Bullying

City Council Interested in Power to Arrest 5-Year-Olds for Serial Bullying

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5-year-olds dude
jhalquist/flickr cc

You can't really make things like this up. The city council in Carson, California, voted, unanimously but tentatively, to approve an ordinance that would criminalize anyone between the ages of 5 and 18 who makes someone else feel "terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested" with "no legitimate purpose."  Here's one of the brains behind the ordinance, via The Daily Breeze:

Councilwoman Lula Davis-Holmes supported the anti-bullying ordinance after the council agreed to reduce the severity of the penalty to an infraction for the first and second violations by children.

"I'm a mother, and I think I'm in favor of this but I would not want to go to court for a 5- or 10-year-old and say: 'You're charged with a misdemeanor,' " Davis-Holmes said. "We're creating another problem here by saying it's a misdemeanor. Then we're saying it's at the discretion of an enforcing officer (to charge the child criminally), but he might be wearing a (white extremist) hood. I want to pass it, but I don't want to put this label on young people."

She was there to vote tentatively in favor of the ordinance. A first infraction would cost $100 and a second one $200, then misdemeanor charges. Those fines are a lot of money for a lot of people, and can cause lots of problems. About David-Holmes' "hoods," The Breeze again:

It's not clear how the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department would enforce the law, since infractions and misdemeanors are rarely doled out unless the crime is witnessed by a law enforcement officer, officials said.

"When you talk about who can commit a crime, there's three basic categories of people who cannot commit crimes: lunatics and idiots, children of a certain age and elderly," said Carson sheriff's Lt. Arthur Escamillas. "A fitness hearing would be required to try a child as a criminal. But if you see a 4-year-old riding a bike down the street without a helmet, are you going to give a 4-year-old a ticket? It's discretionary."

 That doesn't sound like the thinking or feeling of someone wearing a hood, although feeling that you want to pass a law against children who might threaten you kind of does.  

Check out The Independents' segment on bullying the bullies from earlier this week:

NEXT: Lisa Snell on Stagnating High School Test Scores

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  1. Criminalize everything. Then the powers that be can choose to enforce at their whims.

    1. That’s already happened.

    2. That’s definitely the point.

      The vague and unevenly applied law is far more powerful than the specific and targeted one.

      1. Yep – the real power comes from being able to selectively pick the winners and the losers.

        Conversely, if the “law” was detailed and specific and always enforced and applied equally, that’s just observation and reporting. No power in that.

  2. The cops might be Klansmen with hoods, but let’s increase their power anyway.

  3. Yay, your five year old can now get you put in a cage or killed if his or her teacher doesn’t like him and you don’t “fix” their problem. I hate how they say its “only” a $100 fine. Try not paying it and see what happens.

    1. I wish more people understood that everything the government does comes with an implicit death threat.

      1. They actually refuse to understand it. I’ve pointed out the progression to people (fine-don’t pay-fined more-don’t pay-warrant issued or property to be confiscated-men with guns come-if you resist you get arrested or possibly killed), and their eyes just glaze over. They don’t want to know.

        1. They don’t want to know.

          Actually, they don’t want to care.

        2. Shit, I’ve had libertarians tell me not to talk about “men with guns coming to kidnap you” because it’s just not helpful to upset people. As if that’s not the entire fucking point of…everything.

          1. Maybe they thought you were talking about your sexual fantasies, nicole. You are, aren’t you?

            1. Well…yeah.

    2. I fought a bogus parking ticket once and had to talk to some administration drone at the city offices.

      She at one point asked me why I would fight a measly $45 ticket. Why waste her time with petty crap like this?

      I told her if it was such chump change, she could give me the $45 and I’d happily pay the ticket. Funny, but she didn’t think it was so trivial after that.

      1. Good one, I’ll remember that. Thanks.

      2. I fought a bogus parking ticket once and had to talk to some administration drone at the city offices.

        You and I have stories to tell.

  4. police discretion: kiss ass or go to jail

  5. Stopping bullying by bullying. Yeah, that’ll work.

    These people actually WANT 5-year olds to be ass raped.

