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Mom, 5-year-old girl in video fires lawyer, moving out of state
St. Petersburg Times ^ | April 26, 2005 | THOMAS C. TOBIN

Posted on 04/26/2005 5:02:47 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife

ST. PETERSBURG - The mother of the 5-year-old girl who was handcuffed at school by police has withdrawn her daughter from Pinellas public schools and is moving out of state, superintendent Clayton Wilcox said Monday night.

The development was the latest in a bizarre saga that began Friday, when a videotape of the handcuffing was made public.

Since then, wrenching video images of the wailing kindergartener being handcuffed by St. Petersburg police have raced around the globe, airing and re-airing on television news shows in the United States, Great Britain, Spain, around Asia and beyond.

On Monday morning, the Largo lawyer representing the girl's mother appeared on five network news shows. He returned wearily to his office to find a fax from the mother, 24-year-old Inga Akins, stating he had been fired. The fax had been sent from the tabloid TV show A Current Affair, on which the mother appeared Friday and Monday.

Also on Monday came the prospect that the Rev. Al Sharpton would be coming to town. The famous New York crusader and one-time presidential candidate is intrigued and considering weighing in on the episode, his staff said.

"Instantly he felt that it smelled bad, but he wants to research it first," said his spokeswoman Rachel Nordlinger. "It could be a case of police brutality or a case of her civil rights being violated."

Wilcox had no further information on Akins' move to pull the girl out of school. She was handcuffed at Fairmount Park Elementary on March 14 and transferred to another public school after the incident.

Wilcox said he found out about her leaving the system when he asked his staff Monday how she was doing in the new school.

A call to Akins' cell phone went unreturned Monday night.

Pinellas County records show that a St. Petersburg apartment complex where she lived moved to evict her on March 31, about two weeks after the handcuffing that put her daughter's face on TV screens across he world.

Wilcox said the girl had been out of school since Thursday.

John Trevena, who had been serving as the attorney for Akins, said he learned from an executive producer at A Current Affair that the girl and her mother traveled to New York City over the weekend, where they stayed at the show's expense.

The case of the handcuffed little girl was the top story on the tabloid program Monday night, with images of the girl smelling a flower and running through a park laughing.

The show interviewed a child psychologist who said the handcuffing might be racially motivated. A Current Affair also said the girl "had to flee her home to escape the media."

The show blamed Trevena's release of the video to major media outlets last week, including the St. Petersburg Times . The lawyer said a producer from the show "raged" at him last Friday, saying the release of the video violated an exclusive agreement between Akins and A Current Affair.

Trevena said he had been unaware of any agreement.

The show made no mention of its part in the media frenzy that has followed the video.

A Current Affair clearly communicated it had every intention of running the videotape, Trevena said. He also said the show interviewed Akins and her daughter only days after the handcuffing incident.

On Friday, a few hours after the video began screaming across the world, the show announced to the media that it had an exclusive.

It sent out a news release titled: "Five-year-old African American girl handcuffed by three police officers. A Current Affair gets first national look at incident on tape."

The program Monday evening did not disclose on air how much it had paid Akins for the story. When asked what the sum was Monday afternoon, a spokeswoman for the show laughed at the question. She said there would be no comment on the story.

Trevena called the program's actions "highly unethical and possibly illegal." He said he was concerned that his client was in New York discussing the case with another party without legal advice.

The videotape shows the girl defying an assistant principal and another school staff member as she tore items off walls and swung at the educators.

Later, it shows the girl in the assistant principal's office tearing items off a bulletin board, climbing on a table and swinging at the assistant principal numerous times.

The video ends after about 28 minutes with the girl crying as three St. Petersburg police officers place her in handcuffs.

The girl had a history of problems at the school, though the full extent is not known because student records are not public.

District officials have discussed an incident several weeks before the handcuffing in which a city police officer was called to the school because of a behavior problem with the girl. The officer said something to her about the possibility of being handcuffed if her behavior continued.

Akins later objected to that conversation, part of an ongoing feud with the school over her daughter's treatment.

District officials say the video started as an exercise by the girl's teacher to improve her craft in the classroom. But they acknowledge that the girl's history may have played a part in the decision to keep the camera rolling that day.

