What do you think about it?
What on earth?!?!??!?!
I should think that even at 9 years old, you would understand what you've done under these circumstances.
For the babysitter not to have sought help immediately, in my opinion, is inexcusable.
This story makes for teary eyes.
This just goes to show that responsibility shouldn't be put on those who are not able to handle it in the first place.
Babysitting at such a young age is ridiculous. The minimum age for babysitting should be somewhere around 14 or 15 years of age, not any younger. Children younger wouldn't truly understand the value of life or responsibility of the job entailed.
It's a shame really.
Well in our state is a law that you don't leave a child under the age of 14 I believe. I would have to find my child protective service book but I think it was around there. Like my neighbor had a 10year old watching your 3 month old baby while she went to the store, and neighbors saw him riding his bike with the baby and reported her. The children were all taken away but two of them.
But there WAS a babysitter - and SHE is the one who failed to seek medical care for the baby. How old was she? The whole thing makes me want to scream and cry, to be perfectly honest with you.
It sounds to me like the girl is being made scapegoat or something. There is no way she can be held responsible.
Sorry, the babysitter was 56 years old. However, apparently uninformed about "shaking baby syndrome".
What?! So what if you're "uninformed" about "shaken baby syndrome." Seems to me that if someone shakes a baby violently and THROWS said baby, then the baby should receive immediate medical attention. Am I wrong here?
Are you even sure the babysitter had known of the event. The article doesn't say yes or no, to that fact.
If the babysitter didn't see the child shake the baby, then how would the babysitter actually know there was a problem. Again, the article doesn't address what the babysitter knew?
I guess you're right about that. I just can't imagine that the baby made no noise or fuss during all of this, or that the babysitter was so disengaged as to be completely unaware of the entire situation.
But, without all the facts, it certainly does make it difficult to draw conclusions.
How would the babysitter know what the problem is, if she did not see anything to begin with. I am sure the baby would be fussing, but how can you tell the difference between normal fussing and a severe problem with brain bruising?
I just tend to think that the fuss wouldn't have been exactly "normal" you know? Certainly, I could be wrong.
But, also, if a child of 9 had behavioral issues that would lead her to do something like this, would it not have been known to someone at some point prior to this particular occasion?
Again, what is 'normal'? All children are different, just like all people are different.
Behavioral issues? Too much ambiguity. Not to mention, subjective. Not everyone is a psychologist.
True enough - but, in my experience, which, as you mentioned, is subjective - generally, people don't just "snap" with no warning at all - especially children. Has there been any other information released about the child accused prior to the incident.
And, you're right. All folks are different. Hmmm, this is certainly a thought provoking issue.
Well I have to say this is a rather sad story if you ask me, and one that I would never even wish upon my worst enemy's family. First of all, I think that 56 yr old baby sitter should be held accountable for her actions, as she was obviously placed in charge and failed to do her job accordingly. And, due to her failure to seek immediate attention for the baby, she should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
As for the 9 yr old child, I do agree with most people here that she should..NOT be tried as an adult in this case for third degree murder. However, I do disagree with her lawyer about her not having some kind of disorder. Are you gonna try to argue that a 9 yr old kid doesn't consciously know what they're doing is right or wrong? If you are, then I wish I had you around when my dad used to beat me up until the cows came home if he even THOUGHT I did something wrong. I can only imagine what he'd do to me if I was in that 9 yr old girl's shoes. Hell, he might've put me in the hospital. In fact, i think he almost did once because i accidentally let the dog run loose in the neighborhood. He was so pissed that he threw me across the room. If my mom didn't catch me, then i probably would've ended up being paralyzed to this day. Ain't I so lucky? The point is, at age 9, I was so consciously scared of doing something wrong that I would never do anything remotely like what that 9 yr old girl would do. Therefore, I have to disagree with everyone here that seems to have an idea that this girl is just a child who doesn't know any better. Trust me, nine year old kids do know what they're doing. That's not to say that I want this girl to be tried, as I DON'T want her to be.
However, I do think she needs some professional help. Perhaps some counseling for her obvious anger issues for shaking the poor baby. Granted, I know a lot of you are going to disagree with me and give some flak for what i just said, and I do apologize to anyone who my post offends. As I can assure you, offending others is clearly not my intent.
