Thursday’s Children and the Law News Roundup

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Boy Scouts Delay Decision on Policy Excluding Gays, Houston Chronicle

Caught in an ideological crossfire, the Boy Scouts of America is putting off until May a decision on whether to ease its policy of excluding gays. Whatever the organization eventually does, it’s likely to anger major constituencies and worsen schisms within Scouting.

The delay, which the Scouts attributed to “the complexity of this issue,” was announced Wednesday after closed-door deliberations by the BSA’s national executive board. Under consideration was a proposal to ease the longstanding ban on gays by allowing sponsors of local troops to decide for themselves on the membership of gay Scouts and adult leaders.

DebraLee Hovey Calling for New Tax on Violent Video Games to Fund Mental Health Services, Hartford Courant

State Rep. DebraLee Hovey, a Republican whose district includes Sandy Hook, is proposing a new sales tax on video games rated “mature.”

Hovey is calling for a 10 percent tax; all of the money would be earmarked for the state Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services to pay for material to educate parents and others about the dangers of violent video games.

Specifically, the material will aim to “educate families on the warning signs of video game addiction and antisocial behavior,” the bill states.

Man Seeking Sex from Texas Girls gets Prison, Houston Chronicle

Prosecutors say an ex-Oklahoma City man has been sentenced to seven years in prison for online encounters that he thought would lead to sex with Texas girls.

A federal judge in Dallas on Wednesday afternoon sentenced 36-year-old Andrew Dale McKee. McKee in October pleaded guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor.

McKee last April contacted a 14-year-old Dallas-area girl via Facebook and texted her a sexually explicit photo and messages. Prosecutors say McKee asked her to find another girl to also have online sexual conversations and eventually meet.

Missouri Teen Found Handcuffed in Family Basement, CNN

Neighbors expressed shock as details emerged Wednesday in the case of a 17-year-old Missouri boy found handcuffed to a stainless steel support pole in his family’s basement. He had been there since September, police say.

Friends and neighbors said the Kansas City teen was mentally challenged, and they were heartbroken to see him taken by ambulance to a hospital.

“You give birth to this child and you are going to handcuff it and lock it and not feed it and not give him water? How do you not take care of your child?” said Ashley Reppy, who lives close to the family and spoke to CNN affiliate KSHB Wednesday.

In a police report released Wednesday, officers described the victim as dressed in dirty clothes and his “face was sunken in on the sides and his eyes had a look of desperation.”

Teen Accused of Bringing Replica Handgun to School, Houston Chronicle

A Bellevue teen faces charges after police say he brought a pellet gun that looks like the real thing to his high school.

Omaha television station KETV reports ( that police were called to Bellevue East High School on Wednesday after a teacher saw what looked like a handgun in a 17-year-old student’s possession.

The school was evacuated, and officers detained the student on school property during an after-school program.

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