How not to treat your children

Where are the tea baggers now? They argue that offering a public option for health care to everyone is a government takeover. They call President Obama a fascist, a Nazi, a communist, and any other number of labels they clearly do not understand. They can’t possibly understand because if they did understand what some of the terms actually mean, the tea baggers should be more concerned about the increasingly strong-arm tactics being used by police against citizens:

Taser gun used on 10-year-old girl who ‘refused to take shower’

The officer had been called to the girl’s home in Ozark, Arkansas, by her mother because she was behaving in an unruly manner and refusing to take a shower.

In a report on the incident the officer, Dustin Bradshaw, said the mother gave him permission to use the Taser.

When he arrived, the girl was curled up on the floor, screaming, and resisting as her mother tried to get her in the shower before bed.

“Her mother told me to take her if I needed to,” the officer wrote.

The child was “violently kicking and verbally combative” when he tried to take her into custody and she kicked him in the groin.

He then delivered “a very brief drive stun to her back,” the report said.

It’s hard to even know where to start with this story. But what about a mother who calls police to deal with her child? How much would you wager that this same mother is screaming about taxes and “government takeover”?  According to the story, when the police arrived the girl was curled up on the floor — albeit “screaming and resisting taking a shower.” The girl was not “violently kicking and verbally combative” until the officer tried to “take her into custody.”

From reading the entire story, it sounds as if the girl perhaps does have a history of mental health issues. This can be serious, I know. I was a special education teacher in both middle and elementary school, and I have seen some really screwed up, really violent kids. It’s sad and it’s distressing and it’s frustrating. But really all you can do is make sure they don’t hurt themselves or anyone else. I cannot even begin to imagine coming at a kid who’s curled up on the floor screaming, with restraints. Of course that would escalate their behavior, and of course they would become violent and of course I would end up kicked.

Duh.

The argument might be made that “Well Sue J., but you have a Masters of Arts in Teaching and you were a certified Special Education teacher. You were trained to deal with kids like this and the officer was not.”

And I would say, “Exactly.”

Again, the officer had no reason to be in the house confronting a girl who was throwing an extreme temper tantrum about taking a shower. He treated her like a adult, violent, street criminal because that’s what his training is for.

Perhaps this case will bring more national attention to the over-use of Tasers in this country. I have had the discussion with a former police officer – now Criminal Studies professor about Tasers, and he maintains that they are an important tool for police officers to have.  I will have to ask him about this case.

Meanwhile, a lawsuit, perhaps? And a little reassurance that someone cares about this little girl:

The girl’s father, Anthony Medlock, who is divorced from her mother, said the girl showed signs of emotional problems but did not deserve to be “treated like an animal”.

He said: “Ten years old and they shot electricity through her body, and I want to know how the heck in God’s green earth can they get away with this.

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4 comments

  1. Seriously, you think teabaggers would take issue with a cop tasering a child? You must have teabaggers mixed up with compassionate adults.
    As far as I can see, they only care about bitching and name calling. The fate of children they leave to the Old Testament. They have updated some of it, though. Now it’s “Spare the taser, spoil the child.”

  2. He said: “Ten years old and they shot electricity through her body, and I want to know how the heck in God’s green earth can they get away with this.

    Forget your lawsuit, pal; the mom gave the police permission.

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