Though city police are being harshly criticized for their role in the incident, the department declined Wednesday to elaborate on the rationale for the handcuffing, citing a pending investigation.

Police spokesman Bill Proffitt said the department stood by a statement made in mid March, which was that department policy allows the handcuffing of minors in certain situations.

How did an incident that received mild attention in March blossom into a worldwide phenomenon five weeks later?

The video, said Matthew Felling, media director at The Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C.

"It's not necessarily about the little girl, it's about the visceral nature of it," he said. "Is it compelling? Yes. Is it emotional porn? Yes. Is it internationally relevant news? No."

He said too many media outlets had been airing only part of the video, which is about 28 minutes long.

"This story is driven by 10 seconds of footage - two seconds of the tantrum and eight seconds of handcuffing," he said. "Completely taken out of context, but that is the media's way."


TOPICS: Crime/Corruption; Culture/Society; Extended News; Government; News/Current Events; US: Florida
KEYWORDS: applefellclose2tree; education; enabler; mamawheresmypa; media; mino; motherinnameonly; msm; stupidbrats; whereisthedad; worldsworstmom
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Inga Akins, 24, fired her lawyer after he released the video of her daughter's arrest to the St. Petersburg Times.

View video of classroom

View video of assistant principal's office, arrival of police

Superintendent Wilcox invites your comments

1 posted on 04/26/2005 5:02:47 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

In an ideal world, this little girl should not have been handcuffed. She should have been given a good paddling on her bottom with a switch.


2 posted on 04/26/2005 5:04:48 AM PDT by SampleMan
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To: SampleMan
***.......How did an incident that received mild attention in March blossom into a worldwide phenomenon five weeks later?

The video, said Matthew Felling, media director at The Center for Media and Public Affairs in Washington, D.C. .........***

Bump!

3 posted on 04/26/2005 5:07:48 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: SampleMan

Also in an ideal world the parent would have supported the teacher/principal who administered the paddling.


4 posted on 04/26/2005 5:09:16 AM PDT by proudofthesouth (Boycotting movies since 1988)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

With a name like "Ja'eisha" the kid never stood a chance.


5 posted on 04/26/2005 5:09:34 AM PDT by whd23
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

"Instantly he felt that it smelled bad, but he wants to research it first," said his spokeswoman Rachel Nordlinger. "It could be a case of police brutality or a case of her civil rights being violated."

He's got to figure which case scenario will make him/mom the most money, before he procedes any further!


6 posted on 04/26/2005 5:09:46 AM PDT by SAMS (Nobody loves a soldier until the enemy is at the gate; Army Wife & Marine Mom)
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To: SAMS
is moving out of state

Take some friends.

7 posted on 04/26/2005 5:11:41 AM PDT by stainlessbanner
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
No one is mentioning that the other children in that class had 'rights' too.
It was necessary to remove that 5 year old tyrant from the school. It is a shame they couldn't contact the mother before the police arrived.
How else could the police have gotten her into the back of the police car sitting outside the school.....without her running away or punching the officers? She had to behave herself with hands behind her back.
8 posted on 04/26/2005 5:13:38 AM PDT by mickie
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To: SAMS

Yes. After all, it is all about him.


9 posted on 04/26/2005 5:14:27 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: SampleMan
In an ideal world the little girl's mother would have been allowed by the school authorities to TRANSFER her to a different school the very first time she made a request.

Isn't the point here that the principals and teachers at that school had denied a transfer request several times before electing to begin punishing the child?

10 posted on 04/26/2005 5:15:04 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: stainlessbanner

Looks like Florida's welfare programs will lose a cutomer. Societies parasite!!!!!!


11 posted on 04/26/2005 5:15:06 AM PDT by Luigi Vasellini ("Its for my brother he's got a nose like a vacuum cleaner" My favorite Roger Clinton quote.)
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To: mickie
She had to behave herself with hands behind her back.

It was reported (for what that's worth) that her feet were also tied with plastic ties. She must have been kicking too.

12 posted on 04/26/2005 5:15:57 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
"re-airing on television news shows in the United States, Great Britain, Spain, around Asia and beyond."

