree). There may be other household issues to factor into this equation, but simply put this mother is not doing her job.
Incidentally, the mother claimed it was a "set up" and has consulted an attorney and recently announced she will sue. She may very well have a case. I've yet to read anything about her taking any personal responsibility. Typical.
Governmental Failure: Someone else has noted this better than I could. In her post on the matter, La Shawn Barber precisely writes:
We live in a litigious society, and had the teacher done anything physical to restrain her, the parents would have sued the school. That must change. Schools should be allowed to administer a certain level of restraint when children become a physical threat to others without civil liability. I’m old enough to remember when principals paddled students. You had to be really bad to get sent to the principal’s office at the elementary school I attended, but if you were, you got paddled and sent home.
We are reaping what we've sown here.
Educational Failure: Many people are coming down hard on the school administrators for their actions, but I say they should've done more. I think they should also be faulted in laying a foundation for this to take place.
I've observed a number of public school teachers and heard from students themselves that coast to coast, many a classroom are out of control. Teachers and school administrators are afraid of students and employ weak methods of laying down the law. Via a video tape, part of the conversation between Ja'eisha and the teacher, Christina Ottersback, and principal, Nicole Dibenedetto was captured. So it goes (as transcribed by the AP):
"This is your mess to clean up. We need you to stop. You may not do this," Dibenedetto patiently but firmly told the girl, who stubbornly refused.
Eventually, the girl did start cleaning up the mess, but then she refused to leave the room. Only when Dibenedetto and Tsaousis asked her to make a choice before they counted to five did she finally leave with them.
(Emphasis mine) "Make a choice before they counted to five
????" Mistake number one in my book. This isn't Supernanny. Enough with 1-2-3 magic. The only choice the 5-year-old should've been given was the choice to obey, and that doesn't take 5 seconds. Many elementary school teachers try to employ these modern techniques that do not work on hard-headed and undisciplined children. I don't care if you have America's Most Wanted in the third row, classroom control is entirely dependent on the teacher. I've seen it done, but it takes hard work.
Ultimately, we all lose in this scenario. The mother loses because she's not properly rearing her child. The child loses because she doesn't get disciplined in love and reaps worldly repercussions. The school loses because they have to spend more time policing students than actually educating them.
And we still want to keep prayer out of schools eh? Foolish we are.