To recap what I said, I DON'T think the 10 or 9 yr old girl should be tried for murder, as that is harsh. However, I do think she needs counseling, and the babysitter...I think you can just throw her in jail and throw away the key, as she has no excuse for allowing that to happen in the first place.
I would argue that not every kid consciously knows, not what is right or wrong, but often doesn't understand the full implications of their actions - if, for instance, an adult were to say "Oh just chuck it back in its cot" many young people might take that literally, rather than figuratively, without a thought for the results.
I don't think either, that you can generalise about a child's reaction to situations based on age. Not all nine-year-old's will be at the same level of development and to expect them to be is wrong.
Well that may be true, but I still feel the child should be forced to go to counseling over the matter. Plus, this is why I also feel that some people don't deserve to have kids, as you have to be willing to teach them the difference between right and wrong at a early age. If you don't, then situations like this can and do happen. I do apologize if that sounds cruel, but a parent needs to make their children aware of the difference between right and wrong, as they grow up. That's just reality.
And how much trauma might counselling cause?
You can't force an old head onto young shoulders.
Hell, when I was that age, you couldn't stop me climbing trees, I went to heights that I knew would kill me if I fell, but I had no concept of falling! Come to think of it, whilst I knew that falling would kill me, I don't think I fully realised that meant I would be dead.
In England no child under the age of ten can be held criminally responsible, many consider that to be too young.
And you don't think the nine year old child knowing full well that they were responsible for their own sibling's death won't affect them psychologically? Plus, why do you view the concept of counseling as such a negative light? Have you ever had counseling? If not, then you should probably keep your mouth shut about that, as counseling is a lot more beneficial than people think it is. Sometimes it helps having a expert that's a unbiased party try to console the child, as it's obvious if the 9 yr old thinks it's okay to shake and throw a baby, then it's obvious she has anger issues. Thus, I still stand by what I said, as you haven't told me anything to believe otherwise.
As for your other statement about forcing an old head onto a young person's shoulders, that's a completely ridiculous statement, as your failing to realize that the parents' job to discipline their children and make sure they know the difference between right and wrong. Maybe your parents were lenient enough to let you climb trees and run around screaming bloody mary all day long. However, if I did half the crap you just said you got away with as a child, then I would've gotten a whipping like there was no freaking tomorrow, as my father knew how to put the fear of god into anyone's eyes. And like you, I probably had no concept of how much death would affect me either if i did climb the trees you speak of, but I knew that I would never cross or disobey my father. That was for damn sure. Therefore, your argument works both ways, as you seem to have this weird notion that kids are naive idiots that wouldn't know the difference between their own feet and a hole in the ground. As this still equates back to the parents. The parents in this said situation obviously didn't raise their child properly to know the difference between right and wrong, so counseling should be mandatory for the child to learn that her actions were not proper behavior.
It was more a comment on the society where things like this happen. Sure, things happened when I was young, but they seem to be happening more, and the situations are escalating. I agree, parents need to teach proper moral values, but on closer examination...WHO WAS WATCHIN' THE KID? Must be a real bummer being sneaked up on by a toddler!
I agree. That's why I feel that counseling might be the best solution for the child to figure out why this happened. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the child is completely responsible for her actions, but we have to be willing to teach our kids, at some point, that there are consequences for their actions. Don't get me wrong, I certainly don't think she should go to jail or anything, but i do think she needs help. Help that maybe an unbiased outside source can provide.
Again, this is why I said earlier that the babysitter should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, as the children were under her care at the time, and she failed to keep a close eye on the situation. Therefore, she should be held accountable for her actions. I understand what you're saying, but I'm just merely stating an opinion.
I don't think most nine year olds share your history of being physically abused by a parent that would reasonably have made you paralyzed to do almost anything, let alone what this child is charged with. I think most nine year olds could easily have this kind of lapse in judgment, and it's just unfortunate that this lapse had such tragic results.
Making evaluations of what a normal nine year old would do based on your experience of being in constant fear of a parent just isn't justified.
I'm sorry for your childhood experiences. They sound horrible.
