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I accompanied my daughter's kindergarten class on a trip today to our county police headquarters. It was fun, for the most part - we got to see police officers rappelling down a wall, meet police dogs and horses, see inside ambulances and other vehicles, sit in a jail cell (got a great picture of DD in there to send to the relatives!), and see a bunch of interesting demonstrations. One demonstration was a police academy demonstration, and they showed how they learn to subdue someone resisting arrest. One officer put on this huge padded suit and the other one showed how she would use her baton. She shouted "Down!" each time she hit him, and then they explained, "You have to tell them what you want them to do until they do it. If you don't tell them, then you're just beating them." Yikes.<br><br>
So if that wasn't cringe-inducing enough, then they let kids come up and give it a shot. Little kids, but still! My daughter raised her hand and got picked, and you should have seen her hit the guy with the baton. She's never been a hitter, and she was laughing the whole time, but she still hit him! It didn't bother me TOO much, but I did find myself wondering how many kids were going to go home and re-enact this with their brothers or sisters or friends!<br><br>
I mean, the kids got a kick (no pun intended) out of it, and my daughter's not a child prone to violence, but I just wonder how necessary it was to demonstrate the use of extreme force in front of large groups of children. They did make a point of telling them how the gun is only a last resort, but still.<br><br>
Would you be terribly bothered by this? I can see how some people would strongly object.
 

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Yes, it would bother me. Couldn't the PD find another topic for a demonstration?
 

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That would bother me too- especially the part about letting the kids "try it out." That doesn't seem like a very appropriate activity for children, nor is it particularly educational, in my opinion. If they wanted to let the children do something more hands-on, couldn't they have let them give commands to the dogs or something?
 

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That would bother me too. But then again, I wouldn't let my child go on a field trip to a police station. Even that bothers me.
 

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The more I think about this, the more it disturbs me.<br><br>
Who's idea was it to bring kindergarteners to the police station?? And what was the lesson to be learned, exactly??<br><br><br>
And who the f--- would think that that kind of demonstration would be ok for their kid??? Did any mom or teacher walk away thinking that was ok?<br><br><br>
If my kid went to that school, the administration would be sorry they ever even thought of the idea.<br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/banghead.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="banghead"><br><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/splat.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="splat">
 

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That would really bother me- Um if your are hitting someone- you are beating them- DUH! It doesn't matter if you are a police officer. Btw I don't regular police officers should have knight sticks- aren't tasers and guns enough? A kinght stick is equivelant to a bat! And suspect shouldn't have to like down on the ground to get handcuffed- I HATE THAT! I see it on Cops all the time- and ya know it's not a safety thing it's a humiliation tactic to make suspects feel low and the cops high so the suspect will talk. They don't do that in other countries- if you've ever seen Cops in the UK they sure as heck don't do that! The US cops are so brutal and violent- I wouldn't want the cops teaching my kids how to "use" the kinghtstick. It's the same as teaching them to beat someone with a bat. Rodney King anyone?
 

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That demonstration seems very inappropriate for a kindergarten class field trip. I would be upset.
 

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Sounds like bad judgement on the part of the PD. They couldn't bring out the working dogs or something a little bit friendlier? My dd would have been freaked out. What a great way to make children afraid of the police.<br><br>
I'd send them some feedback.
 

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I also think that was inappropriate. When dealing with young kids, the police should stick to the dogs and horses and fancy shiny badges. Save the beating and guns for older children. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/disappointed.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="disappointed"><br><br><img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/offtopic.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="offtopic"><br>
I've gotten to wear The Sleeve and be in the attack dog demonstration and it was so much fun! They should have offered that! <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/orngtongue.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="Stick Out Tongue">
 

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I would be terribly bothered by this. The whole point of taking a field trip to the police station is to familiarize little kids with their friendly neighborhood police officers, not to freak them out. Who knows not only how many kids will try to "play police officer" by beating someone with a stick, but also get freaked out knowing that the police officer might do that to them if they break the law. I would certainly talk with both the school and the police station about that part of the field trip, it was very innappropriate for that age group.
 

