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Issue: According to data collected by a Republican New Hampshire state legislator, Kindergarten is a major driver of crime. Bob Kingsbury, 86, recently claimed that analyses he’s been carrying out since 1996 show that communities in his state that have kindergarten programs have up to 400% more crime than localities whose classrooms are free of finger-painting 5-year-olds. Pointing to his hometown of Laconia, the largest of 10 communities in Belknap County, the legislator noted that it has the only kindergarten program in the county and the most crime, including most or all of the county’s rapes, robberies, assaults and murders.

So, what could account for the association he found between early childhood education and crime? “We’re taking children away from their mothers too soon,” Kingsbury said. He explained his research this way to the “Huffington Post”: “The sources I have is, I went to the Department of Education and got a list of kindergartens and I went to the safety department and got the crime report. ... In general, the towns with a kindergarten have 400 percent more crime than other towns in the same county. In every county, the towns and cities with kindergarten had more crime.” Kingsbury argues that age five is too early for children to spend time away from their parents, but previous data reveals that even younger children, preschoolers aged three to four, enjoy wide-reaching benefits by receiving high-quality education outside the home. Preschool and very early childhood education increase children’s educational achievement, raise their rates of future employment, cut welfare dependence and yes, reduce delinquency and crime. In other words, if kindergarten is linked to crime, it’s because kids start school too late, not too early.

Question: Kingsbury’s conclusions contradict virtually all scientific research on the effects of early childhood education; so what do you think of his suggestion that kindergarten leads to criminal activity:




Danya Biggs

His logic is flawed in so many places, but here’s just one: even if they didn’t go to kindergarten, they would still probably be separated from their mothers as mothers work. Those five year olds were probably in day care before that, or being babysat. By opening his mouth and saying this, this man inadvertently proved why early childhood education is so important.



Jade Godwin

Just when I thought the extremism was at its limit, bam, here comes more ignorance that just seems laughable. Unbelievable.



Patricia Wayne

This kind of research makes me laugh. It’s the same thing we go through every time someone says video games cause teenagers to be violent, because majority of violent criminals play video games. However, they don’t look deeper into the issue. This guy is 86, and clearly needs to retire. Makes a strong case for term limits, doesn’t it?



Aarin Deans

At some point we need to look past the absurdity of these individual politicians and seriously look at the voters who put them in office.





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