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Posts tagged: youth

Black Boys Seen as Older, More Responsible for the Actions Than Other Children

Klint Finley

From a paper titled “The Essence of Innocence: Consequences of Dehumanizing Black Children”:

The social category “children” defines a group of individuals who are perceived to be distinct, with essential characteristics including innocence and the need for protection (Haslam, Rothschild, & Ernst, 2000). The present research examined whether Black boys are given the protections of childhood equally to their peers. We tested 3 hypotheses: (a) that Black boys are seen as less “childlike” than their White peers, (b) that the characteristics associated with childhood will be applied less when thinking specifically about Black boys relative to White boys, and (c) that these trends would be exacerbated in contexts where Black males are dehumanized by associating them (implicitly) with apes (Goff, Eberhardt, Williams, & Jackson, 2008). We expected, derivative of these 3 principal hypotheses, that individuals would perceive Black boys as being more responsible for their actions and as being more appropriate targets for police violence. We find support for these hypotheses across 4 studies using laboratory, field, and translational (mixed laboratory/field) methods. We find converging evidence that Black boys are seen as older and less innocent and that they prompt a less essential conception of childhood than do their White same-age peers. Further, our findings demonstrate that the Black/ape association predicted actual racial disparities in police violence toward children. These data represent the first attitude/behavior matching of its kind in a policing context. Taken together, this research suggests that dehumanization is a uniquely dangerous intergroup attitude, that intergroup perception of children is underexplored, and that both topics should be research priorities.

Full Story: Metafilter: “they cry because they are not allowed to be children at all”

This reminds me of how Ron Paul (or whoever was writing his newsletters) that only black male minors should be tried as adults:

We don’t think a child of 13 should be held responsible as a man of 23. That’s true for most people, but black males age 13 who have been raised on the streets and who have joined criminal gangs are as big, strong, tough, scary and culpable as any adult and should be treated as such.

Kiera Wilmot Won’t Be Charged With Felony For School Yard Explosion

Klint Finley

Good news from the Orlando Sentinel:

Kiera, 16, was a student at Bartow High School until last month when she was arrested after she mixed toilet bowl cleaner and aluminum foil in a water bottle on school grounds, a police report stated. She was arrested and faced felony charges for possessing a weapon on campus and discharging a destructive device.

She also was suspended from school and told she faced expulsion, according to her attorney, Larry Hardaway. He said she served a 10-day suspension and is now attending classes at an alternative school.

Her case drew national attention and outrage on Twitter and other social media sites, with many arguing both school and police overreacted. An online petition on her behalf has more than 195,000 signatures.

The office of State Attorney Jerry Hill, whose jurisdiction includes Polk, said that it extended “an offer of diversion of prosecution to the child.” That typically means a probationary-like program that allows the youngster to perform community service or meet other conditions and then avoid a criminal record.

Full Story: Orlando Sentinel: Kiera Wilmot, student who caused small explosion, won’t face charges

Previously: Teen Girl Charged With Felony For Science Experiment Gone Wrong

Teen Girl Charged With Felony For Science Experiment Gone Wrong

Klint Finley

Kiera Wilmont

Koa Beck writes:

Given all the data that is out there regarding young girls and STEM fields, ladies who demonstrate an interest in science should be culturally supported. A quick peruse of certain popular culture guarantees that they certainly won’t be getting that support elsewhere. Yet when 16-year-old Kiera Wilmot, who reportedly “got good grades” and had “a perfect behavior record” had a science experiment go awry, she was slapped with felony charges. Way to support our young girls in the sciences.

Wtsp.com reports that the teen was arrested and charged with possession/discharge of a weapon on school property and discharging a destructive device. At seven a.m. that morning at Bartow High School, Kiera allegedly mixed some “household chemicals” in an eight-ounce water bottle. The top reportedly popped off creating a “small explosion” complete with smoke. No one was hurt, according to reports.

In addition to her criminal charges, she has since been expelled from Bartow High School. It remains unclear whether there was any malice in the experiment. But even the young lady’s school principal, as well as her peers, believe that she didn’t possess any vicious motives:

Full Story: Mommyish: Teen Girl With A Penchant For Science Is Slapped With Felony Charges After Her Experiment Explodes

There’s no clarity as to what she was actually trying to accomplish, or exactly how big the explosion was. I can understand people being on edge after recent shooting and the Boston bombing, but the charges seem trumped up for a simple accident. There could be more to this than meets the eye, but it feels a lot like another example of the criminalization of curiosity.

Here’s the news clip:

See also:

Criminalizing science: chemistry student arrested for home lab

Students in ‘Weird Science’ Halloween party arrested under anti-terror laws

Drone Artists/Hackers Detained Held in London on Suspicion of Terrorism

Counterterrorism Agency: Urban Exploration Helps Terrorism

Rethinking Bullying

Klint Finley

Bullying is a means of asserting the social order of popularity and keeping lower-status members in their place; the seductive pleasure of cruelty is a rewarding, and sometimes addicting, privilege for higher-status members (but not highest — they don’t need to bully). Bullying is not committed by individuals qua individuals against individuals qua individuals; it is committed by individuals who experience themselves as representatives of a social class within a social hierarchy against other individuals who experience themselves in being bullied as representatives of a social class within that same social hierarchy.

