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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Friday, April 06, 2007

Girl Arrested For Writing On Desktop

Cross-posted at Texas Hold 'Em Blogger.

I swear, folks. We don’t make this stuff up.

A 13-year-old girl was arrested — placed in handcuffs — for writing on a desktop.

(See BS) NEW YORK — In this day and age where young students are frequently charged for serious school offenses such as possessing weapons, dealing drugs, or assaulting other students on school property, one Brooklyn teen’s arrest may come as a surprise. A 13-year-old girl was handcuffed and placed under arrest in front of her classmates in Dyker Heights after she wrote “Okay” on her desk …

Police confirm that that’s exactly what’s written on her arrest record and for the crime, she’s been charged with criminal mischief and the making of graffiti.

This is insane. On the part of the school. Have the people in charge of our gummint-run skoolz lost their minds?

Kids wrote on desktops when I was in school. The standard punishment was maybe spending time after lunch or school washing desktops, maybe some detention time as well.

The student says she was wrongly grouped with some students who were defacing the classroom with stickers. Even if she had been, that is hardly justification for calling the police. Law enforcement, especially in New York City, have far more important tasks that enforcing classroom and school discipline.

But this seems to be a trend. Schools — principals and teachers unwilling or unable to administer classroom discipline or manage a classroom — just call the police as a knee-jerk reaction.

One kid gives an aspirin to another? Call the police and have her charged under intent to distribute laws. Some kid brings a plastic knife to school to use with his lunch? Call the police and have him handcuffed and arrested for bringing a weapon onto school grounds.

We gotta send a message, you know.

The message that is actually being sent is that the concept known as common sense is officially dead when it comes to running public schools.

In thi mid-1990s, Philip K. Howard, a lawyer, wrote a book entitled The Death of Common Sense, a book about how the expansion of government bureaucracy — in particular the culture of bureaucracy — has essentially killed the ability of normally intelligent people to think rationally and use common sense to make decisions.

Instead, everything is based on a handbook, a policy manual, a procedure — words on paper, instead of common sense when applicable. You combine the ninny-nanny “Rules are rules” people with a culture obsessed with protecting itself against potential future lawsuits and you get this nonsense.

The girl here should have been made to wash and clean every desk in the classroom on her lunch period, not handcuffed, placed under arrest and perp-walked out of the school.

Aren’t the teachers and administrators able to enforce discipline at this school? If so, then do it. If not, then fire them and hire some that can.