So It's Come To This: Seven High School Students Arrested For Throwing... Water Balloons (Techdirt)
Thursday May 23rd, 2013
The weather's (mostly) hot. School's almost out. And what better way to celebrate summer being almost here than being arrested and charged with a misdemeanor for throwing water balloons.
Hail academia, forever teaching our youth that anything and everything will be punished to the fullest extent of the law, even childhood hijinks our parents would have approved of, if only they weren't so busy being arrested themselves.
Seven teenage students in North Carolina were arrested on Thursday and charged with a misdemeanor for throwing water balloons during a school prank. A parent was also arrested during the incident. You've got to respect the uniform -- even if that uniform is a 50/50 polyester/ugly blend. If other students, teachers and administration staff get hit, that's a paddlin' simple "disorderly conduct" (a.k.a., the cop's best friend). And if you can't respect the security guard's uniform, you had damn well better respect the boys in blue, or you'll get thrown to the ground for throwing water balloons.
The seven boys, all between the ages of 16 and 17, threw balloons filled with tap water as an end-of-year prank at Enloe High School in Raleigh. The balloons were rumored to be filled with “other substances,” but Wake County Public School System spokeswoman Renee McCoy said “all indications” were that only water was used.
Six of the teens were charged with disorderly conduct. The seventh was charged with assault and battery for hitting a school security officer with a balloon.
Kevin Hines, the parent who was arrested, was just acting out of concern for a student's wellbeing. No good deed goes unpunished, not when we're sending cops after kids armed with water balloons.
Kevin Hines said saw Raleigh police officers acting aggressively towards a student they were arresting when he drove up to the school. Swell. An unarmed parent who's concerned that someone (NOT A COP) might get hurt is handcuffed, threatened with a taser and charged for "causing trouble," which apparently goes on the books as "second degree trespassing."
"Being lifted up by the neck and taken down hard," Hines said.
Hines said he tried to intervene was but was told he didn't know the whole story. Hines complied and said he wished to speak to the principal.
"You're just trying to cause trouble. Get out," Hines said an officer told him.
Hines said he then attempted to talk to a lieutenant but was approached by two officers and threatening with a TASER. Hines said he told the officers that wasn't necessary.
"They arrested me on grounds of trespassing," Hines said. "So, they put cuffs on me and carried me away."
Another parent is "causing trouble" as well, although this might be the kind of trouble that sticks:
The mother of an Enloe High School student has filed a complaint with the Raleigh Police Department after an officer threw her son to the ground Thursday as police responded to a water balloon battle at the school. Call me naive, but I never thought I'd ever read a sentence this incongruous in my life: "...as police responded to a water balloon battle..." Tase me. Tase me now, lord. At least it wasn't a water pistol fight. Martial law would have been declared and the National Guard called in.
Here's the school's official statement on the "event."
Renee McCoy, a representative of Wake County Public Schools, said they rely on the training of the Raleigh Police Department in these situations. "We leave those decisions up to Raleigh PD," McCoy said. Punt.
Seven kids with misdemeanors on their records ("released on bail" -- I am not kidding) for throwing weaponized water. I'm not really sure what schools are teaching kids at this point -- that every minor infraction must be dealt with swiftly and brutally? That violating school policies is a criminal offence? Whatever they're trying to teach by jettisoning critical thinking and replacing it with zero tolerance cops on speed dial, it's not getting through. All students are going to learn is that school administration has farmed out its disciplinary responsibilities to a variety of humorless, uniformed thugs -- some private, some public -- and that there really is no crime too small.