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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Mayhem On Kindergarten Graduation Day

     Just before eleven o'clock on Friday morning, May 31, 2013, as the attendees of a kindergarten graduation ceremony walked out of the Michael R. White Elementary School in Cleveland, Ohio, two teenage girls got into a fistfight  over a spilled cup of punch. Instead of pulling the girls apart, family members from both sides jumped into the fray as the recent kindergarten graduates looked on in horror.

     One of the combatants in the Friday morning gang brawl pulled out a hammer. (A hammer? Who brings a hammer to a graduation ceremony? Well, maybe in Cleveland.) Another kindergarten parent weighed-in with some kind of club. Someone called 911. The caller, perhaps hoping for a fast response from the Cleveland Police Department, falsely reported that shots had been fired. (That usually brings the police flying, but not always. In Detroit it takes a lot more than that.)

     Not long after the 911 call, police officers rolled up to the Michael R. White school. While more than a dozen people were punching, kicking, and rolling around on the ground, officers only arrested seven adults and one juvenile. There were scrapes and bruises, and some pulled-out hair, but none of the graduation day brawlers were seriously injured. The unnamed arrestees, most of whom were women, were charged with aggravated rioting.

     I can't help wondering what Mr. Rogers would have said to these kindergarten graduates about their brawling parents. Perhaps it would be something like: "You are special, but your folks are jerks." 

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