Well then i guess we'll have to agree to disagree. Don't worry, thankfully due to my mother catching me, I'm not paralyzed. However, if your going say that my assessment of this nine year old's perception of reality is unjustified as i equate it to my own childhood experiences, then you would by default have to say the same thing about John's post as well. After all, he essentially did the same thing to compare his child hood to justify the child's laps in judgment, so your argument works both ways. However, as I just told John, I'm merely stating an opinion based on what was presented in the article, as he's right about how not all the facts are out yet.
As for my own childhood, I'll admit that I did have a rough childhood, but it wasn't anywhere near as bad as others that I've heard before. Trust me, you should hear the stories my father and mother told me about their past. compared to them, my past is nothing more than sunshine and rainbows. not literally, but figuratively speaking.
My point was that you made your judgments about what a normal nine year old would do directly from your experience of living in fear. I am simply suggesting that is not the perspective of the "normal" nine year old.
Would you not agree with that?
uh huh, and what makes you so sure the child in question is normal? Don't get me wrong, I'm not insinuating anything, as I do agree that I've never been exactly normal myself. Then again, how would you define normal? What is normal in your perspective, as that's a highly subjective term. Perhaps, you should define that first for me, so I know we can get on the same page of this topic. However, what makes you think this 9 yr old child in question is normal? After all, neither of us know all the facts about this case; other than what the article says.
The point isn't that the child is normal or not. I don't know. You were making the point in your post that a normal child wouldn't do this, and you based it on your disposition as a child. I am merely stating that is not a typical perspective. I'm making no assumptions about the kid at all. My problem is with your perspective on the matter, not with the child.
Do you understand how you made that comparison in your post?
You know that last question you made in your post kind of sounds condescending to me. Not saying you are, but I'm just saying.
However, what are you insinuating about me exactly? Are you saying that I wasn't a normal child? Look, I'll be the first to admit that I would hardly fall into the stereotypical cliche Hollywood version of "normal" that you'd see in many sitcoms and/or teen dramas. However, I would hardly call myself abnormal either. Sure, i may not have had as you see it, a normal childhood, but I have met people with far worse childhoods than I have. A few of them even write for this site too I believe, yet I would never say they were abnormal. Sure, they may have had a rough past, but that doesn't mean anything. Therefore, are you insinuating that I never had a normal childhood? If so, are you saying that I'm a abnormal person? As I said before, if you want to debate this further, why don't you define EXACTLY what a normal person is, and what a normal childhood is exactly. Once you do that, then we'll debate this further. Until then, I think this is entirely subjective; which is why I think it's probably best if we agree to disagree here.
I'm not trying to say anything negative about you. I admire you survived what you went through. But based on that experience you suggest this nine year old should have known better.
"He was so pissed that he threw me across the room. If my mom didn't catch me, then i probably would've ended up being paralyzed to this day. Ain't I so lucky? The point is, at age 9, I was so consciously scared of doing something wrong that I would never do anything remotely like what that 9 yr old girl would do."
I got your point. YOU wouldn't have done anything like that because you lived in fear. Consciously scared. Most kids don't live like that. This isn't a personal attack, but I am saying you were probably not the typical nine year old, as you seem to suggest.
Oh okay. Sorry, I misinterpreted what you were getting at. Yeah, I do agree with you about my life, as I've never really had much of a normal life. Sure, I tried to have one, but it never works out that way for me most of the time. What can you do though right? However, I've kind of gotten to a point where I don't even know what normal is anymore, so I honestly stopped caring about that a long time ago. If that makes any sense. However, I guess in hindsight, I can see what you're saying, as I doubt most children lived the same way I did.
The Bad Seed?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h2KccDiR … 402C2C673D
I'm sorry, there is more anger in that post than I am prepared to address at the moment.
Anger? John, the only person that's getting angry during this debate is YOU, as I've been perfectly calm during this entire conversation. However, if you view my posts as if I was angry at you for any reason, then I do apologize you saw it that way, but I can assure you that was never my intent.
OK, accepted that you weren't angry.
I do however think that there is an unhealthy amount of speculation about the whole thing.
