The Mother Freakin’ (Parent) Hood

Adult Male Middle School Resource Officer Assaults 12-Year-Old Female…and Many People are Supporting this Method of Intervention

Today’s episode (Thursday 04/07/2016) on The Talk reported an incident where a 12-year-old girl was slammed to the ground by a police officer in San Antonio. WTH is wrong with adults who think it’s ok to assault a child in this manner when she was clearly not presenting as a threat? Sheryl Underwood, one of the hosts on The Talk, touched on a key point that I have addressed with my child’s Middle School regarding the need for someone in this type of position to de-escalate a situation v. escalate to this point. Feel free to share and spread this post as far as it can go. I am incredibly angry that this could happen in a school where our children are supposed to be protected and provided with coping strategies. Not enough resources are being provided to schools to address these critical social/emotional, relationship, mental health issues, and related brain development. Violent reactions such as the one displayed in this video are not going to provide long term solutions. This method will only serve to increase lack of trust for adults in authority and increase the chance of our children learning maladaptive behaviors. To view video: http://cdn.countercurrentnews.com/…/school-cop-beats-girl.j…

Here are some of the comments that were posted to The Talk’s Face Book Page and also a couple posted to my feed.  I have edited the names to preserve confidentiality

(TFB: = The Talk Face Book post) It is sobering that a majority of the posts sided with the officer and believe that the girls actions justified the take down.  In my opinion, since there was no imminent threat of danger to life, the actions by an ADULT who is entrusted with the safety and well-being of children was out of line.  Not a single post from other adults referred to the possibility that a 12-year-old child could have been subjected to a traumatic brain injury with life-long consequences.  One reader even posted a response to me that he/she knows more about frontal lobe injuries than I do but then failed to provide evidence documenting his/her expertise.  It doesn’t take an expert to find out information regarding brain injuries.  There are thousands of sites and many resources dedicated to this topic.  If you can Google, you can find the information.  You can also find documentation indicating that brain injuries do not always show up right away.  Was that child taken for a CT scan or other method of brain imaging? That wasn’t addressed, so all we know is she was seen by medical staff and released. Take a look at this and then I’ll give you some info regarding Traumatic Brain Injuries in Children.  (Disclosure:  I have arranged the posts so that my comments and the responses specifically related to my comments are together, and not necessarily in chronological order.)

TFB: What 12 yr. olds get together to talk about their differences?!? They were going to fight.

Dynamically Balanced Parenting How can anyone justify that action? If you know anything about Brain Development at that age, you might understand why the officer’s response was out of line. I will be posting a response regarding this tonight at Dynamically Balanced Parenting. Schools are not doing enough to provide training to administrations, teachers, students, and resource officers regarding “Non-Violent Crisis Prevention Intervention” (CPI) This should be required training for everyone who comes in contact with our children. I am saying this as someone who has experience with CPI, classroom management, and working with families. We think that putting a band-aid on a much bigger issue will solve this problem. We are so wrong! These kids do not need another smack down!

Dynamically Balanced Parenting  TFB: There was an opportunity for that officer to interact in a way that could have been helpful versus what actually happened. His actions were not to prevent loss of life and that smack down could have resulted in traumatic brain injury to…wait for it…the frontal lobe. And what does the frontal lobe do…wait for it…it controls impulses which at that age are still not fully developed to begin with! Lack of understanding regarding how children this age act and why is a huge problem. Maybe we need to go back to that before making judgements.

TFB: Dynamically Balanced Parenting First of all , I know WAY more about the frontal lobe than you could EVER imagine and at no point did I justify his actions. Please work on your reading comprehension skills.

Dynamically Balanced Parenting  TFB:  your post was pretty clear…as was mine. Would love to hear your thoughts regarding brain development and how schools are addressing the issue of CPI training. Also, why you believe that it is ok to assault a student when other more appropriate modalities are recommended with proper training. That part you didn’t address, so here’s an opportunity. Relevant material is always welcome and I will be happy to give you credit for your insights on the site. My apologies if I missed something within your post that already addressed the stated concerns. Interesting that you don’t know my background or experiences yet felt free to comment on your own credentials.

TFB:  I love how you are attacking the school officer for throwing the girl to the ground. Where is the video of what happened before the officer grabbed her. There was a reason why he grabbed her that you do not show or even talk about. Welcome to the view where we judge all officers without finding out the facts first.

