Scott Tibbs
blog post
August 5th, 2005

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11 year old avoids felony trial

An 11 year old girl who was the subject of an intense police manhunt involving helicopters will not serve jail time after she threw a rock at a boy. The rock left a gash in his forehead.

Why did Maribel Cuevas throw a rock at the boy? She threw the rock because he and a few other thuglings were pelting her with water balloons. She retaliated by throwing a rock at one of the boys, who was hospitalized and had to get stitches from the impact of the rock.

Have the little thuglings been charged with assault for throwing things at Cuevas? If not, why not? When did it become acceptable for several kids to gang up on and throw things at another child? What kind of values have the the parents been teaching their little thuglings? Did the rock she threw prevent the bullying from escalating beyond water balloons?

It appears we still have not learned the lessons of Columbine. I suspect we never will. On April 20, 1999, two high school students who had been tormented for years walked into their school and murdered several classmates. We have heard a lot of talk about bullying since then, but this country still does not take bullying seriously. The Cuevas case is another example of that. Instead of reacting against the thuglings who were assaulting Cuevas, the full force of the law was brought down on a child acting in self-defense.

Did Cuevas overreact? Did she use more force than necessary? Should she be punished for what she did? Perhaps. However, the most important thing to note in this story is that the infamous rock would never have been thrown had a bunch of little thuglings not been throwing things at her first. She did not instigate the confrontation; she retaliated. Cuevas clearly had the moral and legal right to defend herself when she was being assaulted by the thuglings.