All we know is that a girl has been charged, alleged to have murdered a baby, it isn't actually proven yet, and that the whole shebang was in the control of the 56 year-old babysitter.
Not really enough to try and condemn a young girl on.
Well John, you do bring up a valid point about that, as I'm sure not all the facts were reported in this article. I was just stating my opinion of what should be done if the evidence of the article turn out to be true, as you and I both know that the media will not always report all the facts of cases such as these. Therefore, it'll be interesting to see how this turns out.
This article doesn't even touch on the real story, I'm sure there is alot more to it than we will ever know.
I myself remember playing a little to rough with my younger siblings at times at that age. Not knowing my own strengh, kind of thing. From what I read I don't think she intentionaly meant to hurt the baby, and it probably never dawned on her that she might be hurting it.
My beef is with the babysitter who did not immediately call 911. It almost sounds as if the little girl is the story they told but may not be what really happened. Not pointing fingers, just seems a little suspicious to me.
It seems that the "Murder Charge" is a procedural issue.
"Pennsylvania law requires murder charges to be initiated in adult court regardless of the defendant's age, according District Attorney Matthew Fogal, who supported moving the case to juvenile court. The suspect was 9 when the baby was injured."
However, if you read further you realize that the Judge immediately moved the case to Juvenile court and therefore sealed the records. So, the child is NOT being tried as an adult.
On the situation as a whole I would say this. The child was under the direct supervision of an adult when they alegedly commited this crime. IF that adult was negligent in their role as costodian to the point that it directly lead to this death, then the adult will also end up being charged. Which is apparently the case. The babysitter was also charged.
Of course now that the records are sealed, there is a lot we will probably never know.
As a former Mental Health Worker in a juvenile delinquent facility, I have seen firsthand the violence that children are capable of committing against other people. Whereas I feel that the babysitter was negligent in her lack of supervision, I also feel that someone should have instilled the concepts of right and wrong in this child. A 10-year old CAN fully grasp that it is NOT okay to shake a baby, and a 10-year old CAN realize the concept of placing another human being in the line of danger. Personally, I believe that this child should have been tried as an adult. At this point, she will just end up in a treatment facility, surrounded by other children who have committed similar acts of aggression and who share a common lack of remorse.
How do you know that she shows no remorse?
So...as a Mental Health worker, would you say that at the age of 10 there is a better chance of rehabilitation than at the age of 20?
My point is this, I tend to agree with you that the Child is responsible. However, the child is NOT an adult and threfore should not be tried as one. The court makes that destinction, mental health workds do not?
No doubt that the current system for juvenile delinquency is modeled after the adult offenders system. Which is a HUGE mistake.
Is everybody missing something that I'm not? A 9-year old was left in charge of an infant. The so-called babysitter who was apparently hired to be in charge of both of them is regarded in this news story as passive, even non-applicable. Why? She was who was supposed to be accountable and yet we put it all on a 9-year old who should not have been given that responsibility in the first place. If this "babysitter" actually left this young child alone to care for the infant, then that is where the criminality lies. I mean, seriously, was she out scoring crack that she couldn't do the job she was hired to do?
First we demonise our children and then we howl in outrage when they appear to behave demoniacally!
The 9-year old probably knew she shouldn't shake the baby and throw him around, yes. Just like she knows she shouldn't knock him down or take a toy from him. That doesn't mean she should be tried for murder necessarily. Even if she WANTED the baby dead, it doesn't mean she did a few minutes later. A child will yell, I wish you were dead! and then ten minutes later want to play with the other child. It's not the same in a child's head.
I'm sure she'll need all kinds of help. For responding to her anger so violently and for the repercussions. She's just as likely to swear 'next time I won't be so rough when he bothers me' as to completely understand. Intellectually she understands but that doesn't mean it's all completely in her head.
I don't understand why they are going after the kid, of all the child protection laws, I understand the child might have been the one to due harm, but in most cases the child is taken away, and the adult prosecuted for neglect. Most child cases go under psychological counseling and testing, go to foster care, are forced to participate in different court orders. Like we have a child group home where they go and stay, educated, trained, evaluated, and watched for sucidal harm to one self, or harm to other individuals.
by Stevennix2001 12 years ago
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