Swatting a Mosquito with a Sledgehammer? Georgia Girl Referred to Juvenile Court After Bringing a Knife to School to Fend Off Clown Attacks
By Ken K. Gourdin
The Salt Lake Tribune recently ran an Associated Press item about the referral to juvenile court of an 11-year-old girl Georgia who girl who brought a knife to school, reportedly to fend off malevolent-minded individuals in the area who perpetrate their evil while dressed as clowns. One poster wondered whether involving the girl in the juvenile justice system is the best way to deal with the situation. For Tribune coverage, see here, last accessed September 21, 2016: http://www.sltrib.com/home/4380055-155/girl-with-knife-at-school-says.
You’re probably right. Sometimes, however, the best way to teach someone what she shouldn’t do is to introduce her to the potential consequences of that action. True, her support system probably is lacking, if only because she doesn’t realize where she could (and should) have gone for help: a parent, a teacher, a member of the clergy, a behavioral health professional, and so forth. Dealing inadequately with early instances of delinquency, however, may cause a small problem needlessly to morph into a bigger one later on.
If her support system has failed her, hopefully, this is a wake-up call for all concerned in that now, she realizes where she can go for help and those sources of help will be more proactive about soothing her fears and otherwise meeting her needs. And as backward and unfair as this might seem, sometimes the justice system is a necessary gateway to people getting help that otherwise might be unavailable to them. Ultimately, though, I think you’re right: a lesson will have been both imparted and learned.