Thursday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

‘More than Able to Hold her Own,’ Girl gets Boot from Catholic Football League, CNN

Caroline Pla has been playing football since kindergarten, and for the past two years, the 11-year-old has been knocking opposing players on their butts.

It never occurred to her that someone might need to protect her from the sport she adores.

Her playing time with the Catholic Youth Organization ended after last season when the Archdiocese of Philadelphia enforced its “boys only” policy for football, sidelining the All-Star guard and defensive end.

Inspired by her older brother, George, 14, Caroline started playing Pop Warner flag football at age 5 and was hooked. Once she got too big to play Pop Warner, she signed up to play tackle football with the CYO in the fifth grade.

Two games into Caroline’s second season, head coach Chip Ross received an unexpected call from Jason Budd, deputy secretary for Catholic education for the archdiocese, who oversees the football program.

Caroline’s older brother, George, 14, inspired her to become a football player when she was 5.

The 5-foot-3, 110-pound sixth-grader, Budd explained to Ross, could no longer play for the Romans because, according to the CYO handbook, football is a full-contact sport — no girls allowed.

Officials:  9-year-old Mother is at least 12, Houston Chronicle

Authorities in the Mexican state of Jalisco say tests have revealed that a girl who gave birth two weeks ago is between 12 and 13 years of age, not 9 as the parents had claimed.

Jalisco state prosecutors also say the girl was impregnated by her stepfather and not her alleged 17-year-old boyfriend.

French Plan to Add to Already Lengthy School Days Angers Parents and Teachers, The New York Times

For more than a century, the lengthy school days of French children have been punctuated by a midweek day off, in recent decades for most children on Wednesdays, originally created for catechism studies.

The long hours and peculiar weekly rhythm have been criticized as counterproductive to learning and blamed for keeping women out of the full-time work force, as well as widening inequalities between rich and poor because of the demands they place on working parents. Yet the Wednesday break has remained a fulcrum of French family life.

With all that in mind, the government of President François Hollande recently issued a decree introducing a half day of school on Wednesdays for children 3 to 11 starting in September, while reducing the school day by 45 minutes the rest of the week. In a country with a broad consensus in favor of shortening a school day that typically runs from 8:30 a.m. to at least 4 p.m., and sometimes longer, Mr. Hollande’s government still did not expect the plan to be controversial. It has not worked out that way.

Training Gap Cited for Police on Youth, The Boston Globe

They can be defiant, contemptuous of authority, and heedless of how their actions will affect their future.

Adolescents possess little of the reasoning and judgment that keep most adults out of trouble, according to recent scientific ­research that has encouraged more training of judges, prosecutors, and probation officers to ­realize that juveniles in the criminal justice system should be treated differently than their grown-up counterparts.

But, according to a survey by a Cambridge-based organization that trains police to deal with ­juveniles, little of that training is reaching those at the front lines of confrontations with wayward youth: police officers.

A Long Struggle for Equality in Schools, The New York Times

Looking back at the school desegregation case he took as a young lawyer, Rubin Salter Jr. sees a pile of wasted money and squandered opportunities. After almost four decades in court and nearly $1 billion in public spending, little has changed for the black children whose right to a good education he had labored to defend.

Allison Arterberry

About Allison Arterberry

Allison Arterberry is a third year student at the University of Houston Law Center. She graduated from Texas A&M University in 2011 with a B.A. in Political Science and Spanish. She has spent parts of her last two summers interning at the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Currently, she is a Senior Articles Editor for the Houston Journal of International Law, the Secretary for the Labor & Employment Law Society as well as a member of the Career Development Student Advisory Board and the Association of Women in Law. Additionally, last year she was the Secretary for Aggie Law Society. Allison is most interested in child victim’s rights in the criminal system.

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