A boy in my daughter's 3rd grade class said he wants to kill Catholics

My daughter told my wife that today a boy in her third grade class told her and another Catholic child that he wants to kill Catholics when he grows up. My wife said that my daughter told the teacher about it. So the teacher asked the child what he said, and he repeated it to the teacher. After that he was taken out of the class and sent to see the principal of the school. With secularism taking control of America there’s been a lot of hate directed at Catholics, but I wasn’t expecting this attitude to come from a third grader. My wife said she thinks the kid probably copied the attitude from his parents.

Bear in mind, a boy in the third grade is merely repeating something he heard from an adult within his family circle. He is neither old enough nor mature enough to formulate such ideas on his own.
Secular or not, the school officials and social workers affiliated with the school should call the boys’ parents or guardians to task for this because wether or not they like it statments like this are the basis for hate crime–even when uttered by a child. The parents of the girl should insist on action by the authorities. All too often Catholics let such things pass by, which just encourages more of the same.

It’s unfortunate but children are easily influenced. It’s only bad in the case of when there’s a bad influence present around the child’s home :frowning:

Looks like that’s what happened, but pray for him!

Could be. I’m guessing he never heard any such thing from anyone in his family. Among those who actually do try to commit mass killings, after all, how many got their ideas directly from their parents or other adults? Not many, not outside ethnic war zones. Instead, they get the idea from the terrorists that with a bomb or some automatic weapons you can have the power to kill a lot of people, and from their own problems of possessing little empathy and a poor ability to deal with frustration, they get the idea that people they don’t like deserve to get that treatment. If two children in his class both happen to frustrate him and both happen to be Catholic, then like the Queen of Hearts, it is “off with their heads!” Likewise, there may be someone else in his life who both frustrates him and happens to be Catholic, and he’s the one who connects the dots in such a twisted manner.

IOW, his parents and the other adults in his life might be far more mortified than anyone to hear that he said such a thing. That would be my bet.

This is absolutely not a hate crime. Just like its not a hate crime when ministers say that we should round up all the gays and put them in an electrical fence.

A hate crime is when you commit a crime against someone because of their race, religion, etc. No crime was committed, no threat was even made, and there wasn’t even a victim in all of this.

Attempting to somehow drag a small child through the justice system over a childish comment will only get them laughed out of court.

While it’s true that this is probably not going to be called a “hate crime” in any court, the child could certainly find himself in hot water if he keeps letting such thoughts come flying out of his mouth. In our school, that would probably be considered a threat and if it was part of a pattern of threatening behavior, it might be considered bullying as well. I expect he would have gotten several days of suspension.

I wouldn’t sweat it. People have been trying to do that for 2000 years.


Well that makes me want to go look at pictures of puppies. People really need to be taught to value life more. What an ugly society we live in.

Oh absolutely, especially in cities like St. Louis where crime isn’t just an abstract idea. Where I grew up though a comment like that out of the mouth of a third grader would have warranted a trip to the office and a meeting with their parents and the principal. I don’t think that at that age a child would have been punished that harshly, but it would have been impressed upon them that comments like that are completely unacceptable and why. If it happened again he probably would have gotten a suspension. But I grew up in a small town with relatively few problems like that.

Chances are that kid was probably just being a typical 8 year old and trying to get a reaction out of his classmates and didn’t even fully understand what it meant and the gravity of it. The best thing would to give him that stern talking to explaining why statements like that are so hurtful and dangerous and maybe a detention during which he needs to write a letter of apology to the two girls who he said that to. He can read the letter to them privately (with a teacher present) and everyone can move on. Attempting to tar and feather a 9 year old over big tough kid talk is just so counterproductive for everyone involved.

I really think that the OP and the other girl’s parents should just gently explain to the kids that sometimes people say things that they don’t mean and don’t understand just to get attention and that they shouldn’t let it bother them, they should just walk away and tell a teacher. When they are older you can have the heavy conversations about people hating Catholics and problems around the world, etc.

My question for you is : Do you have children of your own, or have experience with working around children of the age to be in the 2nd to 4th grades? I doubt it, because your reply flies in the face of contemporary childrens psychology in the West!

