If you’re a kid wanting to pull a school prank, you were born 30 years too late.
That’s my thought after reading about 25 studentsages 11 to 15who were taken to jail for a food fight at a Chicago-area middle school cafeteria.
Okay, I’m not saying a food fight is no big deal. A principal rightfully must come down hard on kids who disrupt the school in a major way.
But why arrest students? Why criminalize youthful stupidity?
Whatever happened to calling in the parents, in-school suspensions, or handing a kid a mop and bucket and saying, “You made the mess; you clean it up.”
Now, I know times are different. School personnel face a constant struggle to maintain order. Some work in schools where the threat of violence and disorder creates great stress. They have no patience for nonsense, and they feel the need to slap down student misconduct quickly and harshly.
And I accept that in some instances. The student who telephones a bomb threat isn’t going to get a slap on the wristand I’ve no problem with that.
I also don’t have much sympathy for the four Florida students who wanted to be showcased on a MTV special about high school pranks. According to the Naples Daily News, they entered school and proceeded to “spray paint walls, upend vending machines, discharge fire extinguishers, dump buckets of paint on school-owned golf carts, and try to paint over surveillance cameras.”