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When Schools Are the Police

timothy posted about 3 years ago | from the but-daily-metal-detectors-are-perfectly-nice dept.

Education 725

First time accepted submitter Is Any Nickname Left writes "The Washington Post has an article on school systems with their own police forces. It focuses on Texas, which has the highest number of 'School Police Departments,' of which there are so many they have their own trade association. Highlights: 1) Houston fourth-grader stood on a stool so he could see the judge. He pleaded guilty. To a scuffle on a school bus. 2) 275,000 juvenile tickets in fiscal 2009, to students as young as 5. 3) Austin middle school student ticketed after she sprayed herself with perfume when classmates said she smelled. 4) a 17-year-old was in court after he and his girlfriend poured milk on each other. 'She was mad at me because I broke up with her,' he said. I waiting for the Alamo Heights Special Airborne Brigade and SEAL TEAM CROCKETT."

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obviously (3, Interesting)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 years ago | (#37169878)

bag them while they are still young.

Police state? Hell, it's police kindergarten.

Not a Tumor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37169930)

Not a tumor.

Re:Not a Tumor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170012)

Actually, yes, I think these scenarios illustrate that school police departments are a cancer.

Re:Not a Tumor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170206)

Depends, these example are pretty stupid, but my city has kids dealing crack in kindergarten. They have guns and stuff too. 9 year-old kids have raped other students, often younger.

The world is pretty sick sometimes.

Re:Not a Tumor. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170252)

Execute their care-givers and give the kids to someone decent. At that age, the problem will be fixed inside a year.

Re:Not a Tumor. (1)

gbl08ma (1904378) | about 3 years ago | (#37170334)

The world is pretty sick sometimes.

It seems the word "sometimes" accidentally slipped in.

Re:Not a Tumor. (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 3 years ago | (#37170072)


Police Academy! (1) (142825) | about 3 years ago | (#37170174)

Now it will be Police Academy MCXXXII.

Re:obviously (2)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 3 years ago | (#37170020)


While my HS, and most in the district, had police officers, they were there for only two purposes - control of drugs and weapons (knives, shivs, guns... not milk). Even if a fight broke out, it was the teachers and the administration that handled it, not the cop.

yeah, using police for minor school infractions like that, that's just stupid. If it weren't for the weapons being a real problem, I'd say it was stupid to have the cop in the schools of the district I went to, but honestly, the teachers and administration shouldn't have to worry about training to deal with that kind of crap.

Re:obviously (3, Insightful)

Duradin (1261418) | about 3 years ago | (#37170200)

Blame the helicopter parents and their ravenous lawyers. Grab a kid to break up a fight? Law suit. Yell at a kid to break up a fight? Law suit. Make a kid feel sad for any reason (little johnny just wanted to stab someone, is that so bad?)? Law suit.

Re:obviously (5, Insightful)

Jeremiah Cornelius (137) | about 3 years ago | (#37170032)

Police State training. When our generation are dead and gone, you will have this younger population come after us, raised in this invisible cage.

Go watch Brazil, again.

Re:obviously (5, Interesting)

fastest fascist (1086001) | about 3 years ago | (#37170324)

I was kind of thinking the same, but with a different conclusion. This is a great way to teach kids to disrespect the law. Punishments are much more frightening before you've experienced them. All this will do is trivialize getting in trouble with the law, and show kids it's not the end of the world. As someone who's spent his share of time in prison, I know it made me much more willing to bear that burden again if the cause was right.

Re:obviously (1)

Selrahce (1116061) | about 3 years ago | (#37170034)

Who is your daddy, and what does he do?

Re:obviously (1)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 3 years ago | (#37170290)

And just as obviously, we're going to elect the governor leading the charge to presidency and fix the budget.

Fuck the police (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37169896)

Fuck the police

Re:Fuck the police (4, Funny)

GameboyRMH (1153867) | about 3 years ago | (#37169932)

Comin' straight from da playground

Re:Fuck the police (1)

Yaotzin (827566) | about 3 years ago | (#37170024)

Young kid got it bad cuz he 12

lyric fail (1)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 3 years ago | (#37170078)


Re:lyric fail (1)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#37170232)

And the police have the authority to enforce seniority.

Re:lyric fail (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170250)


Re:Fuck the police (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170362)

Actually, is "Comin' straight from da unde--" I see what you did there

Re:Fuck the police (0, Troll)

Lumpy (12016) | about 3 years ago | (#37170000)

You bet! There is one new lady cop around here that is hot as hell....

Yes officer, please frisk me again It seems that I am smuggling an illegal banana and plumbs in my pants.