We must worry more about his heart than his mouth…for it is those who learn to control their mouths but don’t change their hearts when they are young that carry their angst and usually end up in more trouble later in life…:frowning:

I was just thinking that if the child would have said this about homosexuals it would probably make national headlines.

I think it’s the idea of the hate crime that is surprising is what he is talking about.

Seriously? Kids say all sorts of things about homosexuals, and yes, statements about killing them included. Gay people are one of their favorite targets when it comes to things like that because 8 year olds don’t have a firm grasp on heterosexuality yet, much less homosexuality. Simply put they just don’t get it. This is not a huge incident against Catholics any more than it would be a huge incident against gays (and it certainly wouldn’t make the news). This is a little boy who doesn’t know what he’s talking about acting like a little boy who doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

How on earth do you go from the premise that I don’t agree with some “child psychology expert” you presume to be the gold standard for the West to the conclusion that I must not have children? Really?

Not only do I have children of my own, but a friend of mine found out that another student at her child’s school had made a death threat against her child and another child. The threat was taken very seriously by the school, but it wasn’t taken as evidence that the child learned that kind of thing from adults, let alone his parents. As it turned out, the problem wasn’t that the boy’s parents used hate speech that applied to her child or anyone else. The problem was that the boy was disturbed, including a poor ability to relate normally with other kids and to deal with frustration. He needed help, but not the kind you’re implying.

Let us also remind ourselves of this from the Catechism:

*2478 To avoid rash judgment, everyone should be careful to interpret insofar as possible his neighbor’s thoughts, words, and deeds in a favorable way:

Every good Christian ought to be more ready to give a favorable interpretation to another’s statement than to condemn it. But if he cannot do so, let him ask how the other understands it. and if the latter understands it badly, let the former correct him with love. If that does not suffice, let the Christian try all suitable ways to bring the other to a correct interpretation so that he may be saved.279*

Is it possible that the boy heard this from his parents or other adults? Of course it is. Do I think it most likely? No, I don’t. If it were the most likely, could I, knowing that a more favorable interpretation is entirely possible, conclude that the worst expectation about the parents is the truth because it is the most likely? No, I cannot. The necessity to avoid rash judgment requires me to remember both the more likely explanation and the more favorable one, and not to jump to any conclusions.

As it is, unless the OP lives in the Sudan or another area in which it is too sadly common to run across an adult who does think like that, it is unlikely that a child making such a shocking statement heard it first from an adult. There are other explanations that are at least as likely, if not more so. Perhaps, for instance, we have a 3rd grade boy trying to show his displeasure by saying the most shocking thing he can think of to say. That also wouldn’t be a first, in the West or anywhere else! Third graders have been known to be thoughtless about how they shoot their mouths off.

Besides, which would be worse: for the principal talking to the parents of the child who used hate speech to start from the presumption that a child who says that is not likely to have heard it from the parents, or that it is likely that he did? I think it better to use the premise a) decent adults do not talk like that, b) the parents are decent people, and therefore c) the child could not have heard anything like that from the parents, and go from there. If the parents hold the incompatible views that people can say things like that and still keep a reputation as being decent, it will come out soon enough in the interview.

Do I read the OP correctly that our evidence for this statement is hearsay originating with an 8th-grade child?

Let’s pray for this young man.

Dear God, please have mercy on this soul, protect him in all ways and bath his heart with you love. If this is ok with you, i pray for him to open his heart to kindness, love and compassion. Amen

Blessings and love!

No, this was all in the 3rd grade. The OPs child reported to the OPs spouse that the threat about future murderous intentions was made directly to her (the child) and then repeated to a teacher, which brought intervention by the administration. While it is not unknown for a grade school child to tell a story like that, such that a parent would naturally want to inquire about it with the school if the school says nothing within 24 hours or so, it would be a mighty whopper.

It’s what my daughter said happened in school. She’s in the third grade, but she wouldn’t make up something like that. She told it to her mother (my wife) who then told it to me. My daughter is well-behaved at the school and was recently selected for “student of the week” and had her picture taken with the school principal for the occasion.

I agree with you. It’s possible that the child could have gotten this attitude from another child or saw it in a movie or heard it in popular music instead of getting it from his parents.

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