Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Detention isn’t good enough?

After growing up a bit and learning that while fun it is a waste of food (and there are starving children around the world and in our backyard) I have come to see a food fight as a bad thing. But it isn’t a criminal act.

Except on the South Side of Chicago.

The New York Times reported that after an epic food fight that would have gone down in the bff notes of yearbooks around Calumet middle-school as “the food fight of 2009” resulted in 25 arrests of children between the ages of 11 to 15.

I suggest reading the article. Done? Great welcome back.

Now I thought the arrests were because the apples were really hard and people were getting hurt, possibly an orange had exploded and got into the eyes of another student or staff member. Nope. This was because the school police and teachers could not get it under control and called for back-up.

I am not from Chicago, nor do I live there but I can’t imagine that the kids in the Windy City are all that different from students in other big cities. The teachers couldn’t stop a food fight so they called back-up. Then the campus police (those are real cops) couldn’t stop it so they called more cops…unreal.

School, while no place for violence, is a place of learning and safe experimentation. What the hell are these kids going to learn about authority if they are arrested for a food fight? Are we going send a kid to the pokey for drawing on his desk or for not keeping the locker room clean? This is just such an unbearable over reaction that will only serve to screw up the kids. We had our fair share of suspensions and expulsions at my middle-school but I believe the only arrest was for a gang banger who was collared for possession with intent. (He had intent too.)

Officials at this school need to take responsibility and stand before that judge and respectfully ask for the charges to be dismissed. This all took place at one of those highly regarded Charter School too, so much for a better education via diverting state money to private institutions.

Kids will do what they can get away with. Adults are supposed to show restraint, not abuse their power and set a meaningful example. Great job Calumet middle-school setting the bar so high.

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