Sunday, March 9, 2008

Like a Thief On a Sunday Morning

Today seemed to go by so quickly. It seems like it shouldn't be so late...oh wait. That's right, today was the start of daylight savings time and I lost an hour. Damn! I WANT IT BACK!

Have you heard about the Florida woman who is under fire for punishing her 2 1/2 year old daughter by spraying her with a car wash hose? She was arrested, jailed for child abuse and released on $1,000 bail on Saturday. The child had no visible injuries when authorities examined her, 11 days after the incident. The car wash manager heard the child yelling and crying and saw the mother spraying the child and called the authorities. The incident was caught on video tape and from the reports I have read, the mother turned herself into the authorities.

The mother says the child was throwing a temper tantrum while in the car and she stopped the car at the car wash and used a high pressure hose to spray her child as a punishment. The mother says she did not use the high pressure option on the hose and did not hurt the child. The video tape shows her spraying her daughter repeatedly on the legs and in the face. She then removes the girl's wet clothing, wraps her in a towel and puts her back into the car. The mother is also 5 months pregnant.

Since the incident was caught on video, it has been a popular news story. Otherwise, I probably never would have heard the story. This may sound shocking, especially to anyone who's never raised a child who is 2 1/2, but I think in fairness, a video of the child throwing a temper tantrum in the car should be released as well before we all pass judgement. The child was not hurt physically, let's all remember that. This pregnant woman was jailed. I think that was a little harsh. I believe the incident should have been investigated, yes. But wouldn't the $1,000 be better spent on a parenting class for the mother rather than bail? This woman was trying to correct her child's behavior. Yes, I'm sure there are better ways, but yet again, I want to see the in car video. Educating her on different methods to discipline would seem the obvious choice to me.

I pondered this all day on Friday, and then came home and watched my local evening news. The top story of the day was not that Hillary Clinton was a "monster" . It was not on the ailing health of a hospitalized, Margaret Thatcher. It was a duck killing. Two truant teenagers, 15 and 17, decapitated a duck and pulled out eggs from inside the duck's body. Yeah, bad stuff. But unless PETA has editorial rights at the news station, there is no excuse for the coverage this story received. One of the tonight at eleven! teasers had the anchorwoman saying, "Two teenagers mutilated a pregnant duck and then what they did was horrific!" Think about that for a minute. Pregnant? Duck? Ducks lay eggs...right? The newscast had a reporter live on the scene at the pond with "disturbing scenes" to show us. Witnesses were outraged that while animal cruelty is a felony, these two boys will likely not go to prison over the incident. Prison?

Maybe taking the truant boys to a Florida car wash would be a more reasonable solution.

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