Oh no, this is terrible news. When this kid makes her first visit to Japan she will be identified right away and her trip will be ruined!

13 posted on 04/26/2005 5:16:26 AM PDT by Lockbar (March toward the sound of the guns.)
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To: mickie
The mother had requested to transfer her daughter earlier. It was denied ~ several times as I understand.

The mother was attempting to protect the rights of the other children. The principals and teachers have some other motive here that's not exactly clear.

14 posted on 04/26/2005 5:16:39 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: SampleMan

The fact of the matter- this "little girl" had ZERO discipline at home, Zero respect for ANY authority (including her "mother"), and was completely and totally out of control. And according to an interview on FoxNews this AM, this was not the first time this girl had been in similar trouble and in fact had been called to deal with the 5 year old before. Even more damning - the "mother" had given specific instructions that school officials were to not touch the little girl.

Had I been the principal, I too would have called the police to handle the situation. Had the principal given appropriate punishment/discipline, the principal would be in jail.

So, to correct your statement for accuracy - "in an ideal world, this little girl should not have had to be handcuffed because a combination of effective school discipline policies and some kind of real parenting would have instilled a respect for the school and authorities."


15 posted on 04/26/2005 5:18:12 AM PDT by TheBattman (Islam (and liberals) and gasoline producers and sellers- the cult of Satan)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Where's Dad?


16 posted on 04/26/2005 5:19:05 AM PDT by Manic_Episode (OUT OF ORDER)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Little terror! I remember being spanked on my butt for talking in Kindergarden! Racism my a**.


17 posted on 04/26/2005 5:19:34 AM PDT by Dallas59 (" I have a great team that is going to beat George W. Bush" John Kerry -2004)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Watching Fox right now, Pinellas County School supervisor says mom was called and this "concerned" "mother" was busy, too busy to come to school, that it would take her at least an hour to an hour and a half to get there and help control her child. This woman should be slapped with impersonating a parent. And bet you dollars to doughnuts she's not married to Ja'eisha's father. People like this are the problem a hell of a lot more than police and school officials are. Discipline starts at HOME.


18 posted on 04/26/2005 5:23:06 AM PDT by LibSnubber (liberal democrats are domestic terrorists)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Reading between the lines, it looks like Mom decided to peddle the video to Current Affair, in spite of some other $$$ deal made by her lawyer.

Meanwhile, the (disturbed) kid is nothing more than a legal lottery ticket.

19 posted on 04/26/2005 5:25:06 AM PDT by browardchad
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To: muawiyah

If a motive isn't exactly clear how do you know that it exists? Furthermore, how do you know that transfer to another school or schools was requested. The accuracy of that statement has been denied by the school she attended.


20 posted on 04/26/2005 5:26:11 AM PDT by em2vn
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To: browardchad

The little girl sure knew what police were.


21 posted on 04/26/2005 5:26:49 AM PDT by Dallas59 (" I have a great team that is going to beat George W. Bush" John Kerry -2004)
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To: mickie
It is a shame they couldn't contact the mother before the police arrived.

They did contact her and told her that if someone wasn't done they were going to have to call the police in. She 'informed' them that she couldn't be there until 3:15.

22 posted on 04/26/2005 5:27:22 AM PDT by ShadowDancer (As for the types of comments I make,sometimes I just, By God,get carried away with my own eloquence.)
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To: Dallas59

Also...the one police officer stated that she knew who he was...maybe this isn't the first time little Jakesha or whatever.


23 posted on 04/26/2005 5:28:09 AM PDT by Dallas59 (" I have a great team that is going to beat George W. Bush" John Kerry -2004)
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To: proudofthesouth

It was reported on Fox and Friends this morning that the mother had given specific instructions to the school that no one was to put a hand on her daughter for any reason.

When i was a kid and got in trouble at school i got paddled and when i got home my Dad would paddle me again. I had very few temper tantrums.


24 posted on 04/26/2005 5:28:41 AM PDT by Hornet19 (Know what happens to a Democrat that takes Viagra? He just gets a little taller.)
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To: browardchad

You got it!!