    1. These people cannot imagine that THEIR precious snowflake might be the bully.

    2. Chances are the kids will be boys, and there’s a 9 in 10 chance that those boys’ attackers will be adult women responsible for them while in custody of the state.

  6. But if you see a 4-year-old riding a bike down the street without a helmet, are you going to give a 4-year-old a ticket? It’s discretionary.”

    Wait, what? How could the child be responsible for that? Oh, that’s right. We have no concept of responsibility any more.

  7. This is the sort of thing that leads to the bullying just getting worse. If you get into just as much trouble for teasing a kid as you do for beating him into the playground gravel, the gravel is going to see more blood.

  8. Wait Community got cancelled again?

    1. I hate to say it, but deservedly so. They’re never going to reach the heights of seasons 1-3 again, so they should just give it up. I hate to see it go, but it’s best to leave on a high-ish note.

    2. Yup. The promise of new episodes was the only thing preventing me from stalking Gillian Jacobs full time.

  9. Finally, a no-nonsense way to keep kids off my lawn!

    1. Bullshit. When I was younger and had my first lawn, a pellet gun loaded with garlic and salt encrusted pellets worked just fine.

      1. I think you’re thinking of vampires, Hyperion.

        1. Definitely not armadillos. A direct hit from a boy scout .22 rifle at 20 yards makes them jump up and scamper around, but it doesn’t actually get them off of your lawn.

        2. Apparently, as a youth, you were never shot in the ass with a salt and garlic pellet.

  10. Man, if only there was a law making it a crime for police officers and government officials to make people feel “terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested” with “no legitimate purpose.”

    1. That’s moldy, teathuglican, kulak talk! Get him!

    2. But that’s exactly what they mean by “legitimate”. Why else use that word if they are not suggesting that there are examples of when those things are *completely justified*?

      When your government officials “terrorize, frighten, intimidate, threaten, harass or molest” you, it is *legitimate* by default.

      See: Max Weber

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Monopoly_on_violence

      1. SO – “rape rape” then

    3. Except that that’s the entire point of having power.

  11. So what does this bitch think will happen if someone doesn’t pay their $100 fine?

    1. You know, taxes FINES are the price we pay to have CIVILIZATION, Nicole.

      God, you ARE the worst…

  12. people who cannot commit crimes: lunatics and idiots, children of a certain age and elderly

    *eyes narrow*

    So – define “elderly”, officer. Cause if it’s “belongs to AARP”, I’m joining tomorrow, and going on a “non-crime” spree.

    “HAHA, bitches! Can’t touch me – I’m ‘elderly’!”

    *shoots next door neighbor in the buttocks*

    1. Would you mind shoplifting me a few bottles of really good port, while you are still “on spree”?

    2. Elderly.. is a subjective term.. “It’s discretionary.”

      1. heh

        (not the funny kind of “heh”)

    3. Yeah, tell that to the 93-yo woman the cops shot the other day.

  13. Criminal defense attorneys, Probation departments, and most child psychologists/councilors applaud Councilwoman Lula Davis (and/or)Holmes’ courageous position on this proposed law, which will be exploited in order to enrich them beyond their wildest dreams… until its ultimately crushed in federal court…

  14. Having kids in today’s ‘Merika is an incredibly risky venture. You risk imprisonment and financial ruin at the hands of the State.

    1. When I hold my teeny, tiny granddaughter, who was just born last Sunday, I’m first overcome by how beautiful she is, then by the fact that my MIDDLE kid is having kids….and then the strong, overwhelming desire to take her under my wing. Cause growing up now must just SUCK compared the the free-range shit we did in the 60’s and 70’s.

      And we thought we were bein’ repressed back then! Hah!

      I hope the Kids Are Alright, I really do…

      1. Congrats on the new addition

      2. All she has to do is never speak her mind, never get into a fight, never say or do anything outside the progressive “norms”, never dress the slightest bit provocatively, never hug or kiss another human being, never go anywhere unchaperoned until the age of 25 and she should be OK.

    2. Don’t worry. I’ll be arrested for aggravated assault and destruction of public property long before my kid’s intransigence bubbles up to me.

