Anorak News | The Judge Aged 10 And Other Classroom Bullies

The Judge Aged 10 And Other Classroom Bullies

by | 23rd, October 2007

“HERE COMES THE JUDGE, AGED TEN,” announces the Mail on its front page.

Young Jeffries will “deal with tearaways guilty of spraying graffiti, vandalism, anti-social behaviour and under-age drinking”. It’s termed the “peer panel” experiment, and it is a terrific idea.

The one drawback is that the ten-year-old who metes out instant justice is most often called a bully. But the scheme surely hinges upon the notion that the mind is stronger than Gripper’s Chinese Burn when it comes to extracting pocket money with menaces.
Although on further examination, the Mail reveals that the judge is older than the headline 10 years – the so-called “peer advocate” is actually aged 15 and hopes to put on a growth spurt any moment soon. He will not sit in a high chair (surely chair on high) but join all parties in around a “waist-high” (neck-high) circular wooden railing in the centre of the Restorative Justice Centre, Preston.

As reported, the dispenser of justice will have the power to force the villains to repay repatriations to the victim.

But adult voices are being raised. “Children do not have the balance to make a judicial decision,” says John Fassenfelt, of the Magistrates’ Association, that collective of dentists and other balanced individuals in the community.

“Justice is more than mere child’s play,” says the Mail’s comment. Indeed. The very real worry is that given the state of the nation’s youth (see stories like “Killer Kids”, “Death Classroom” and “Guns For Barbie”), the young judiciaries will operate a draconian-style system with instant punishments and summary justice.

And what then would the Mail make of it all?

Posted: 23rd, October 2007 | In: Tabloids Comments (12) | TrackBack | Permalink