Originally Posted by vaticanplum
How about her right not to be arrested when she hasn't committed a crime?
Once again, why does it make a difference? Unless she's throwing a tantrum because she's just killed, maimed or stolen, then the reason for her tantrum doesn't have any bearing on the fact that she was arrested.
I agree with all this 100%. Still don't see why this warrants her arrest, or why any of this needs to involve law enforcement.
That's the school's call, and possibly social services. I'll tell you whose call it isn't: the police's.
The police are there to stop people who break laws. No law was being broken here. That's pretty much the end of the story for me...oh, except for the part where the kid was six and involving the police in this served no purpose to her, to her parents, to her school or her community.
Beyond just the absolute absurdity of the situation, GAC, if things in your community are so rosy that the police can really afford to take the time to deal with temper tantrums -- or, conversely, if the temper tantrums in your community are becoming such a public nuisance that they must involve the police to deal with them -- then I don't know whether to be jealous of your community or pity it. Suffice it to say that the police in my neighborhood have slightly more pressing matters to address.
Actually, it depends on how the "Battery of a School Employee" statute is written as to whether a crime has been committed. Battery
usually occurs when someone engages in unwanted physical contact of another person. Criminal battery usually requires some kind of intent to do harm. If she struck or kicked a teacher, that may well be a crime, even if she is only six years old. The question is really whether the a six year old can have the required mental state to commit a felony-level battery.
I suspect the law was enacted and made a felony-level offense to deal with the high school situation where many students are large enough to cause serious injury. However, unless there is some age requirement, the police officer's hands may well be tied. Even if they don't want to charge the kid, they may have to, especially if the teacher or the school is adamant about pressing charges.
Personally, I think that once they put the girl in the school office, they should have just kept her there and kept an eye on her while trying to contact her parents without getting the police involved. The school made the choice to involve the police. It's not like the police are staking out the local elementary schools looking for vicious six-year-olds.
Once the police get the call, it is not always in their discretion whether to charge or not to charge. Even if they do have discretion, they may err on the side of safety. Put yourself in the shoes of the officer. You're called to the scene where a school employee claims to have been battered by a student. The student is throwing what you see to be just a temper tantrum, but the school officials who deal with her on a daily basis say she's a danger to herself and others. You've heard the stories of kids as young as kindergartners using weapons on teachers and playmates. In that situation, do you brush off the school employees, or do you err on the side of safety, charge the kid, take her in to the station until her parents can pick her up, and then hand things over to the prosecutor to determine whether to go forward or drop the charges?