    3. You just have to raise your children like you were hiding Jews in Nazi Germany…keep them hidden from all officials and especially from your Good German neighbors.

    4. Always have. Mothers still squeezed out boys for several generations when they knew that they were likely to be drafted and die for the latest progressive war to Make the World a Better Place.

      Shit happens, but you’d have a long way to go convincing me that the statist shit we put up with today isn’t objectively better than the statist shit they put up with in previous generations, especially before the atomic era ended wars between industrialized powers.

    5. Not only that, but the only way you can discipline them is with “that look”.

  15. there’s three basic categories of people who cannot commit crimes: lunatics and idiots,

    No impeachment, then.

    DRAT!

  16. Book them! And put them on the list! All of the lists! Ruin their little lives while they’re still too young to figure out what’s going on, let alone be able to fight back!

    Utopia is nigh!

    /The Proglodytes.

  17. if you see a 4-year-old riding a bike down the street without a helmet, are you going to give a 4-year-old a ticket?

    Why bother, when you can charge the parents with attempted murder?

  18. There used to be a legal presumption that no child younger than 7 could form the mens rea necessary to commit a crime.

    1. Yeah but this is California. So…

      “It is known in the State of California that 5-yr-old Children have mens rea.”

      1. If California is such a nice place to live, how come everything gives you cancer?

        1. If California is such a nice place to live, how come everything gives you cancer?

          Because of Proposition 13. Sheesh, do you even watch the news?

          1. Who can keep track of the politics between the fires, mudslides, earthquakes and droughts? You guys are just missing tornado/hurricane from being the exacta of natural disasters.

  19. “I’m a mother, and I think I’m in favor of this but I would not want to go to court for a 5- or 10-year-old and say: ‘You’re charged with a misdemeanor,’

    I’m a father, and you can go fuck yourself.

    1. Given the consequences, shouldn’t she do a little more than *think* she is in favor of this? Like, be really damn certain?

      1. She “thinks” she in favor but not certain, but her VOTE in favor is an expression of certainty.

        1. Without regulation it’s the Wild West out there.

  20. The city council in Carson, California, voted, unanimously but tentatively, to approve an ordinance that would criminalize anyone between the ages of 5 and 18 who makes someone else feel “terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested” with “no legitimate purpose.”

    Apparently one one on the city council in Carson, California, is between the ages of 5 and 18.

  21. Am I the only one who thinks this makes the adults look weaker than the children they are apparently so afraid of?

    If I have kids, boys or girls, I’m teaching them to knock a bully’s lights out. I don’t want them growing up to be so spineless that, as adults, they can’t even deal with a freaking 5 year old without going to the damn cops.

    1. I suggest teaching them that they have several options. The first being to give the other person a good leaving alone for a while and see if that doesn’t help the situation. It is amazing how many situations that result in violence and tragedies large and small could be solved if one party stopped engaging when the other behaved inappropriately.

      1. It is amazing how many situations that result in violence and tragedies large and small could be solved if one party stopped engaging when the other behaved inappropriately.

        You’d better not be saying what we think you’re saying.

        /IRS

      2. When “the other” is throwing spitballs at you and knocking you over in the cafeteria, it’s hard to “disengage”. Especially when you try going somewhere else and he follows you.

        What he understands is a good kick in the you-know-what (while he’s looking at you).

    2. Life is like the NFL, only the retaliator gets penalized.

  22. According to the ordinance, “harassment” includes conduct that “would cause a person to feel terrorized, frightened, intimidated, threatened, harassed or molested and which serves no legitimate purpose.”

    This is some psychologically illiterate bullshit. You can’t “cause” a person to feel anything; people don’t go around magically beaming emotions into one another’s heads. Emotions are evoked, but they’re the responsibility of the person doing the feeling, not everyone else. This is more of the triggering nonsense we hear all the time on campuses, and it’ll be used to provide a heckler’s veto for any child who rubs a teacher or administrator the wrong way. You could provide counselling for kids with emotional or anxiety issues to teach them to bring those emotions under control–that would go a long way to helping kids who’ve been bullied–but that wouldn’t be a gold star for the political genius who thought this policy up.

