A 14-year-old girl from Jose de Choudens middle school in Puerto Rico went on a playground holding a syringe, stabbing 37 classmates from 12-to-14-years-old. According to the Education Secretary Jesus Rivera Sanchez's testimony, she described the girls behavior as " [the girl] would stab one, run, stab another, run, like it was some sort of joke". The Health Department said that the they were not sure the syringe was contaminated; but the 37 victims were gathered at a convention center to be examined for HIV and hepatitis C supplied with preventive medications.
Based on the Justice Department spokesman Fidel Rodrigruez, no charges had yet been filed because her motives were not clear, however, judges decided she had been suspended from school due to her lack of honesty to the police officers. When the officers were asking the girl how she managed to obtain the syringe, she said she found it; but soon after, she changed her speech and told the investigators that she stole an unused needle from a relative's hospital to have her ears pierced.
The Puerto Rican Justice Department officials has recently been debating whether there should be charges against the girl's inappropriate actions. As one of the social workers tried to determine a motive, he said that it was not clear why she attacked her classmates. In the parent's perspective, they would argue that the girl should receive more than just a suspension from the school. It would only seem logical that a murderer were to be kept in a juvenile prison until all 37 victims receives a negative test result. However, according to the CRIN (Child Rights information Network) in Puerto Rico, there are neither any Regional Laws nor any National Laws in the database relating to this country. This being said, do the judges put charges on the girl based on adult laws, which could possibly result in heavier charges? Now, looking at the CRC (Convention on the Rights of the Child), one of the laws for Children Rights states"Safe exposure/access to leisure, play culture, and art"; those who violate the CRC in a lighter degree usually receives a fine or imprisonment for not to exceed 10 days. However, recognizing the vulnerability of children, one might say that children rights should be dealt with special attention; in other words, suspension is more than enough to serve as a punishment for the girl.
In addition to the issue of children rights, the definition for "children" is a matter of debate. According to the US Law, it sates that " A child is any human being below the age of eighteen years", however, according to Cornell University, the term "child" doesn't exist within a range; basically, there is no exact definition to explain the term "youth, teenager, or adolescent" because it is almost impossible to measure one's maturity level with a standardized test. But if the definition of children is not established, how is fair to charge the girl?
In my opinion, the girl has received the punishment she deserves, nothing more than that should be charged on her. First, the girl does not understand the danger involved in a syringe, therefore, she has no intentions of harming her classmates on purpose. Second, in the article, they only reported that she stabbed 37 kids, but have they considered that the girl might have stabbed herself accidentally? And if she did, wouldn't she become a victim as well? Third, the girl shouldn't take full responsibility of this entire action. Since the rampage happened at school, where were the supervisors? Shouldn't the supervisors take partial responsibility of this?
Besides the issue of children rights, there are many other issues that are related to that matter, for instance, minimum driving age. Because the known minimum driving age isn't standardized in each country, the consequences for illegal driving are different. Similarly, when the definition of children is diversified, the degree of charges set on one is relatively difficult to decide.