Result of Truancy Laws (2, Insightful)

trout007 (975317) | about 3 years ago | (#37169928)

You cannot teach someone when they are not willing to learn. If a child doesn't want to learn they should be expelled from school and given working papers. Why punish those that are there to learn with disruptive people?

so having a can of coke in class is disruptive? (3, Interesting)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 years ago | (#37170014)

Re:so having a can of coke in class is disruptive? (2)

ILongForDarkness (1134931) | about 3 years ago | (#37170366)

Since when are school rules laws anyways? A school says no soda. Okay but then a cop gives a ticket and a court date? What the heck. I think schools should be the same as a workplace. A workplace can have a rule no fraternizing. But dating someone at work isn't a crime (unless it is coerced) so your employer has to handle it with their own processes not pass it off to the cops. Should be the same way in school. There is no law against running in the hall, there is a school rule though.

Re:Result of Truancy Laws (3, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | about 3 years ago | (#37170046)

Education is more important than the kids in school realize. For them it's mostly something that takes way too much time and isn't all that interesting, plus massively uncool. Regardless, they should be forced to get it because by the time they realize just how wrong they were, it will be too late. I certainly wouldn't expect a fifth grader to be mature enough to make such life critical choices on his own.

Re:Result of Truancy Laws (4, Insightful)

Cyberax (705495) | about 3 years ago | (#37170140)

Yeah, sure.

Then kids see athletic students in universities getting grades just for being present (or even for not being present) as long as they are on the team. And then they see these athletes earning more than underemployed engineers.

Sure, that's going to show them the importance of education!

Re:Result of Truancy Laws (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170286)

Then kids see athletic students in universities getting grades just for being present (or even for not being present)

Yeah, because it's not as if someone can be both athletic and smart. Nope, they're just a bunch of BIG DUMB JOCKS AMIRITE?!?!?

LOL @ jealous nerd. Still mad that the captain of the football team scored the girl you thought was your girlfriend just because you happened to be lab partner? That is until you creeped her out by touching her with your greasy hands and blowing your halitosis-ridden breath on her.

A few things. (1)

khasim (1285) | about 3 years ago | (#37170296)

First off, the 5th grader isn't going to understand the different in income. As long as the engineer and the athlete both bring in enough money for cookies and video games, it's the same to them.

Second, what needs to be taught is that the engineering graduates make (median) $X per year.

While the kids on the various sports teams make (median) $X-y per year.

Sure, there are some that make a LOT more than the engineers but those few are less than 1% of the pool of athletes.

Third, the 5th graders probably don't understand "career" at that point. They'd be as happy learning to be a cowboy as they would be learning engineering. Probably happier.

Re:Result of Truancy Laws (0)

SecurityGuy (217807) | about 3 years ago | (#37170308)

That's not true of all students, and therein lies the problem. The students who ARE there to learn and who don't think it's massively uncool have to deal with the idiots who are there to do nothing but disrupt the learning environment and cause trouble for those who want to learn. So yes, kids who demonstrate that they aren't getting anything out of school and are ruining the opportunity for others should go somewhere else.

Re:Result of Truancy Laws (1)

jimbolauski (882977) | about 3 years ago | (#37170312)

A 5th grader shouldn't be making the choice of weather they go to school or not it should be their parents. If their parents or more likely parent can't motivate them to go to school and not be disruptive then do everyone else in the school a favor and remove them permanently. There is no reason to drag everyone else down for the sake of one unwilling participant.

Re:Result of Truancy Laws (3, Insightful)

tripleevenfall (1990004) | about 3 years ago | (#37170110)

One reason would be that someone who is disruptive at age 13 might still be able to become a productive member of society if given a little guidance and education.

If the anarchist tendencies among us said "hey if they don't want to go to school, don't make 'em" we're going to end up with half filled schools, and an even greater dependency class than we already have in society - because of course, the fact that you have achieved less or worked less doesn't mean you should receive less, the government should rob from the rich to help you.

The social harm done could hardly be underestimated.

Re:Result of Truancy Laws (2)

static416 (1002522) | about 3 years ago | (#37170118)

You cannot teach someone when they are not willing to learn. If a child doesn't want to learn they should be expelled from school and given working papers. Why punish those that are there to learn with disruptive people?

Haha are you serious? We're going to allow children to choose whether or not they want to go to school? And force those that don't into child labor? These are great ideas. You'd be right at home in England in the 1700's []

The reason school is mandatory is because if it were optional, many children just wouldn't go, and their parents wouldn't force them. The result would be an overall decrease in average education level, pushing the US even further down that curve.

The problem in this case is that militant conservatives think that the answer to every problem is stronger and stricter enforcement of an ever increasing number of rules. But you don't inspire children to learn under a harsh regime of terror.

