Justin Bieber's youngest fans were shocked Thursday to see that their hero had been hauled off to jail for a drug-powered DUI.
One of these crushed Beliebers, an 8-year-old from Ohio named Serafina, cried when she found out the singer that she's loved since she was 3 had broken the law. The second-grader at Buckeye Central Elementary School in New Washington, Ohio, even wrote Bieber an open letter that her mom, Ami, shared with Fox News.
"Dear Justin Bieber, I'm very disappointed," she began. "It breaks my heart that you were in jail for just one night. I loved most of your songs. I dance to them a lot! So many things have changed this year. This is the biggest one yet! Why did you do it? Why did you race cars? What made you do it? Didn't you know it was a bad thing to do?"
She continued, "You had such a great life! I've read your books and watched your movies. You had something special. But you gave it up for drugs. My whole life I have been warned about drugs! And now my idol has started taking them! There are many drunk people in the world and you have become one of them. That's sad to me! I think you should be disappointed in your self. Just take a minute to think about what you did."
Serafina's mom said she used the arrest news as a way to talk to her daughter about making good and bad choices. While you might think that kids Serafina's age don't need to know about stories like 19-year-old Bieber's arrest, social psychologist Susan Newman would disagree.
"If your child seems to know about a star or celebrity, whatever his or her age, it is appropriate to the situation — whether positive or negative — to discuss it," Newman, who specializes in parenting, children, and family life, tells Yahoo. "Negative behavior on the part of a celebrity is an opportunity to discuss unacceptable behavior and one more chance to assert your values."
Her advice for parents talking to their children about Bieber is to broach the subject by simply mentioning a news story. Once they're talking about the subject, she notes, parents shouldn't be judgmental, because their kids will see that as an attack.
"Ask your child what he or she thinks about the situation," Newman suggests. "Let your child take the lead in a discussion."
Bieber received a second open letter offering some slightly better news following his time in the slammer. Online travel booking service AirFastTickets.com wrote one offering to fly the Canadian crooner anywhere in the world for free… as long as he leaves the U.S.
A lot of Americans — of any age — share that sentiment about now. A Detroit resident created a petition on the White House website calling for Bieber to lose the green card that allows him to stay in the country, even though the Hollywood Reporter noted that he's actually on an O-1 visa designated for people considered exceptional in their field. Nevertheless, as of Friday afternoon, 7,860 citizens had signed their names in support, which is still far short of the 100,000 needed to get an official response from the White House.
Will you be signing the petition?