Kindergartners Slated to Receive Misdemeanor Charges For Bullying

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Carson City California is slated to pass a law that will require kindergartners to receive a misdemeanor for bullying.


California’s new crib to prison pipeline proposal

Reported by Dr. Samori Swygert

The school-to-prison pipeline is now expanding its eligibility criteria for its future inmates.  According to articles on NPR and the Daily Mail, Carson City, CA is set to pass a law on May 20th that would charge kindergartners with a MISDEMEANOR for BULLYING.  

Reports say that the city council members are in unanimous agreement for the new law.

Let’s not make any mistake about this, this is very serious!  We’ve already seen how two police officers in Portland, OR arrested a 9-year-old girl and processed her with fingerprints and mugshots.  What we’re witnessing is the streamlining and tailoring of policies that are steering youth directly into the penal system. We often talk about the “school-to-prison pipeline,” but this is almost starting a “crib-to-prison pipeline.”

Based on my readings, the proposals start at a $100 fine for the first offense,  $200 for the second offense, and then a misdemeanor charge for the third.

This proposal and others like it, automatically position a child for social and academic failure.  I’m not even addressing the criminal record, but these will be documented in the children’s academic files.  These strikes and infractions on their record will lead to future profiling of these kids.  In turn, many kids may be potentially denied admission to certain academic opportunities, programs, and special schools based on behavior they may have exhibited from kindergarten into early elementary school.

I do understand that bullying is a serious issue, I won’t deny that.  America has experienced some very tragic stories on the results of bullying.  We’ve heard of kids and even college students that have committed suicide; and in some cases, the victims of bullying have resorted to taking payback into their own hands by killing their violators.
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However, I feel that this is something that should involve interactive dialogues and family and community intervention.  Kindergartners typically mimic what they see in their immediate or domestic environment, but their mimicking has nothing to do with their true intrinsic character.

The proposal will umbrella physical, verbal, and cyber bullying.  This also brings the issue of interpretation into questioning.  The criteria would have to be very clearly defined because a child may “perceive” or “feel” like they are being bullied, but the other child can just be more assertive or aggressive in social activity, while another kid may be a very shy, timid, and a bit more sensitive to aggressive behavior.  Feelings and perception are subjective and don’t bare true fact or evidence of bullying.  The thought that a child may receive an “academic scarlet letter” based off perception is very dangerous.

This city proposal underscores the importance of consistent positive parental role modeling and family bonding.  Moreover, this also illustrates the importance of families being involved in PTA meetings, school board meetings, and city council meetings.  We must be more proactive and  involved to intervene in measures like this.  Lastly,  this demonstrates the importance in filtering many forms destructive media that constantly bombards our TV, radio, and internet.  Think tanks are working to criminalize from the crib and penalize the pediatrics.  I do not believe that penalty-based punishment is the best measure to reduce bullying among children.  The proposal also extends to the age of 25, so from the ages of 4-25 years old, Carson City will be accruing a lot of penalty-based revenue and criminal charges.

What are your thoughts?  What other alternative methods do you think the city should have considered to thwart bullying?  Click here to review the Carson City proposal on this issue.