Readers — The story is the same as the headline A 10-year-old Houston girl was playing doctor with a group of kids in the courtyard of their apartment complex. Here’s the TV story, and here’s a write up that’s a little more succinct.
Long story short: The girl was arrested, allegedly questioned without her mom present, and sent to a juvenile detention facility for four days. She will go to court in October on the charge of aggravated sexual assault.
Two things are disturbing about this. First is the obvious: Kids play doctor. Always have. In our overly sensitized era — an era that saw a boy suspended for biting his Pop Tart into the shape of a gun — we can’t seem to distinguish between real dangers and ridiculous ones. It’s true with Zero Tolerance and it’s true with horseplay. (Remember this case? “Sex Offender or Teenage Jerk?”)
The other disturbing thing, however, is just how random “justice” seems to be. Kids play around all the time in ways we’d probably rather not see. To be the one in a million arrested for it seems wrong. What are the odds that this girl had any idea that what she was doing was a criminal offense? It’s not like robbery, or even speeding, when you know you’re breaking the law.
Oh yes, one last thing: While I’m not saying there can’t be evil, twisted 10-year-olds, on the fact of it this case seems to be treating the 10-year-old as if she’d been an adult horsing around with the other kids. An adult doing that WOULD be creepy. A 10-year-old with a bunch of kids sounds like…a 10-year-old with a bunch of kids. – L