#LetterToTheEditor #InnocentUntilProvenGuilty #Safety
Have we collectively lost our common sense? When I read the article about a middle school boy being charged with a “felony count of making a terroristic threat and one misdemeanor count of endangering the welfare of a child,” I wondered how this incident escalated so quickly to this level.
I am a middle school teacher, and I understand the need to take seriously what children say as well as the mandate to keep children safe in public schools. However, when other students are reporting on a student, I might consider their motivation. Additionally, before arresting a fourteen year old child, I would have brought in his parents for a serious conversation about what is appropriate to say and what is not. Was this the first time he said such things? Those of us who are in the field of adolescent education know the adolescent brain does not allow children to understand consequences and encourages them to take risks. In my experience, middle school aged children will often say something for its “shock value.” I would like to think the school administration is well-versed in adolescent development, and it is disappointing that law enforcement was brought in and charges given while the investigation is ongoing.
I understand the need for school safety, especially in light of recent events. On the other hand, why is a child being charged with a felony when, as stated in your article, “there was no imminent threat”?