You Don't Get A Second Chance At School If You're 18 Years Old - And Response (3)

  • Saturday, March 18, 2023

Don't get me wrong. Any 18 year old in our high schools that is following the rules should be allowed to stay until they graduate. Any 18 year old that does not follow school rules should be expelled. I wrote an article about this several months back.

The young lady at Brainerd High School last week who was arrested for having a taser, fighting and resisting arrest should be expelled. And trespassed from Brainerd High School. You don't get a second chance if you are 18 years old. You are an adult. Most of the students at Brainerd High are 13 to 16 years old. They don't need to be exposed to this violence.

We are delaying these 18 year olds movement into adulthood by letting this type of behavior go on in our schools. Teach them a lesson early.

There are many ways to get your diploma, if you want it, thru alternative programs, at home.

So, my first question to those who misbehave is, how old are you?

Let's give our teachers the support they need with discipline.

I applaud General Wamp for her stand on 17 year olds being prosecuted as adults, in some cases. Go, General, Go!

Ernie McCarson

* * *

I. A child can turn 18 and still be in their correct grade at school. It depends on how their birthday runs. A child born in a month after the cut off registration date can't enter school until the follow school cycle. I no longer have children in the school system so I'm unsure what the cut off date to register might be. Example: If registration ends in September. The child is born in October, November or December. They'll turn five after the registration date ends, and won't be allowed to register for kindergarten until the next school registration cycle. That child will then turn six while in kindergarten, seven while in first grade. That pattern will follow them all the way up to 12th grade, where they'll turn 18 while still in school. It's not because they missed a grade or were poor performing students. It's the way their birthdays run. My youngest son was born in February, but was four years of age when registration for school began and was cut off. He turned five in February the following year where he entered kindergarten at the next school registration cycle, but turned six while still in kindergarten the next year before the school year ended. That pattern followed him all the way up to 12th grade, where he graduated at 18 years of age. He'd go on to join the military and also earned three college degrees. It wasn't because he was a poor performing student. It was the way his birthday ran.

Ernie, surely you weren't the perfect child in school. Most of us weren't. Now, you suggest children as young as 17 should be tried as adults "in some cases." That's far too broad. What "cases" or circumstances should should a 17 year old be tried as an adult? According to Vanderbilt law school, children as young as 10 can already be tried as adults in the state of Tennessee, and for sure in other states too, depending on the crime. But again, just to leave it at "in some cases." That's just far too broad and can include any and everything solely to make an example of someone to "put the fear" in others. Will students who miss too many school days be tried as an adult? Two students get into a catfight at school, be tried as adults? Where does it end? And who gets to set the rules, and what kind of oversight will be in place to make sure they don't take matters too far? And when and if they do, will anyone be held accountable?

II. According to Vanderbilt law school, juvenile offenders in juvenile detention rarely go on to commit crimes as adults. But juveniles placed in an adult environment, should they even survive that adult environment, do often go on to commit adult crimes. Serious adult crimes at that.

III. I always have tragic stories to prove my warnings. Here's an example:

True Georgia story: I don't know the what or why the young man was in juvenile detention to begin with, and over the years I've forgotten his name. But the tragic horror of what happened to him because he turned 18 while in juvenile and was transferred into an adult environment can't and should never be forgotten.

The policy at that time was any juvenile who turned would immediately be transferred to adult prison, regardless of the circumstances that got them into juvenile detention. Well, to make a sad and tragic long story short, the moment that juvenile was transferred to adult prison he was brutally gang raped and murdered by adult prisoners. Can America really afford another tragedy like that one or regress back to a bygone era that produced the horror and brutal story of the infamous Florida "White House Boys?" Is this to forever be the legacy of a so-called "civilized nation?" Making the same missteps over and over again, thinking this time around things will be any different from the hundreds, thousands maybe of all the last times?

Remember: "First They Came."

Brenda Washington

* * *

Ernie McCarson has been a highly respected teacher, coach and administrator in our schools for many decades. I believe I will take his opinion over that of our local professional victim and complainer when it comes to the case of the 18 year old with a taser.

As usual, Brenda completely misses the point of the subject and comes up with a yarn from many years ago that she conveniently can't remember the name or facts of the so-called victim. And as always no documentation to support her argument.

Plain and simple, if you are 18 and bring a taser to a school, you should be out of the education system.

Douglas Jones

* * * 

Let me start by saying I want schools to be safe and I agree consequences should fit the offense.  That being said, I wonder if the previous suggestions of zero tolerance should apply across the board.  Because I can think of more than one situation (juveniles and full grown adults) around here where there simply were no consequences.  Not even names published.  Just a brief mention of a circumstance involving what sounded like violation of law (fatality vehicle incidents, weapon offenses, etc.) in certain parts of town ...then no additional information forthcoming, ever. 

Make of it what you will, but we all know the punishment doesn't fit the crime for certain zip codes.

Darlene Kilgore

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