    If a child is harming another, punish him/her/it reasonably and immediately each time. Encourage children and parents to report if they’re being harmed. Discourage abusive language in the classroom by enforcing honest-to-God discipline and removing disruptive kids. Be a fucking grown-up and don’t let the inmates run the asylum. But don’t start calling the cops on children just because you’re too fed up to do your job or because some local politician decided to make a show of being tough on bullying.

    1. How idiotic that human and social problems that are universal and that have existed since before we were picking fleas off one another are always criminalized and thus politicized by the do-something statist crowd.

    2. When a cop* waves his .40 Glock in my face, I kinda well like he “caused” the liquid feeling in my bowels, my racing hearbeat, my increased sweating….

      But, yeah, overall I tend to agree with you.

      * I realized we’re talking about kids and not cops with guns – just makin’ a point

      1. I’m being bitchy and technical, but it’s my nervous system that’s doing the fearing in every case, and that response can be controlled with experience. That’s why Jules Winfield can have a gun pointed at him while he’s drinking his coffee and not even flinch.

        Bigger point being that words are one thing and violence is another, and violent kids need tough adults who understand how to change problematic behavior rather than policemen who have yet to find a problem that can’t be fixed with a hammer. Some people seem to believe that if you just administrate and legislate enough, you can avoid the responsibility of shaping these little fuckers into half-decent human beings via traditional behavioral methods that good teachers have always used, and that’s ridiculous.

        Congrats on the grandchild. You should insist that her name always be spelled with an exclamation point.

    3. Sad thing is the “everyone gets a trophy” crowd whines when you actually let teachers discipline students. My dads class had a kid put another kid in the hospital with spine damage and they can’t give more than 2 days suspension and the violent kids mom still complained that the punishment is too harsh.

  23. The city council in Carson, California, voted, unanimously but tentatively,

    All my votes are “tentative” but the funny thing about votes is you can’t rescind them.

    1. They raised their hands for a yes vote, but they only raised them a bit. And, when they were asked if they were for the motion they said ‘well, yeah, I guess’. Because that lets them off the hook when the utter stupidity of this ordinance becomes apparent.

  24. They’re still disturbed because Nissan left for TN.

  25. Kids don’t become bullies unless they follow their parents’ examples, or unless their parents fail to teach them manners.

    If a child is caught bullying, his parents should be called in for a conference.

    And if another child fights back, he should be rewarded, not punished.

    1. Spoken like someone who does not have kids.

      I have three sons. I’m not certain I had any impact on them whatsoever. Each of them came out of the womb with fully formed personalities. I pushed back where I could, and encouraged where I felt it was best, but all in all, they are who they are.

      Good parents can produce serial killers. Bad parents can likewise produce great human beings who spend their lives helping others. And, gentle, respectful parents who only teach that can produce a bully.

  26. Here’s another example of the “blame the police for everything” mentality that seems to be so prevalent on this site. This law is clearly the fault of overzealous elected officials, not cops. In Carson, CA, the citizens elected members of their county council who decided to make a ridiculous law, and they probably did so because of pressure from their constituency to “do something” about the bullying “epidemic”. Police can’t enforce laws that don’t exists, and police do not make the laws.

    1. In this case, I agree. Their lobbies can inflluence all sorts of things though. And I think there is a certain cop mindset that would love this legislation. But until then, good point.

  27. People are all over the Feds for over regulation, but in my mind the cities are the worst. At least in terms of impact on day to day life for the average citizen.

    I’m not letting the Feds and the State off the hook here, but we tend to forget incredibly small minds join city councils and come up with unbelievably stupid ordinances.

    My friend lived in a town that in the 60s passed an ordinance that people had to walk only one way on a sidewalk. So, the North side of the street you had to walk East, and the South side you had to walk West. Apparently, the mayor had a trying day shopping one Saturday bumping into people walking in the opposite direction and not paying attention. She thought it over and passed the by-law.

    To the media’s credit this town, Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, was for five minutes the laughing stock of North America. Now….I don’t even think it would be noticed. And, it might even be emulated should it be.

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