The robber pulled a knife on his victim and made off with the booty: $1. Wielding the weapon, says the Miami Herald, was a first-grader. The boy has been suspended from school and faces expulsion; he could be charged with attempted robbery. It’s the latest in a spate of incidents at South Florida schools in recent weeks, including an 8-year-old bringing a gun to school and the shooting death of a high school sophomore at the hands of a classmate. ”We’ve seen an uptick in the number of incidents,” said a school spokesman.
”We are asking parents to be cognizant of what their children are bringing to school,” the spokesman said. “Question your child or look into their backpacks or book bags.” Defense lawyer John Contini said he has seen his clients get younger and younger. Bringing criminal charges against the 7-year-old may be difficult, said Contini. Prosecutors would have to show the child fully understood his actions. One argument might be the young child thought it was just a game. Violent crimes by the young could become more common in an era of violent video games and television shows many children play and watch unsupervised, said Trudy Block-Garfield, a psychologist. ”When you combine that with a lack of guidance in the home, you have children who really have not been taught that these things are not appropriate,” she said.