5 Temper Tantrums That Spiraled Out of Control
Telling a child "No" comes with inherent risks. Still, even if one with limited self-control and the wrath of a viking gets wild, no one expects it to have massive legal, financial, or even potentially lethal consequences. Everyone was shocked, for example, when ...
A Five-Year-Old Burned Down A Duplex
Most parents are just trying their best in a horrifying world of snot and YouTube, so they don't need the judgment of strangers. But you have to admit that the mother of this Ohio child made some very questionable choices. Like whatever led police to state that all of her children should have "charges filed on them, or if not all, they're all on probation." In this instance, she went shopping after an argument with her five-year-old son, apparently leaving him at home unsupervised. Oh, he had also threatened to burn the house down. Guess what happened while she was gone?
It wasn't exactly a tough case to crack, as the boy was seen running from the burning building with a lighter in hand, hopefully in slow motion while accompanied by the Kidz Bop version of "In The Air Tonight." The local police chief assured the public that the boy wouldn't face criminal charges, but did suggest that he might have to attend a "fire prevention course," beginning with some Remedial Frankensteining.
The duplex had to be completely torn down. Which kinda sucked for the other family living in it, who had nothing to do with the whole mess.
A 12-Year-Old Sued Her Father Over A Grounding (And Won)
When you hear about a child suing their parent, you probably assume the adult did something truly despicable, like stealing all an actor's money. That's not what happened here. A Quebecois father discovered his 12-year-old daughter had been using the internet in an "inappropriate" way, so he grounded her from her sixth-grade graduation trip to Quebec City. Fair enough, right?
Well, the problem was that her parents were divorced. In many such arrangements, one parent can't so much as give their child a noogie without running it past the other. Since the girl's mother disagreed with the man's decision, what would have otherwise been a fairly routine familial dispute became a legal one. The girl already had a lawyer thanks to the divorce proceedings, so she called him up and asked him to sort it out, presumably before barking a coffee order at her assistant and swearing at the limo driver.
In a case that would have been more at home in a bad sketch show's Judge Judy riff, the court ruled in the girl's favor. The father was "flabbergasted," and appealed the decision. His lawyer argued that it was already "very hard to raise a child" without stuff like judges overturning groundings and taking "eat your vegetables" to the Supreme Court.
A Nine-Year-Old Caused A Massive Police Search By Hiding Under His Bed
In 2017, UK nine-year-old Josh Dinning came down with a serious case of the Mondays and decided to do what we've all considered at some point: hiding under the bed to avoid life. Sometime after his parents tucked him into bed at 9:30 p.m. on April 3, Josh tucked himself into a storage compartment beneath his bed, and that was pretty much where his plan ended, because he was nine.
When his parents entered his bedroom the next morning and found neither him nor his school uniform, they made the improbable assumption that a third-grader had gotten himself up, dressed, and out the door on his own, then went about their day as usual. It wasn't until around 9 a.m., when the school called to report his absence, that they knew something was wrong.
After an initial search turned up nothing, the whole town went into a frenzy. Neighbors printed flyers, law enforcement combed the river, and police dogs were taken to a nearby abandoned construction site before someone decided to conduct a more thorough search of the house. At 12:50 p.m., they finally decided to look under the bed, where Josh had been listening to everything that had happened. He later explained, "I could hear people looking for me and I thought I had better stay quiet because when they found me I would get shouted and bawled at so I just stayed where I was." He was presumably just covered in piss.
A Couple Of Middle-Schoolers Started A Riot Involving 33 Police Cars And 50-70 Other Kids
It all started at a district-wide middle school championship basketball game in Vancouver, when one kid confronted another about a rumor. Things got heated, and the grown-ups asked the confrontational child to leave. Either he refused or just didn't leave fast enough, but whatever the case, the relevant adults decided it was Uncle Phil time.
It was the wrong move. Other students, outraged to learn that they couldn't just do whatever they wanted without consequences, "interfered" with the Roadhousing in progress. It seems like an easy enough situation to defuse -- just do the thing where you put your palm against the small person's forehead so they can't reach you -- but apparently they didn't have enough adult hands at their disposal. So they called the police before announcing that the game was canceled.
It's traditional hooligan custom to scatter once the fuzz shows up, especially if the event is already over, but these kids were not up on their ruffian etiquette. One of them later explained that "he didn't think cops could make you leave a school," for some inexplicable reason that likely only made sense to them. Perhaps they saw it in an anime once. Anyway, a tsunami of children surrounded both the teachers and the cops, screaming threats while jostling and spitting on them.
When police attempted to handcuff the boy who initiated the conflict, tween bystanders determined that he wasn't resisting hard enough and decided to do some resisting for him. In the end, after authorities got the upper hand, nine students were arrested and 27 were expelled (although most of them were eventually allowed to return to school).
The adults don't exactly come off well here, either. One officer complained that he was *gasp* almost hit by a pine cone. Also, pinning a child against a wall to arrest him for defying a teacher isn't a terribly proportional response. Reports from both sides also describe a situation fraught with racial tension, likely bolstered by recent shootings by police in the area. The only hero we can all get behind is the anonymous barbarian who repeatedly demanded that various officers "take off their uniforms and fight like a man."
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A 12-Year-Old Who Was Told He Couldn't Go To Bali Proved Them All Wrong
By 2018, 12-year-old Australian "Drew" had amassed a history of runaway attempts, which wouldn't be that unusual if not for the specificity of his plans. While most kids dream of running away to Disneyland or joining the circus, Drew repeatedly attempted to run away to Bali. That's where his family went on vacation every year, so he probably figured the whole country knew him and would be cool with it if he just crashed there for a while until things cooled off at home.
He'd always been caught before, so he knew he had to get smarter. After an argument with his mother, he researched airlines that allowed 12-year-olds to fly without their parents, bought a ticket using his parents' credit card, and tricked his grandma into giving him his passport, which she must have been entrusted with explicitly because he'd tried this before. Way to drop the ball, Grandma.
After his parents thought he had gone to school, Drew packed a bag, hopped on his scooter, and proceeded to the train station. He skipped over the check-in kiosk at the Sydney airport because, as he terrifyingly explained later, they "ask too many questions." The one time he was questioned in Perth, he showed them his student ID to prove his advanced age of 12, and everything went swimmingly from there.
Drew went from Sydney to Perth to Indonesia before finally landing in Bali, where he claimed he was meeting his mom. He checked into the All Seasons Hotel, explaining that he was waiting for his sister, and then chilled in Bali for four days. He rented a motorbike, tried beer for the first time, and generally acted out Home Alone: Island Edition before his mom showed up and totally harshed his mellow.
At home in Sydney, suspicions were raised when Drew's school informed his parents of his absence. They had a pretty good idea where he was, so they flew to Bali to retrieve him, presumably treating the whole airplane to a master class in creative profanity. In the aftermath, the world learned an important lesson about airport security. But Drew ... Drew will always have Bali.
Mary Claire Potts is a writer of words and would like someone to show her how to use Twitter.
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