Videotape was rolling March 14 when the 5-year-old girl swung again and again, her bantam punches landing on the outstretched palms of Nicole Dibenedetto, the new assistant principal at Fairmount Park Elementary.
She tore papers off Dibenedetto’s bulletin board and desk. She climbed on a table four times. About an hour had passed since she refused to participate in a kindergarten math lesson, which escalated into a series of defiant and destructive acts.
Dibenedetto had used tactics from a Pinellas school district training called Crisis Prevention Intervention:
Let the child know her actions have consequences but also try to “de-escalate.”
Give her opportunities to end the conflict.
Try not to touch her, defend yourself and make sure no one else gets hurt.
As St. Petersburg police officers arrived shortly after 3 p.m., the girl suddenly sat quietly at Dibenedetto’s table. And, just as suddenly, the tactics used by educators gave way to the more direct approach of law enforcement.
An officer sternly said the girl’s name. Then: “You need to calm down. You need to do it now. OK?”
Seconds later, three officers approached and placed their hands on the girl’s wrists and upper arms. They stood her up, put her arms behind her back and put on handcuffs. She bent over the table and let out a terrified scream.
Senate Republican Caucus Chairman Jeff Miller is currently going through a divorce with his wife over allegations that he had an affair with a Senate staffer. Ironically, Miller is the sponsor of the state’s Marriage Protection Act aimed at preventing gay marriages or unions from happening in Tennessee. In the debate on that bill, Miller helped defeat an amendment which would have also added criticisms of adultry to the bill. The Nashville City paper, who reported on this story, also reports that Miller’s brother is openly gay. The act passed and now will be voted on by the electorate in the general midterm elections of 2006.
On March 27, the total number of withdrawals from the Communist Party, Youth League and Young Pioneers exceeded half a million. In less than one month, another half a million have now withdrawn from the CCP. By April 21, the total number of people who have declared their withdrawals from the CCP, China Youth League and Young Pioneers on the Epoch Times website (http://tuidang.dajiyuan.com/) had exceeded one million. The Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party published by The Epoch Times last November has directly caused this wave of withdrawals.
Two NYPD veterans are being investigated by Internal Affairs for allegedly accepting payoffs from the motion-picture industry to arrest vendors of pirated DVDs, law-enforcement sources told The Post.
One officer, a sergeant on the force since 1992, has been transferred from the Staten Island Task Force to the 122nd Precinct pending the internal investigation.
The other, a cop for five years, still works on the task force.
As members of the unit, the officers, ages 36 and 32, would arrest the sellers of illegal DVDs and confiscate their stock.
Often they would act on tips from investigators with the Motion Picture Association of America, many of whom are former cops, sources said.
There is nothing improper about that practice. But on at least four occasions in Brooklyn, Manhattan and Staten Island, the task force officers arrested the vendors, confiscated the illegal movies and then allegedly received gratuities of several hundred dollars from the MPAA itself or its investigators, the source said.
The MPAA strongly denied that the payoffs came from the trade organization.