Orange County Criminal Defense

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Kindergartner Charged with Battery

May 1, 2012

Fred Thiagarajah

In Indiana, Pat Lumbley, the principal of an elementary school called the police when a six-year old child kicked him.  Admittedly, the boy had exhibited prior behavioral problems, including kicking and biting another school official.  But arresting a six-year old?  Clearly, this administrator has a distorted sense of reality if he thinks that arresting a six-year old child will serve any legitimate purpose whatsoever.  Unfortunately, he’s not the only one.  The local police lieutenant defended the decision to arrest the child.  If a principal can’t deal with a six-year old child kicking him, then he’s got no business being a principal.

I understand that there’s an increased risk of violence in our schools and that some young adults are more prone to offenses involving guns or drugs or internet crimes.  But these problems are more for junior high-school and high-school.  We should be spending court resources on targeting people who should know better.  There’s no magic age when a child becomes a young adult, but everyone should know that a six-year old shouldn’t be held to the same standards as a 17-year old.

This kid was arrested because the principal Pat Lumbley doesn’t know how to properly discipline a child.  Even if the principal was so much of an idiot that he doesn’t know how to deal with a child, there are a whole range of less severe alternatives — time outs, parental involvement, counseling, suspension, expulsion.  Although I think suspension or expulsion is actually too severe a punishment, it would certainly be better than arresting this boy.  Does Mr. Lumbley have children of his own?  Has he called the police when they don’t behave?    My 5-month old daughter struck my chest with her tiny fist today. Fortunately, she wasn’t being held by Principal Lumbley, or she might have wound up in handcuffs.

What kind of message is our society sending when we allow kindergartners to be arrested?  It’s ridiculous that this boy is being charged with a crime, but since he has been — I would have loved to have been the attorney for this child.  I would tear that principal up on cross-examination.  Hopefully this case will get dismissed or the child will be acquitted.  Anything else would not only be an injustice, it would be ridiculous.

You can check out the article here.


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