One day in Fresno, California, 8-year-old Elijah Vang nailed 11-year-old Maribel Cuevas in the head with a water balloon, and called her names. Pissed, Cuevas picked up a rock and hucked it in Vang's direction, 25-30 feet away*. It hit him in the head, opening up an impressive-looking though hardly life-threatening gash. And now, the rest of the story:
In April, police arrested the Fresno girl on suspicion of felony assault after Elijah Vang was hit with a rock. She spent five days in Juvenile Hall, then was placed under house arrest and forced to wear a monitoring anklet for 30 days. She is expected to stand trial in Juvenile Court today**. If the allegation is found true, the fourth-grader could spend the next four years incarcerated.
Looking back through 20 years of tough-on-crime hysteria, I have little doubt that my childhood was nothing more than a string of unspeakable felonies.
* So says her family.
** UPDATE: Thanks to bully-vanquishing commenter Jennifer, we learn that the trial has now been scrapped. The two pre-teens will now go to "mediation."