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re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By SiyoNqobamember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun May 27, 2012 03:18 PM
^I'm fairly sure that's not the original question. I interpreted the question to be asking whether it should officially be public knowledge. We've covered the fact that it isn't and can't, but that doesn't mean we can't discuss whether or not it should be. Hearsay is different.

But to be honest, yeah, it would probably inspire me to have a conversation with my child about drugs and choosing friends responsibly if I hadn't done so already. But there comes a stage where you can't choose what your child does, and you can't choose their friends for them. All you can do is provide them with tools to help them make wise decisions. So I wouldn't tell my child not to socialise with little Johnny, because for most children that would just make them hang out with little Johnny more.
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By lux
On Sun May 27, 2012 05:11 PM
Edited by lux (197070) on 2012-05-27 17:20:11
^^ My answer regarding the drug dealer scenario is still a "no".

If your (general you) kid wants to get their hands on illicit drugs, there will be a solid chunk of their peer group who will be able to track them down for them. Most of these kids won't fit the "drug dealer" mold, and almost none of them will have criminal records. At least, this is how it was at my highschool. The kids who had access to drugs were never (to my knowledge) linked directly to suppliers- they usually had an older sibling, cousin or friend who supplied them, and then they supplied their school friends. The chances of the in-school contact having a conviction was minimal- I never heard of any of my peers having dealer convictions until after we left highschool -and even if they had, there would have been a dozen more kids for every one of them, with clean slates.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that a huge chunk of highschool kids have access to illict drugs, and will be more than happy to provide your kid with them. And most of these supposed "dealers" will have squeaky clean criminal records. If parents are relying on hearing about their child's schoolmate conviction for dealing before they have The Drug Talk with them, they're kidding themselves.

I also second what SiyoNqoba said- you can't choose your kid's friends. It would be silly to try- the kid who provided my social circle presented to all the world like a squeaky-clean nerd our parents wouldn't have suspected in a million years. I think it's quite dangerous to present whatever drug message you're spruiking to your kid as being conditional on the company they're keeping. My group of friends got up to some dangerous stuff in highschool, and we were The Good Kids- good grades, good families, parents who knew (or thought they knew) where we were every night. I don't think I have a single highschool friend who didn't have access to pot, and the majority of us to harder stuff if we wanted it. None of us were convicted drug dealers, and it didn't make any difference.
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By kandykanePremium member
On Sun May 27, 2012 08:12 PM
Edited by kandykane (157761) on 2012-05-27 20:14:05 typos
By simply using the indcident to spark having a conversation with your kid about making smart choices, you have admitted that your knowledge of the kid's record has been beneficial to you and your kid. What your kid chooses to do with that information is indeed up to them. But you have taken the opportunity to talk about it. That's all I'm saying.

BTW, I find it difficult to believe that any parent would knowingly allow their 12 year old (for example) to spend the night at a kid's house who was arrested for dealing drugs. Sleepovers are socializing, no?

kk~
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Sun May 27, 2012 09:01 PM
kandykane wrote:

By simply using the indcident to spark having a conversation with your kid about making smart choices, you have admitted that your knowledge of the kid's record has been beneficial to you and your kid.

Yeah, but "record" and "incident" aren't the same. Many parents would probably agree with Siyo, that they'd take the incident as an opportunity to talk to their kid about drugs or what have you. But I don't think knowing the kid's record, minus an incident, would be enough to provoke that conversation. Siyo said she would use an incident as an opportunity--but that already means we're not just talking about a kid's record, we're talking about a more recent incident.

Like, if I knew a child had a record, but the kid hadn't actually done anything since entering school or my child's class or whatever, I don't think I would sit my kid down out of the blue and go "Now, you should know that so-and-so hurt someone very badly when he/she was younger." That wouldn't do anything more than freak my kid out, and give them reason to ostracize the other child. So if an incident, not the record, is what would spark a conversation between me and my kid, why do I need to know about the other child's record at all?