Full Story: Siderea: One Thought on Bullying

Rethinking in this frame would require us to reassess whether Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold were bullies or had been bullied.

Right Wing Group Threatens Toys R Us Over Gay Wedding in Archie Comics

A right wing group called One Million Moms is threatening a boycott against Toys R Us for carrying

Toys R Us didn’t respond to HuffPo’s request for comment, but here’s what they got from Archie Comics CEO Jon Goldwater:

As I’ve said before, Riverdale is a safe, welcoming place that does not judge anyone,” he wrote. “It’s an idealized version of America that will hopefully become reality someday. We’re sorry the American Family Association/OneMillionMoms.com feels so negatively about our product, but they have every right to their opinion, just like we have the right to stand by ours. Kevin Keller will forever be a part of Riverdale, and he will live a happy, long life free of prejudice, hate and narrow-minded people.

Huffington Post: One Million Moms Threatens Toys ‘R’ Us With Boycott Over Archie Comics’ Gay Wedding Issue

Bill Whitcomb, who brought this story to my attention, says “Obviously, I haven’t been keeping track of Archie, but I’m surprised that they are this progressive.” Same here, but I do remember seeing this on Boing Boing.

Undercover Cops Seduce High School Students and Entrap Them into Selling Weed

Last year in three high schools in Florida, several undercover police officers posed as students. The undercover cops went to classes, became Facebook friends and flirted with the other students. One 18-year-old honor student named Justin fell in love with an attractive 25-year-old undercover cop after spending weeks sharing stories about their lives, texting and flirting with each other.

One day she asked Justin if he smoked pot. Even though he didn’t smoke marijuana, the love-struck teen promised to help find some for her. Every couple of days she would text him asking if he had the marijuana. Finally, Justin was able to get it to her. She tried to give him $25 for the marijuana and he said he didn’t want the money — he got it for her as a present.

A short while later, the police did a big sweep and arrest 31 students — including Justin. Almost all were charged with selling a small amount of marijuana to the undercover cops. Now Justin has a felony hanging over his head.

Alternet: Sick: Young, Undercover Cops Flirted With Students to Trick Them Into Selling Pot

Not mentioned in the article is that not only does Justin have a felony hanging over his head, if he’s found guilty of a drug related crime he won’t be eligible for federally subsidized financial aid. So he’ll come out of prison at a remarkably young age with fewer job prospects, thanks to a felony record, and have a hard (perhaps impossible) time going to college or trade school to actually get any sort of degree or skills to help him get a job, increasing the chances that he’ll turn to a life of crime. The system if effectively turning otherwise bright kids into lifelong criminals.

(via Boing Boing)

Barefoot Bandit Federal Case Finishes Up

Colton Harris-Moore was sentenced to 6.5 years in prison by a federal court following his Washington state sentencing:

The LA Times reports:

U.S. District Judge Richard A. Jones’ sentence runs concurrently with an earlier 7 1/2-year sentence imposed by a state court in Washington for his crimes under state law. Those offenses included a series of burglaries and thefts that terrorized citizens in several states as the brazen fugitive kept two steps ahead of the law. […]

Prompted by the judge to share his advice to the thousands of admirers around the world who followed his exploits while on the lam, Harris-Moore downplayed the emails he has written from jail in which he described his aviation exploits as “amazing.”

"I would say that the things I did some, I think, thought was perhaps cool, we’re extremely dangerous and terrifying," he said. "It wasn’t as if I just jumped in a plane barefoot and started flying around. I feared for my life in those situations."

LA Times: Barefoot Bandit sentenced: ‘I should have died years ago’

Smart Kids More Likely to be Heavy Drinkers

The Colony Club in Soho has been a watering hole for hard-drinking creative types since it was founded by Muriel Belcher in the late 1940s. It is a reasonable bet that her confidants - Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Jeffrey and Bruce Bernard, Michael Andrews, Eduardo Paolozzi and other regulars from the art and entertainment world - would have had high IQs. Some members may have been nightmare clients for their bank managers, exasperating husbands, wives or lovers, but no one would doubt their talents, originality and intellectual ability.

Research has now shown a link between high childhood IQ and an adult enthusiasm for alcohol that leads in some cases to problem drinking.

Parents may be aware that the easiest children to have around the house, and those who are also the most likely to have a predictable, comfortable lifestyle when adults, are those with a slightly aboveaverage intelligence, neither too clever, nor stupid.

Full Story: Times Online (Update: This story is now behind the Times’ pay wall)

(via Danielle Hatfield)

Youths’ Views Differ from Parents

Though the Sacramento Bee's story leads with “Berkeley study finds youths more conservative than parents,” the study actually finds that youth are more “conservative” on some issues (such as abortion and school prayer), and more liberal on others (such as gay rights and environmental protection).

Sacremento Bee: Berkeley study finds youths more conservative than parents

(via Drudge Report)