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Youthful indiscretion or terroristic threat?

   The New York Branch of the American Civil Liberties Union says that school and police officials completely overreacted  when they arrested and charged an 11-year-old middle schooler with "making a terroristic threat" by creating a hit list on a school computer of students and teachers she said she wanted to kill.

   They contend the sixth-grader should be subject to school discipline and should get the professional help she needs to deal with her emotions and anger, but she shouldn't be criminalized as a terrorist threat.

   Police officials respond that any school threats involving harm to other students can't be taken lightly in a post-Columbine world. They also said this girl isn't being "criminalized." She's heading to Family Court, a non-punitive court that will make sure she gets the help she needs.

   Are police and school officials overreacting or responding appropriately?


  — Sandra Tan

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Crime & Courts
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