Besides that, I agree with Louise--I don't really see how it makes much of an actual difference for anyone involved, besides ostracizing the child in question.
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By kandykanePremium member
On Mon May 28, 2012 11:18 AM
Edited by kandykane (157761) on 2012-05-28 11:34:42
Edited by kandykane (157761) on 2012-05-28 11:35:45 argh, last time
If "an incident" did not equal "a record" there wouldn't be people on probation or in jail for their first offenses. Obviously repeat offenders have a longer record which establishes a pattern, which can lead to stiffer penalties. But one incident does begin "the record".

But ok, for the sake of argument, let's say the kid gets caught dealing drugs for the second time. Do you bother to tell your kid, in this hypothetical conversation, that the kid is a repeat offender? Or leave it at the single incident? Because I would include that information. It's an opportunity to impress upon my kid the lesson that yes, people do deserve a second chance, but second chances must not be squandered. Or the person will be in deeper trouble.

EDIT: I wonder if it makes a difference (in opinion) if you live in a big city or small town. I'm a small town-ite. Even without official word, everybody knows in a small town. And one thing official word could possibly do is eliminate any discrepencies in heresay. Although, once again, acknowledging that law prevents such official word.

kk~
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By Anon1234567890member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon May 28, 2012 11:47 AM
I actually did know kids at school who could get you drugs if you wanted them. I chatted to them, did projects with them, saw them outside school socially sometimes. I went out with one of them.*

I still didn't buy any drugs.

I don't think any of them had criminal convictions, but before he became my boyfriend, one of them was caught with weed in his bag. He was also a naughty boy to put it mildly, so at 13 his parents actually sent him away to boarding school for a year. He came back and everyone knew why he'd been away - they also knew he was still smoking stuff and could still get stuff for you.

But I didn't buy/take any.
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Mon May 28, 2012 12:43 PM
Why do you care whether or not you know if there is a kid who committed a crime at your child's school?

There could be kids who commit crimes in her dance class, at her Sunday school, at her sleep-away summer camp, or eating at the table next to hers at McDonald's. Your next door neighbors, your taxi driver, your baby-sitter could be criminals.

How would your knowing that change anything? What would you do about it?

You can't prevent delinquent minors from participating in any of those activities. Would you forbid your child from ever talking to that kid? Would you shun them as a social outcast?

What kind of example would you be setting if you did that? Is that really a lesson you want to teach your children?

What if you suddenly find out tomorrow that your kid's best friend has a criminal record. Let's forget how, someone tells you and you believe them or something; and let's say, I don't know, the kid stabbed someone. This is completely unlike what you know of this kid, and you know the child well. She comes over for sleepovers and whatever. She's never shown any sign of doing anything remotely bad. But she has a violent criminal record.

What do you do with that information?

I still say it's none of your business if a kid is a drug dealer. Really, even less of anyone's business. By high school, everyone knows who the drug dealers are. Everyone knows who the stoners and the partiers and the hardcore people are. I was friends with druggies, I saw them drinking during school hours, I witnessed drug deals go down in the school cafeteria.

Thing is, druggies don't mess with you if you don't mess with them. They are really laid-back people. They will sell to you if you ask, but it's not exactly a business with a lot of advertising or persuading going on.

Heck, I would argue spending time around druggies gave me a whole host of reasons why NOT to do drugs!

As a side-note, depending on the state, minors cannot be "arrested." A different term is used (my memory fails me at the moment, but I believe it is "taken into custody"). Juvenile justice is a completely separate system that has no connection to the criminal justice system.
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By kandykanePremium member
On Mon May 28, 2012 09:17 PM
One of the reasons I live in a small town is to avoid being around people like that. Granted, one cannot avoid criminals completely, but by being around fewer people in general, I am around fewer criminals, just by the law of averages.

It absolutely is my business if my neighbor is a drug dealer. It affects the safety and the value of my property. If it wasn't my business (and really every community member's business) there would be no crimninal justice system at all. No neighborhood watch groups, no encouragement to call 911 if we see something suspicious, etc. It is my right to live in a safe community. Everyone's right.

kk~
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Tue May 29, 2012 01:19 PM
It is none of your business if your neighbor WAS a drug dealer in the past. And it is even more so none of your business if your neighbor's minor child WAS a drug dealer in the past.

You can think otherwise, but the law says that we have a right to privacy. Sucks to your ass-mar!

