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      CommentAuthorliquidcow
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2008
     (1650.21)
    I don't necessarily think they literally thought it would be like a cartoon, but I do think that nine year olds perhaps have a less developed sense of consequence and empathy, partly just through lack of experience of actual threat or violence. Again, it's not certain whether they would have gone through with it. They may have got as far as bringing the knife in to school and then stopped before actually doing it when they realised what they were doing, but a normal adult who got angry would maybe fantasize about punishing the person but I doubt would even get as far as picking up a knife before seeing sense.
  1.  (1650.22)
    I dunno. By 9 years old I'd gotten my ass kicked in enough fights to know the difference. But as a "secret gang!" kinda thing I could see it happening. A bunch fo kids saying to each other, "Yeah, yeah, let's plot a big crime."

    Or, hey, troubled kid, sociopath, who knows?
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      CommentAuthornoblelion
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2008
     (1650.23)
    @Alexis - You're right about private schools. I went to one. There was a pretty high percentage of regular cocaine and heroin use, not to mention people having multiple abortions and whatnot.

    The reason kids who might have dropped out of school in the past are being kept there is because some schools are slowly changing their focus from pure academics, i.e. teaching reading, writing, and 'rithmetic so kids can pass whatever standardized test their state requires, to actually focusing on the whole child. Now, it's not happening nearly quickly enough, obviously. But there are programs in some districts that work to address the outside factors that are affecting a child's attendance, academics, and behavior in school. It's good and bad, as in some cases, the kids get the help they need, assuming the family is willing to work alongside the school to fix problems. The flip side is the parents who pretty much fuck off, and expect the schools to do all the work fixing their children. Those are the most challenging ones, as those families are usually the ones with kids who tend to be violent. And violence in schools is a pretty common occurrence. I hear about incidents every day from most of the schools I deal with. All the special ed folks in my district are trained in the state MHMR-approved methods of restraining violent and uncontrolled children. The point is, though, that as times change, different generations of kids behave differently and deal with different issues, which schools and non-profit programs are trying to address.
  2.  (1650.24)
    Back to liquidcow, I agree with you about kids not having as developed sense of empathy, and I wonder when they DO develop that. I teach intro level college courses, and they don't have a hell of a lot of empathy there. I've always said that sometimes you just gotta let life kick the living shit out of you before you really develop empathy...but then again, maybe I'm just a total bastard.

    When do people really get the empathy thing?
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      CommentAuthornoblelion
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2008 edited
     (1650.25)
    For some kids who get the shit kicked out of them, the empathy goes as well. Unless a kid has a proclivity towards being empathetic, as some people do, it has to be taught. Parents aren't empathetic? Likelihood is the kid won't be either, unless someone else is teaching 'em. If you don't start out caring about people, then someone has to teach you how, and to appreciate empathy.
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      CommentAuthorroque
    • CommentTimeApr 3rd 2008
     (1650.26)
    kids were better behaved when I was young; that's no myth. just as they were better behaved when my parents were young than when I was young. it's got nothing to do with the passage of time, or kids being intrinsically worse now, or anything like that; it's the level of attention and discipline they're given. behavior that would once have led to stringent measures of punishment to dissuade other kids from doing the same thing is now considered normal, and ignored as much as possible. pretty simple, really.

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