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I think that visiting a police station is interesting--but for much older kids.<br>
I think it would be more appropriate for a police officer and a K9 and a cool looking squad car to arrive at the school and show the kids stuff about how police officers are there for OUR protection, show the dog and let the kids pat him and turn the sirens on in the car. No scary details about violence should be included, imo. Although kids should be shown how to protect themselves from strangers--this on the other hand, would be completely appropriate.<br>
If it were my child, I know she'd have nightmares over the jail cell and the combat stuff.<br>
Although, kids are more sophisticated these days in many ways, and maybe a lot of kids at this age could handle it. I know mine couldn't.<br><br>
If this really bothers you, write a letter to your child's principal and ask who approved the trip and list what your concerns are.<br>
Did you get a letter from the teacher stating what the class trip was about, what would be covered with details of the day? You should have gotten this. If not, write. In many public schools (most that I know of) parents have to sign permissions slips for field trips, and most of these permission slips include details of the trip on a separate page.<br>
If the principal does not respond within an appropriate amount of time (two business weeks by mail), then by all means, contact your school board members and your district superintendent and send the same letter and be sure to say that you did not get a response from your principal.<br>
This is your right as a parent, and you pay taxes to exercise these very rights.<br><br>
These kinds of things can cause backlash by community members when kids end up scared or confused by what they are seeing/experiencing in the classroom/field trips.
 

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Yes, I'm involved with the police and I think that demonstration is inappropriate. Even though my child will likely be constantly exposed to certain aspects of policing, watching a baton drill would not be something I'd want my young child exposed to.<br><br>
I'm guessing it was a joke, but I also would FREAK if someone suggested a young child wear a bite sleeve. First off, if the dog is any good, he will likely leave bruises on a full grown adults arm right through the sleeve. Second, with a fully qualified police dog, an agitator under a weight of say 160 is taking dangerous chances. When I was commonly wearing bite sleeves I was about 165 and solid muscle and and was almost dragged off a number of times--as a matter of fact, when I worked Havoc on lead, they used to tie me off to a car bumper or a tree, a full grown police dog has a heck of a lot of power behind them.<br>
I'm also not hugely in agreement with petting the police dogs--not when the children are not likely old enough to understand the difference between when the dog is working and when he's at rest. Encouraging a child to approach the friendly working dog sets a lot of dog handlers up for an accident. Having the children watch an agility excercise or a tracking excercise would make sense.<br><br>
I would VERY definitely contact your principal and I would contact whichever officer led your tour.
 

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My vote - bizarre and inappropriate.<br><br>
If I approved my child to go on a field trip to the police dept, I think I'd be expecting something along the lines of "meet friendly officer so-and-so, who's going to talk to you about looking both ways when you cross the street, and then you can try on a police officer's cap." Gee, maybe next time they can do body cavity searches on each other and a little target practice... <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/irked.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="irked">:
 

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<div style="margin:20px;margin-top:5px;">
<div class="smallfont" style="margin-bottom:2px;">Quote:</div>
<table border="0" cellpadding="6" cellspacing="0" width="99%"><tr><td class="alt2" style="border:1px inset;">"You have to tell them what you want them to do until they do it. If you don't tell them, then you're just beating them."</td>
</tr></table></div>
<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/yikes.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="EEK!"> I hope those kids don't grow up using this logic on their spouses or children!
 

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I used to be a police cadet, and we would often give demonstrations with the dogs. I would wear the bite sleeve (just the sleeve, not a full suit) and an officer would stand several yards away and send his dog after me. The dog would lunge only for the sleeve, would grab onto it and hold, and then the officer would call him away. No bruising or trauma. I think if the officer calls the dog at the right moment, and the dog is trained to go only for the arm, there won't be a problem, but I guess it shouldn't be done to a young child.<br><br>
And I was also told the "tell him what you want to do as you're hitting him" thing. The purpose was so that onlookers would see that the guy was "resisting arrest," that I was not just beating him for no reason. I would be given a baton and a punching bag and told to hit the bag and yell "Don't resist me, mother------" each time. But this sort of thing was NOT done in front of kids!<br><br>
When we had to do childrens' stuff, it consisted largely of me leading around someone dressed as "McGruff the Crime Dog," giving out stickers and balloons, pouring punch, and showing how to work the lights and sirens in the cars. It was supposed to be fun for the kids, not a show of "Look what the police can do if you're bad."
 

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I am in shock. That kind of "demonstration" could cause some long term anguish for my child. It would bother me and I am a grown woman.<br><br>
I don't mind my child checking out the police car/fire truck but I don't want a police officer teaching my child a thing. That's my job.
 
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