Commentary: Troubled child needs help

This editorial appeared in The Miami Herald.

The 7-year-old boy who is accused of robbing a 6-year-old using a rounded table knife in a school bathroom is a troubling case, and sad for both children. What's scary, though, is talk of prosecuting the 7-year-old boy.

This is a young, impressionable first grader who may have been imitating something he saw on television. You don't prosecute 7-year-olds, who can't comprehend that actions have consequences.

Only the victim saw the 7-year-old with the knife at Pines Lakes Elementary. When the victim told his parents what happened they contacted the school. Pines Lakes officials rightly called police to report the incident. School officials suspended the 7-year-old, and he may be expelled. They should not be hasty about kicking the first grader out for good. More needs to be known about the boy's family circumstances and how he managed to take the knife to school.

To read the complete editorial, visit The Miami Herald.