Florida legislature balks at banning arrests of kids 10 years old and younger
To: All Elementary School Resource Officers in Florida
From: The BRAT Team
Subject: Arresting 6-year-olds
We here at BRAT — Bringing Retribution to Adolescent Troublemakers — are happy to report that your state legislature is backing you up.
Attempts by some to legislate that children 10 years old and younger should be spared from arrest in their elementary schools are failing in Florida.
Luckily, a majority of our lawmakers this session are not focused on “the born.”
The state could be following dozens of others in setting a minimum age for arresting children. Certainly, there has been pressure to do so after the well-publicized September arrest of Kaia Rolle at her charter elementary school in Orlando.
One of our fine officers booked the 6-year-old perp for having a punching-kicking tantrum at the school.
After the first-grader had calmed down and was sitting quietly with an instructor in a school room, one of our officers showed up and rightfully cuffed the YBF (young black female) with plastic ties behind her back and then transferred her via squad car to the detention center, while she was whimpering, “Please, give me a second chance.”
That’s what all the hardened first-grade offenders say, especially if it’s before show-and-tell time.
Naturally, she was ignored and booked on misdemeanor charges.
Because she was sitting quietly and being read a children’s story at the time of her arrest, it didn’t make sense to read her the Miranda rights.
Unlike a book such as “The Very Hungry Caterpillar,” which teaches the days of the week and counting to five, the lessons in the Miranda rights -- making legally-admissible prejudicial statements, and the importance of legal counsel -- are frequently lost on a first grader.
And not only because of words are well beyond the appropriate reading level. There’s also an absence of color illustrations or pop-up cutouts.
It’s hard enough getting a 6-year-old to concentrate without her arms in handcuffs.
If there were a Miranda Rights song and/or coloring workbook, maybe it would make sense.
As you probably know, the brave officer was later fired, and the charges against the YBF were dropped.
This was terrible, and it makes light of a serious situation: the threat from single-digit-aged student-suspects.
Jump ropes can be weapons. Hide-and-seek is another name for resisting arrest. And musical chairs is just a crime ring involving mysteriously stolen furniture.
We here at BRAT have always subscribed to the saying, “Old enough for nap time, old enough to do time.”
But as a result of the girl’s arrest, there has been a move by some lawmakers to go soft on these perps, and to ban future arrests of elementary-school age children in Florida.
But instead, state lawmakers seem content to leave it up to the departments to set their own policy on how young is too young.
That’s great news.
It is almost as if they heard us here at BRAT wailing and pleading, “Please, give us a second chance.”