(Pleasesomeonegetthatreference)
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By kandykanePremium member
On Tue May 29, 2012 03:57 PM
I've disagreed with you on this point before Heart and I still do. As a concerned, responsible citizen who wants to live in a safe community it IS my right to know.

And I might add, if we were to change "drug dealer" to "sex offender"... then what??

kk~
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime? (karma: 1)
By AlwaysOnStagePremium member
On Tue May 29, 2012 05:42 PM
I disagree with Heart as well. It's none of my business what my (adult) neighbor's relationship is with his mother, or sex life, but I don't think there is or should be assumed privacy for law breaking. I SHOULD be able to find out if someone has committed a crime, especially adults.

Throwing "child" into the discussion made me think about it a little more, but I still think that the information SHOULD be available to the public. I don't think that people should paper the streets with it, but I think the information should be public. Assumed privacy, in my mind, is gone when you break the law. I think that authoritative figures in the child's life should be notified (teachers, babysitters, etc) if the crime that victimizes another (such as assault) so that the instructors can be aware and help prevent the behavior in the future.

For example, if a child has stabbed someone with scissors, I wouldn't automatically kick them out of my dance class--but you're sure that I will keep a watchful eye if they have anything sharp or blunt in their hands and I will attempt discipline in a way that helps the child get used to responding to corrections without anger. The same way I use knowledge on my students to make the class better...this is just another form of knowledge to help make the class as good as possible.

This debate isn't about what the law says, it's what it SHOULD say. And I think that privacy SHOULD end when someone crosses the line of legality. Hell, every job application I have has asked about crimes, I didn't know some people considered it private.

(All this, and Les Miserables is my favorite musical! Jean Valjean runs away because he is treated like crap for being an ex-con even after serving his time. )
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime? (karma: 1)
By Anon1234567890member has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed May 30, 2012 02:16 AM
but you're sure that I will keep a watchful eye if they have anything sharp or blunt in their hands and I will attempt discipline in a way that helps the child get used to responding to corrections without anger.

Wouldn't you do that anyway? And why would a kid in a dance class need something sharp or blunt?
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime? (karma: 2)
By DeStijlmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed May 30, 2012 06:33 AM
Assumed privacy, in my mind, is gone when you break the law.


I still think some of you are missing the point about a child not being fully developed psychologically, and thus not grasping the full extent of their actions and future repercussions of those actions.

There are good and solid legal reasons why you can't access that kind of information about a minor, because they're a minor! That kind of privacy exists for young offenders because they're children. Adults and society have a responsibility to protect ALL children while they're still growing into mature adulthood. The good eggs AND the bad eggs. That includes their identities and chance at a crime-free, stigma-free adulthood.

I've said it before and I'll keep saying it, if you want to name and shame a freaking child, you have no one else to blame except yourself if that kid grows up being labelled a criminal, thinking he is nothing but a criminal and carrying out criminal acts.

That is NOT to say that children can go around stabbing people and not learning that it is wrong and there are consequences for it. Children are punished for their actions, by law, according to the appropriateness for their age. Volumes of research, development and study across the fields of law, sociology and psychology go into determining that. PLEASE educate yourself at least a little on how juvenile justice policies are formed. You DO NOT need to take the law, or the discipline of an individual child that is not your own, into your own hands.

Picture this. Little Johnny goes to school one day, and attacks little Sally with scissors. Little Johnny lives in a home where his parents use physical violence on each other, constantly. Sometimes on him as well. It is all he has ever known. No one ever modeled for him how to express his anger or hurt properly. As far as he knows, when you get angry, you hit/punch/hurt.

Johnny can either get the help he needs to correct his behavior, through the guidance of a legal system that is geared towards rehabilitating young offenders, teaching him the right way to express anger, and giving him ongoing support. OR we can let everyone know that Johnny stabbed Sally (damages the victim and the perp) , let people whisper behind his back, let grown adults who don't know the first thing about his circumstance , point fingers at him. :?
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By kandykanePremium member
On Wed May 30, 2012 02:08 PM
I would hope that a kid who stabbed another child with scissors would not be in the mainstream school system. That just sounds like disaster waiting to repeat itself.

