Parents outraged over graphic police flyer

Parents outraged over graphic police flyer

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by Katherine Cook

Bio | Email | Follow: @KCookKGW

kgw.com

Posted on May 17, 2010 at 6:02 AM

Updated Monday, May 17 at 11:07 AM

Parents were upset over a summer safety guide containing graphic language that was sent home with young students last week.

"I think they're kind of over-stepping their bounds here... quite a bit," said Dan Souther, who's 11-year-old daughter Ashley, attends Llewellyn Elementary School, where the booklets were distributed.

Every year, the Portland Police Bureau designs and distributes the "Operation Safe Summer Guide," which is mostly comprised of safety tips and information about summer activities in the city.  But this year, the back page featured something new for 2010:  A list of Oregon's Measure 11 crimes-- everything from aggravated murder to sexual abuse.  It included words like "sodomy" and "rape," and a warning that kids ages 15 and older could be tried as adults for committing such crimes.  At Llewellyn, the warning went home with kids grades Kindergarten through fifth.

 "I was basically looking at it wondering, who's decision is it to talk to our kids about this?" said Souther.  "Is it ours or is it the school's?

Fifth-grader Ashley Souther, didn't know what to make of the booklet.  "It's strange," she said.  When asked why she thought her school sent it home with her classmates, she answered,  "I'm  not quite sure."

In response to parents' outrage, Portland Public Schools district officials asked principals to stop distributing the booklets.  The Portland Police Bureau also issued an apology.  In a statement to News Channel 8, police spokesperson Greg Stewart said, "We made a mistake, we're looking into it, it wont happen again."   

"As a parent, I don't need the police department parenting my kids," said Ashley's mother, Melody Souther.  "I can do it."

It's not clear how many kids already went home with the booklets, but It's not clear how many kids already went home with the booklets, but the Police Bureau was working on a revised version.

 

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