25 posted on 04/26/2005 5:28:51 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: Manic_Episode

Who is Dad?


26 posted on 04/26/2005 5:28:52 AM PDT by MudSlide
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To: SampleMan

I am torn. Obviously this child needs a good swat. She had absolutely no respect for adult authority. But to handcuff her seems a little severe. In addition to some discipline, she needs a mother who will not make exucuses for her bad behavior. It is a shame that such a cute little girl is out of control already.


27 posted on 04/26/2005 5:29:15 AM PDT by brwnsuga (Proud, Black, Conservative!)
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To: MudSlide
Correction! You mean the "babies daddy".
28 posted on 04/26/2005 5:30:36 AM PDT by Dallas59 (" I have a great team that is going to beat George W. Bush" John Kerry -2004)
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To: browardchad
Meanwhile, the (disturbed) kid is nothing more than a legal lottery ticket.

I don't know if the child's disturbed or not. But it's clear she suffers from a lack of a father.

If I worked for that school district, I'd hire a private detective to film the mother. She's probably all kinds of an abusive/neglectful parent. Then the school district can threaten to call DHS unless she drops her lawsuit.

29 posted on 04/26/2005 5:30:44 AM PDT by old and tired
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To: brwnsuga

Had she been properly swatted, this may have been the only time she experienced "personal freedom" in school.


30 posted on 04/26/2005 5:31:46 AM PDT by Dallas59 (" I have a great team that is going to beat George W. Bush" John Kerry -2004)
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To: whd23

You said: With a name like "Ja'eisha" the kid never stood a chance.

You are exactly right, but expect to be called a racist for saying it. The names given to some of these children doom them to a life in poverty and, well, just ugliness. There are stories galore about some of the names given to these innocent children, so I won't go into that, but names like these are symptomatic of separation from the mainstream of American culture. That may sound extreme, but I believe it is true. Who, blacks included, would use an accountant by the name of Ja'eisha? What corporation would elevate her to an executive position, regardless of her ability? What could her mother have been thinking? Obviously, she simply was NOT thinking. It might be different if her name meant anything in a language of her "native" Africa, but it does not. Lest anyone label ME racist, this phenomenon has an analog among some whites, with names given like Apple, River, etc. No one outside of show business would take people with such names seriously. Worse, the names encourage a certain separation from the mainstream, which in Ja'eisha's case, appears to have begun to work.

I'll save my opinions of this school "system" and its treatment of discipline problems for another rant. I guess the coffee is kicking in.


31 posted on 04/26/2005 5:31:51 AM PDT by NCLaw441
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To: em2vn
Let's hear it from the school district in court.

I will never understand why there are people in this country who always believe every initial disclaimer made by a government bureaucrat.

In my experience, the organizational spokesperson usually tells the biggest lies possible initially.

32 posted on 04/26/2005 5:31:54 AM PDT by muawiyah
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Typical liberal media-made story. An out of control kid and a parent who taught her how. Now they'll be cashing in on their "victimhood".

And by 12 years old this little girl will be in the juvenile justice system for violent crimes.


33 posted on 04/26/2005 5:32:24 AM PDT by MisterRepublican
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Rev. Al Sharpton would be coming to town

When all else fails, send in the clowns........

34 posted on 04/26/2005 5:32:37 AM PDT by Brett66 (W1 W1 W1 W1 W1 W1 W1 W1)
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To: SampleMan
The videotape shows the girl defying an assistant principal and another school staff member as she tore items off walls and swung at the educators. Later, it shows the girl in the assistant principal's office tearing items off a bulletin board, climbing on a table and swinging at the assistant principal numerous times. The video ends after about 28 minutes with the girl crying as three St. Petersburg police officers place her in handcuffs.

Time to videotape for 28 minutes, but no one would give the kid a swat on the butt and forcefully tell her to sit down and shut up. What a world of wonders.

No wonder some kids are so screwed up.

35 posted on 04/26/2005 5:33:08 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (Grant no power to government you would not want your worst enemies to wield against you.)
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To: Smokin' Joe

The school had specific instructions from the "parent" not to touch her child!