TFB:  Fond of the phrase “wait for it…”? wink emoticon

TFB: The “child” needs better parenting, was going to fight. So tired of police bashing. What happened before the video starts? You ladies are so full of yourselves (except Sherry). saying its ok for brats to disrespect police or authority so let them burn down cities, rob stores, beat up peers.

TFB: That would never be my child because I taught them to respect authority. The kid was wrong and ended up paying the consequences. Wake up people! This is part of what is wrong with the youth of today! No respect for themselves or others!

TFB: I taught middle school for 19 years. I asked the officer in charge at our school about putting down a student and he was a large muscled guy and he said officers give students a chance to back off with a verbal warning and if they have to take them down they do. Officers have been stabbed by 90 lb girls as well as 250 lb guys. Not an easy thing to watch but well worth not talking any chances of serious injuries. Especially to children. A bump on the head is nothing and most times the parents just let the children run the show. Especially a girl who is trying to fight.

TFB:On the 12 year old girl don’t be so hard on the officer we were there and the way our young people have no respect for anybody she may have mouthed off and that’s as bad to me as being spit on sorry ladies but you got this wrong in MY opinion.

TFB: I was sooooo disappointed in The Talk today. Not one of you mentioned how the girl was acting to the officer. I agree he may have used his strength at a disadvantage. If I that young girl was my daughter she would be in more trouble when she got home. The officer should be disciplined yes. But the girl needs a lesson in good behavior also.

TFB: The teacher couldn’t handle her, what about the principal? Guess he couldn’t handle her, so he got a cop….the cop then had trouble and threw her to the ground! She is the reason that 3 adults had to get involved to control her. The cop should get an award for taking charge. What IDIOTS you all are!

TFB: I this Aisha is totally wrong saying that mother should have everyone’s job for the policeman slamming the 12 year old down to the ground. Kids these days have no respect at for authority. Aisha didn’t see the who situation. That cop may have told her many times to turn around or to get down or what ever and she may have talked back to him over and over again. Instead of the parents trying to get his jobs and other maybe they need to teach their kids to respect authority and do what they are told or deal with the punishment

TFB: Oh, and defending the girl who was thrown to the ground by the officer? She was clearly resisting arrest. She was meeting a girl after school who she was feuding with to “talk”. Yeah right! I guess he should have let them beat the hell out of each other! Then the parents would sue the school for not protecting their child. It is a lose/lose for law enforcement.

Here’s an idea: teach your children to act like ladies and gentlemen in school and respect law enforcement!

TFB:The 12 year old girl is a thug and was raised by thugs. You ladies are not thugs and you are not raising your children to be thugs. BUT, you DO WANT your children protected from thugs in school, so of course a school officer has to go to what ever means to protect other students. Those girls were meeting TO FIGHT. I am a public school teacher at an inner city school, so I know what goes on.

TFB: Not all kids are innocent when it comes to fighting. Maybe the officer shouldn’t body slam the darling but I doubt she didn’t do something herself. Been many years since parents last attended school. If you can’t deal at home don’t be surprised when others can’t.

TFB: How interesting it is to listen to the different views each of you have. I agree sometimes and other times I say to myself I had’t thought of that that way! Other times I am appalled with your views. Today Thursday April 5 you gave your opinions on the school police officer body slamming the young girl. I do not agree with his aggression however it would be great if each of you on The Talk spent a few days on a school bus so you would see and hear the disrespect, foul language, horrible behavior…. and when the driver (who is trying to deliver the students safely!) says anything they spit, yell, swear and tell them if you report us we will tell our parents and have you fired. I drove school bus and one day the students were so horrible I called base asking for assistance. I pulled over into a small park waiting for the help to come. When Wes came he could hear them literally a block away. The bus was swaying back in forth as they were trying to tip the bus over (the bus was full of students it was an 84 passenger bus). The last day of school these same students got off at their stop and mooned me. The last routes I drove was whens I was 68 years old and the students were awesome they were respectful and obedient. I never could have continued to drive if I had had the other route. there are many sides to the same situations. Experience is the best teacher with some disrespectful students. Our homes should be the best teachers. Respect authorities and those that are trying to do their jobs In most instances the parents could turn the situation around for good. Thanks for listening.

