"If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn't sit for a month.” ~Theodore Roosevelt~
Tabitha Allen needs a good kick in the pants.
"Tabitha Allen blames herself for her 10-year-old son's violent behavior. Growing up and living in a drug-infested, hooker-inhabited neighborhood, the 33-year-old mother of five is angry about life. "My anger reflects off my children," Allen explained one morning in the North Philadelphia rowhouse she inherited from her grandmother.
Her son - a thin, almost gaunt, boy with long eyelashes - punched a teacher last June at Kenderton Elementary School, a K-8 in Tioga. He knocked the glasses off her face and blackened her eye with a blow that packed unexpected power. As a 10-year-old, he had reached the minimum age to be arrested, and ended up with a simple assault charge in Family Court, where he was put on probation. He was removed from Kenderton and transferred to a classroom for disruptive elementary school students in Logan. Only last week, Allen said that her son was disciplined for having a BB gun at his new school. She said it was a misunderstanding and that the gun belonged to another student. [Source]
Tabitha Allen doesn't need a kick in the butt because she was born into unfortunate circumstances. She needs a kick in the butt for bringing five children into her world. A world where hope is hard to come by.
Tabitha Allen didn't give herself much of a shot, and she brought five kids along for the ride. Read the link to the Philly.com series about school violence that I provided. It will give you a wonderful insight into why Philly has 77 murders [and counting] so far this year.
"Tabitha Allen admits she wasn't on top of her children's lives the way she should have been, especially after her grandmother got sick and an aunt died. "I took my mind off my kids," Allen said. Allen, a high school dropout and unemployed, had all five of her children before she was 25. Two of her teenagers she describes as "Bonnie and Clyde." "They don't know how to walk away from stuff. They don't know how to let stuff go," she said. Her youngest, the 10-year-old who assaulted the teacher, takes after them, she said. So it was no surprise to her when she learned he had hit his teacher.
Earlier, the teacher had intervened when the boy hit a classmate. That led to a fist fight in the hall between the boy and the teacher, she said. Her son had been suspended repeatedly for fighting, she said. This time, he faced legal charges and landed on probation. Kenderton kicked him out and sent him to a disciplinary classroom at a K-6 school in Logan, about a mile and a half from his house. The classroom is run by Abraxas.
This year, there are 10 such sites based at elementary schools and serving 240 children in grades three to eight, said Wright, of the discipline office. Each self-contained classroom is staffed by a teacher and a behavior specialist. Students are evaluated after 30 days to determine if they can return to a regular school. In addition to academics, the students receive counseling and character-building courses. Allen said the school is too strict. When her son enters the school, he is patted down for weapons, she said. His classroom is in the basement, she said, and he is not allowed out for recess. "He ain't no convict. This isn't jail," she complained. Allen also said she was at a loss about how to help her son, who has ADHD and sees a psychiatrist.
She did her best to discipline her children, she said, and learned how to "beat them at their own game." When her son missed her imposed 10 p.m. curfew, she made him sit outside until 2 a.m. - in the cold. When her 13-year-old was locked up for trying to steal sneakers, she let him sit in jail for a while. She did the same to her 16-year-old daughter after she got into a fight and was detained. And when her 15-year-old son said he was going to kill himself, she hung a rope and told him how best to do it. "I said, 'It depends on how you jump,' " she said. "You got to jump right."
Allen struggles with her own anger. She said it comes from "life. Period. Me growing up in a neighborhood like this, seeing all the drugs." She pointed to her front door. "I got a whole hooker row right here on the corner," she said."
Tabitha Allen gives her ten year old son a 10 p.m. curfew! And people wonder why criminal lawyers do so well. *shaking head*