36 posted on 04/26/2005 5:34:12 AM PDT by MudSlide
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To: MisterRepublican

....pregnant, STD ridden, raising one child from her 11th year, living with grandma and finding which apartment building has the best rap and drug dealers.


37 posted on 04/26/2005 5:35:31 AM PDT by Dallas59 (" I have a great team that is going to beat George W. Bush" John Kerry -2004)
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To: brwnsuga
But to handcuff her seems a little severe.

Why? The mother abdicated her responsibilities. Then she told the school they were not to touch her child. Well, if her child is going to act out, the system kicks in. Guess what, you get out of control, and you've been left to the system, the cuffs go on. I am very sorry for this little girl, but not because she's been put in handcuffs. I'm sorry for her because she's got a irresponsible idiot for a mother.

38 posted on 04/26/2005 5:36:04 AM PDT by old and tired
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To: MudSlide

Well, that worked, didn't it? Most people who do not spank do not need to tell me. It is plenty obvious.


39 posted on 04/26/2005 5:37:23 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (Grant no power to government you would not want your worst enemies to wield against you.)
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To: Cincinatus' Wife

Why on earth would her lawyer release the video without her permission? Insane. Hope he has good malpractice insurance.


40 posted on 04/26/2005 5:37:40 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Manic_Episode

"Where's Dad?"


He ran like hell when the little monster came on the scene!


41 posted on 04/26/2005 5:38:19 AM PDT by brwnsuga (Proud, Black, Conservative!)
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To: old and tired

oops. a=an


42 posted on 04/26/2005 5:38:32 AM PDT by old and tired
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To: mickie
I agree.

Also in Florida, the case of a well-behaved boy - who only wanted to bring water to Terri Schiavo and therefore was handcuffed and taken away - received hardly any attention.

43 posted on 04/26/2005 5:38:55 AM PDT by Dante3
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To: LibSnubber

Pinellas County School supervisor also said that the mother had told the school they had better not ever lay a hand on her daughter. This child has a history of disruption at school.

The principal tried to deal with the child with her training in crisis prevention but couldn't, so tried to call the school police who were busy with something else and couldn't go help, so she called the city police who had been called another time for this same child.

The first time, the police had only talked to her, and had told her they didn't want to be there but if they were called again they would have to put her in handcuffs.


44 posted on 04/26/2005 5:39:08 AM PDT by TexasTaysor
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To: SampleMan

Why.... That's CHILD ABUSE!


45 posted on 04/26/2005 5:39:10 AM PDT by Brilliant
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To: Cincinatus' Wife
Since then, wrenching video images of the wailing kindergartener being handcuffed...

I didn't find the video all that "wrenching".

Also on Monday came the prospect that the Rev. Al Sharpton would be coming to town. The famous New York crusader...

Now this, I find "wrenching".

46 posted on 04/26/2005 5:39:17 AM PDT by DumpsterDiver
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To: SampleMan

The mother is fleeing the state to avoid prosecution.

Regarding the cuffing, the girl was a danger to herself and others by struggling to avoid confinement. The cops had a difficult call and made a correct decision. It is not at all clear the girl was not drugged up in addition to being super honery.


47 posted on 04/26/2005 5:39:40 AM PDT by bert (Peace is only halftime !)
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To: DumpsterDiver

L0L


48 posted on 04/26/2005 5:41:10 AM PDT by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: brwnsuga
But to handcuff her seems a little severe

If she had been allowed to continue her tantrum and injured herself or another the school district would have been in even deper trouble.

49 posted on 04/26/2005 5:41:10 AM PDT by CharacterCounts
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To: mickie
It is a shame they couldn't contact the mother before the police arrived.

I watched the video - they DID contact the mother & she said she couldn't come till after 3. This is just insane. If I'd acted like that in kindergarten, the teacher would have put me over her knee, popped my butt, and that would have been that. I don't think I've ever seen a kid who literally needed a pop worse that this one - she worked herself into hysterics, daring the ineffective 'teachers' to stop her, and they legally couldn't. Three quick smacks would have stopped that tantrum, and traumatized her a lot less than being taken away in handcuffs.

50 posted on 04/26/2005 5:41:11 AM PDT by nina0113
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