TFB:   kids today don’t listen to anyone – police officers & authority figures. I don’t feel bad for her!
Amen about Rick Scott. Rich politicians are out of touch!

TFB:   About the cop. That kid could have been a trouble maker and bully. You only saw a reaction. Sorry, that kid may have deserved what she got

TFB:   You should and talk about a 12 year old girl that got thrown to the floor by a cop in school. But you didn’t say or show why she got into this trouble before hand. All you said was poor 12 year old, to me she had to do something to warren this or it would have never happen. Plus you went on to say that the parents need to have his job, why not
Go after the parents of the girl and make sure she respects police or who ever was in charge at that time even to find out what this girl did to the teacher or other students. Rant over Blessing

TFB:   The officer needs to be put on unpaid leave. That’s ridiculous doing that to a child with books in her hands. She wasn’t armed. He shouldn’t be able to work with a child again. What the Hell is wrong with police officers now a days. They need constant training sessions to make sure they have the thinking and the common sense to be one. Not just training and then an officer. Continually have workshops that they have to do. To make sure they are thinking in the right state of mind!

Dynamically Balanced Parenting received this post: I saw the video and was awful

Mary Varville-Rodriguez Unbelievable how many people posted that they’re ok with what the officer did. Very upsetting!

Dynamically Balanced Parenting A 12 year old child.🙁

Note:  The posts were not edited for spelling, grammar, or content.

So here’s the sad summary of the posts I have reviewed from my perspective:

  1. It’s OK to use physical force strong enough to cause potential life altering damage to a child in an effort to “control” a situation even when no threat to life is evident. (No weapons that pose a danger to the officer or surrounding population)
  2. It’s OK to use violence to interact with children if you have on a uniform and identify yourself as an authority figure.
  3. It’s OK to confront a child in an aggressive manner and exert physical force if a child uses foul language, has a bad attitude, is mouthy and rude, and/or talks smack.  (They deserve what they get.)
  4. It’s OK to lose your temper and become abusive to a child if you feel unable to control that child’s behaviors.
  5. Children are entities that deserve to be treated poorly, have feelings disregarded, and should never be allowed to express their emotions in a negative manner.  Life’s all rainbows and lollipops, right?
  6. Children should come into this world fully prepared and ready to handle puberty, relationship issues, communication problems with parents, teachers, siblings, and friends, and the tremendous stresses that occur as the result of family and school dynamics.
  7. Adults are not responsible for encouraging healthy interactions when they see a problem.  It’s too much effort to offer a kind word, recommend strategies to cope with today’s peer pressures, and educate our children regarding how to manage anger and other emotions.  Let’s turn them into adults who use violence to control children.
  8. It’s way easier to demonstrate a quick show of power in an effort to coerce children into behaving the way we believe they should act.  We forget that they are humans with feelings and desperately need firm guidance and realistic expectations.  They need appropriate discipline that is congruent to their actions and encourages them revise their behaviors in a manner that is productive.
  9. Children have no idea how hard it is to be an adult and manage their crappy behaviors.  (Yet how many adults do you know who act this way in the work place?  Do we send a police officer to give them a smack down too?)
  10. Adults have no reason to change their techniques or behaviors.  There is no need for further training to educate them on the benefits of de-escalating a crisis versus adding fuel to an already hot fire.  That would mean we would have to acknowledge our mistakes and make changes to a system that prefers to remain broken.

What can be done to correct this situation?  Here’s one example of some recommendations I presented to our local Middle School after going through quite an ordeal with my own child.  I discovered that not all teachers/substitutes are required to attend training for Non-Violent Crisis Prevention Intervention (CPI), which is a certified class that is usually available to communities.  Many students are dealing with Mental Health issues that are undetected due to lack of resources or communication with a caring adult.  Depression, anxiety, and severe anger are some of the factors facing Middle School (and sometimes even younger) students.  Until those concerns can be adequately addressed through changes to the curriculum or additional programs offered by the school, our children will continue to struggle.  Acts of violence by those in authority only serve to undermine the need for students to have access to socially appropriate coping skills and stress management techniques that will keep them out of the juvenile court systems.  It frustrates and angers me to see the posts that support what occurred in San Antonio.  So here’s a start to a project that is becoming close to my heart.  I hope others will take note and make a decision to volunteer some time towards these efforts.  Let me know what’s happening in your location and I am willing to help with any writing, research of resources, or letters to distribute to parents.