Let's consider this also - in the case of little Johnny who has stabbed Sally. This boy offers to babysit your young child. Do you really think you should not know what happened in his past? If you did know, would you allow him to babysit?

kk~
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime? (karma: 1)
By Heartmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed May 30, 2012 02:27 PM
It's sort of a moot point because there is absolutely no way the juvenile justice system would EVER open their records. Seriously, I'm fairly certain that the only agency who can get access is the FBI(& similar bureaus)... and even then it's not easy. (Federally. States are different.)

America is founded on the principle of protecting the rights of the accused. Being convicted of a crime does not undo all your basic, fundamental rights -- and you retain most of those once you are released from jail or prison. Of course criminals still have a right to privacy. It's hard enough for them to get back on their feet, and allowing any easier access would only increase the recidivism rate. That's what all this bias does, you know - criminals can't get jobs or rejoin society, so they have to turn back to crime to make ends meet.

For the most part, we are not talking about the seriously psychologically disturbed, here. As DeStijl's example shows, we're talking about kids who come from a rough background who simply do not know the proper way to handle disagreements, anger, and social situations. The juvenile justice system is focused on rehabilitation. Allowing for the inevitable bias, discrimination, and shunning a release of records would allow is not at all adhering to that principle. Releasing records to instructors - maybe, because that's in the juvenile's benefit. But how would doing that foster rehabilitation? All it would do is increase recidivism!

Criminal justice is focused more on protecting society - but rehabilitation is increasingly becoming a greater part of the system (and is also a HIGHLY more effective method!). Juvenile justice wants to rehabilitate the kid, integrate them with society, get them treatment and therapy and leniency so they can grow to be responsible, healthy adults.

Would releasing records further any of those goals? No. Why would the system even CONSIDER it?

Can you point to any incident where a crime could have been prevented if the parent of a classmate had known that a child had a record?
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By UberGoobermember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed May 30, 2012 04:42 PM
This thread is just sad :(

We need to protect kids and that also means kids who have committed a crime. If you don't trust the teachers and administrators to do their job, then you should remove your child from the school system and homeschool them so you can protect them from every potential threat.
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime? (karma: 1)
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed May 30, 2012 05:58 PM
kandykane wrote:

Let's consider this also - in the case of little Johnny who has stabbed Sally. This boy offers to babysit your young child. Do you really think you should not know what happened in his past? If you did know, would you allow him to babysit?

The plural of "anecdote" is not "data." Do you have any documented research (peer-reviewed is a plus) that says that children are safer when their parents know the criminal records of other children around them? (Or any non-anecdotal evidence that indicates the government would EVER consider making minority records accessible? Because if not, then like Heart already mentioned, this is really a moot point.)
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By kandykanePremium member
On Wed May 30, 2012 07:39 PM
Edited by kandykane (157761) on 2012-05-30 19:57:52
^ Why? I thought the point of this thread was to discuss whether we 'think' the records should be known or suppressed. That's all I'm doing. Discussing what I think. :? We have already gone over what the law actually IS. We are discussing what we think it SHOULD BE. Obviously it's not going to change any current laws, but as someone said a while back, we can still talk about it. If we can't talk about it, then I respectfully bow out.

kk~
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By Cienmember has saluted, click to view salute photosPremium member
On Wed May 30, 2012 08:48 PM
Edited by CienPorCientoPAZ (147923) on 2012-05-30 21:20:44
Fair enough, you're right there. Let's talk about it. Do you have non-anecdotal, documented evidence where children have been safer specifically because their parents knew about another child's criminal record beforehand? It seems like all your examples in this thread are about "Little Johnny" or other fictional kids, which are only convincing to a certain point.
re: Should it be public knowledge if a child at your kids school has committed a crime?
By kandykanePremium member
On Wed May 30, 2012 09:23 PM
Edited by kandykane (157761) on 2012-05-30 21:24:22 meh... never mind
Ok then, let's continue. This may take a bit of digging. I think I'll open it to also include any cases of children who were placed in danger or harmed because a parent did NOT know of another child's record. If you will be patient, I'll do some research and get back to this.

kk~
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