I don't know what's happened to this country, but I don't like it. You know who's getting arrested these days? A lot of people. You know what they're getting arrested for? A lot of things.
But, I'm gonna talk about one subset of each of those questions. You know who's getting arrested these days? High school seniors. You know what they're getting arrested for? Senior pranks.
It's that time of year again. High school seniors across the country are getting ready to don their caps and gowns and celebrate their freedom from high school. Many of them have been accepted to, and plan to attend, colleges all across the country. But they are still kids, even if they are now 17 or 18, and they lack the judgment that an older person might have. And because of this they plan "senior pranks." They're thinking "We'll go down in history for this one!" and unfortunately for them, that is true. I say unfortunately, because they didn't think that "going down in history" would pan out quite how it will.
These kids pull off a prank. It's rarely that creative, more often slightly destructive, and always disruptive. But that is the point of a senior prank. And in days past (and occasionally still now), the school would laugh and everyone would have a good time with it and see it in the light that it should be cast.
But now there is a problem with the senior prank.
And it's not the kids, it's the adults and how they overreact to everything. Not that these kids are innocent -- they're fucking idiots. Not that the idea behind a senior prank is stupid, nor that getting caught doing so is stupid, although it's not smart, but the kids are idiots because they should see the climate around them and that most schools now will not react how they should and used to, but will react swiftly, mercilessly, and utterly irresponsibly. Seriously, it's just meant to be a prank. Clean it up, and charge the kids the cleanup costs, but it's ridiculous to bring in law enforcement and to possibly not let these kids graduate. They're just trying to have fun and celebrate their graduation. It is an error in judgment or a lack of judgment, but it is hardly a crime.
The crime, if anything, is that it used to be a standard thing, senior pranks, and now a "prank" will quickly escalate in to an arrest. It's irresponsible of the schools, the administrators, the teachers, and maybe even the police to let that happen. Their job is to teach these kids, prepare them for life, and set them on the right path. By putting them in jail for a prank or having the prank appear on their permanent record, they're putting them on the wrong path. Make them pay for the damages, that's fine, but let them graduate and go on with their lives rather than having to deal with legal bullshit which will destroy them.
It's sickening and stupid that these places that are supposed to help kids are letting them get arrested and then pressing charges against them for, what, a few hundred, maybe a couple thousand dollars? These schools and administrators and teachers, people whose job it is to help students are suddenly shirking their responsibilities and are turning against those that have been put in their charge. And that's fucked. The prank is a school-related happening. If you want to give them an in-school suspension, do it. If you want to fine them, do it. If you want to disallow them from walking during graduation, I think that is heartless and cold, but it's still fine. But to have them arrested or to expel them when they are hours away from graduating, is beyond unfair. It is completely [un]reasonable.
As if to illustrate my point further, here's another prime example.