 

 Notes for meeting at Middle School

By: M.B. Varville-Rodriguez, Writer/Author

Dynamically Balanced Parenting

https://dynamicallybalancedparenting.wordpress.com/2016/03/23/the-mother-freakin-parent-hood/

 Recommended Actions for Project – Step One

  1. Develop a file of resources for use by counselors/teachers/parents/community
  2. Develop a list of potential Guest Speakers/Mentors who are willing to talk to groups and/or individuals.
  3. Consider a schedule of information sessions that can be presented during or after school hours.
  4. Plan for increased communication strategies.
  • Encourage ways to interact/become a supportive advocate for school/medical/behavioral health concerns.
  • Coping Techniques/Options for Expressing Emotions
  • Verbal Judo
  • CPI Training
  • Develop the concept of assembling a “Team” and how families can do this for themselves.
  • Educate families on how to create a “Family to School” plan to handle tough situations.

Create a simplified information packet that helps families and students identify concerns associated with Middle School population. (and how to find additional information/supports)

  • Social Media
  • Bullying
  • Self-Harm Behaviors/Suicidal Symptoms
  • Sexuality/Healthy v. Unhealthy Relationships
  • Verbal/Physical/Emotional Abuse Issues/Consequences
  • Body Shaming/Eating Disorders
  • LGBTQ
  • Peer Pressure/Pressures from Home and School
  • Life Skills Training
  • Use of Marijuana/Vape Pens/Pills and other meds. And their impact on students’ performance, behaviors, and social interactions.
  1. Crisis Management Plan (Make families aware of what is in place and determine if something needs to be added.)
  1. Discuss possibility of forming a “Middle School Group” where students can discuss problems they are facing and healthy coping strategies.
  1. Make sure teachers feel supported and have resources available to effectively manage the classroom.  Also there needs to be a written plan and training available to substitutes.

 Information Regarding Traumatic Brain Injuries

The following information is attributed to:

Brain Injury Association Logo

http://www.biausa.org/brain-injury-children.htmI

Please go to this website for further information.

Incidence

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of disability and death in children and adolescents in the U.S. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the two age groups at greatest risk for TBI are age 0-4 and 15-19.

Among those ages 0 to 19, each year an average of:

  • 62,000 children sustain brain injuries requiring hospitalization as a result of motor vehicle crashes, falls, sports injuries, physical abuse and other causes
  • 564,000 children are seen in hospital emergency departments for TBI and released.

Among children ages 0 to 14 years, TBI results in an estimated in:

  • 2,685 deaths
  • 37,000 hospitalizations
  • 435,000 emergency department visits

In its 2004 Report to Congress, Traumatic Brain Injury in the United States: Emergency Department Visits, Hospitalizations, and Deaths, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes falls are the leading cause of TBI for children age 0-4.

Approximately 1,300 U.S. children experience severe or fatal brain trauma from child abuse every year.

Sources:
Langlois JA, Rutland-Brown W, Thomas KE. Traumatic brain injury in the United States: emergency department visits, hospitalizations, and deaths. Atlanta (GA): Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control; 2004.
Keenan HT, Runyan DK, Marshall SW, Nocera MA, Merten DF. A population-based comparison of clinical and outcome characteristics of young children with serious inflicted and noninflicted traumatic brain injury. Pediatrics. 2004 Sep;114(3):633-9.
Shaken Baby Alliance Fact Sheet

Symptoms

Physical impairments Cognitive impairments Emotional impairments
 speech short term memory deficits mood swings
 vision impaired concentration denial
 hearing slowness of thinking self-centeredness
 headaches limited attention span anxiety
 motor coordination impairments of perception depression
 spasticity of muscles communication skills lowered self-esteem
 paresis or paralysis planning sexual dysfunction
 seizure disorders writing restlessness
 balance reading lack of motivation
 fatigue judgment difficulty controlling emotions

More information regarding Middle School Age Group and the Effect of Social Media at https://dynamicallybalancedparenting.wordpress.com/2016/03/23/the-mother-freakin-parent-hood/

Non-Violent Crisis Prevention Intervention: http://www.crisisprevention.com/Specialties/Nonviolent-Crisis-Intervention

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