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Chicago News Misrepresents A Pre-Schooler To Look Like ‘Gangster In Training’

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Pre-schoolers say some pretty ridiculous things. Without context, I’m sure a lot of it could sound quite alarming. Recently, I almost gagged as my daughter told her daycare all about mommy going to jail. For any parent breezing in to drop off their kids, I bet that sounded awesome! See, without knowing that my daughter loves to play superheros and bad guys, you might be confused about a three-year-old talking about jail. Or what her mom was doing in one. Once you realize that my little girl idolizes “The Justice League”, it makes more sense. My daughter wasn’t lying when she said I’d been to jail. I’ve been put in jail three times today so far. Then, I get out, threaten the safety of her babydolls, and she drags my butt to jail again. It’s all about the context.

A Chicago CBS affliate forgot that lesson,when they broadcasted a quote from a four-year-old boy. The station was covering a drive-by shooting. During their resident interviews, they asked the little boy if he was afraid of a similar tragedy happening again. The four-year-old (who obviously should be answering questions about a local shooting) said, “I’m not scared of nothing. I’m going to have me a gun.” Without some additional context, this type of quote would be pretty worrisome from a young child.

The context, which WBBM regretfully left out, was the end of the quote. The boy finished his statement by saying, “I’m going to be police!” Let’s just get this out there, that type of deceptive editing is horrendous and unethical. The boy’s family, along with The Maynard Institute and the NAACP, were furious. Since then, the station has issued an apology and pulled the child’s statements from their story. I’m sure that makes the parents feel better about their child being manipulated and made to look like a “gangster in training”.

Kids say the darnedest things. They’re off-the-wall and ridiculous a lot of the time. It’s true, they had to learn it somewhere. But you would be amazed to think about the grown-up concepts often discussed in front of children. Jail seems like a pretty adult concept, but has anyone seen the movie Megamind, where a super-villain continues to be thrown back in jail every time he does something wrong? Guns are personal issue of mine, but you see where a child learns about them. Considering policemen wear them around their waist, it’s not a wonder that a child picks up on it.

It’s easy to make assumptions about someone’s parenting based on a couple overheard phrases, but its not very fair. Without the context, you just never know what a child is referring to. And to purposefully distort a child’s words like this station did… well, my daughter would suggest the bad guys go to jail. I just think they should lose their jobs.

(Photo: Mediaite)