Re:Result of Truancy Laws (1)

Garth Smith (1720052) | about 3 years ago | (#37170124)

Instead of attempting to teach these kids or getting their parents involved, we are familiarizing the kids with gettig arrested, courts, and the possibility of jail time. I fully expect to see these kids to revisit the judicial system as adults. Such measures should be reserved for extreme cases that truly need it. We shouldn't be giving the next generation practice runs at trials.

Re:Result of Truancy Laws (2)

Kielistic (1273232) | about 3 years ago | (#37170142)

I would also like to point out that "truancy" is a pretty bad indicator of wanting to learn or not. I skipped all the time in highschool and undergrad but that didn't stop me from wanting to learn or succeeding. Throwing people like me into a social underclass because we don't conform to your "standard" of education will not make education more effective. But it will create a whole lot more intelligent criminals.

Re:Result of Truancy Laws (3, Interesting)

oobayly (1056050) | about 3 years ago | (#37170392)

Spot on, I used to skive off on days when my mum was in London seeing her PHD tutor. She never knew until I told her a few years ago - she asked how I got away with it - and I told her I only did it when I knew I wouldn't miss anything important, or make it too obvious.

She now uses me as an example (she's a child psychologist) as how teenagers can make informed decisions even when they're misbehaving.

Re:Result of Truancy Laws (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | about 3 years ago | (#37170146)

Yes, but plenty of those "uninterested" kids become interested later. Why punish those kids because of the ones that won't.

Re:Result of Truancy Laws (2)

firex726 (1188453) | about 3 years ago | (#37170156)

I think 5 is a little young for a child to be taking such a serious view on their education, or to have them be put to work.

Also you have to look at the zero tolerance policies. Should child who is the victim of an assault be expelled same as their attacker, and then put to work? Many of these sort of violations and issues are things the school police would deal with are often times the result of these policies. If a student is the victim they get a citation same as the attacker.

Furthermore we have such things as child labor laws in the US, the whole reason they cannot work is because they are considered immature children, even if they don't want an education. If we expelled them and put them to work, would they no longer be considered children? Would they be adults, able to sign contracts, vote, join the military?

Re:Result of Truancy Laws (1)

Rhywden (1940872) | about 3 years ago | (#37170188)

Dumb idea. Children don't have a fully developed frontal lobe and thus, while not actually incapable, are challenged when it comes to making rational long-term decisions.
Which means that, yes, children most of the time actually don't consciously know what is good for them in the long term.

It's also the reason why we don't treat children and youths according to adult laws - their brain simply does not work that well yet in terms of thinking ahead beyond the next five minutes.

And before you ask: The development of the frontal lobe is complete when you're about 25 years old. Another reason why young "adults" act so hare-brained sometimes.

Future Walmart workers (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170288)

You cannot teach someone when they are not willing to learn. If a child doesn't want to learn they should be expelled from school and given working papers. Why punish those that are there to learn with disruptive people?

The schools would be almost empty - except for that one annoying girl (it's always a girl) who just loves school. She would probably really appreciate all the other kids being thrown out.

No one wants to learn in school. School is boring. It's rote memorization and with the No Child Left Behind horseshit, it must be a bore these days!

Now mix in the excitement of video games (yep, I went there) and how is school to compete?

Most kids see school as a chore - and it is. It's not until High School here in the States that many kids are thinking that they need to start doing something to get those SATs up and get into a great college adn then Med, Law, Dental, or Vet school so they'll be able to keep the standard of living that their parents had. Because, with just a 4 year degree, you're going have your standard of living reduced - America is spiraling down, baby! We got to let the kids know that an education and the right connections is the only thing that's going to keep them from being a WalMart worker.

tl:dr: Show kids a Walmart worker and tell them that if they don't study, that's where they'll be in 10 years: toothless, obese and stupid and making the Walton family billions more while they import Chinese made shit.

Re:Result of Truancy Laws (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170318)

Because schools make money based on the head count, which is why the put effort into streamlining and computerizing attendance to maximize revenue.

They don't expel or suspend even the most troubled students (those with known gang affiliations, those who have committed serious crimes) because that's one less head to count which directly relates to less funding.

Of course the money they DO get doesn't go into the classrooms and the teachers have no say how it is spent...

Source: My parents are both high-school teachers who have seen this terrible practice keep the most disruptive kids in class.

What do you expect? (5, Insightful)

nharmon (97591) | about 3 years ago | (#37169944)

You have (rightly or wrongly) taken from the schools a lot of their powers in regards to disciplining students. So where the school can not, the parents must. Except, the parents are not fulfilling their obligations in this regard, and the schools can not hold parents thusly responsible.

But the courts can.

Therefore, the school will begin referring your unique snowflake to the courts when their behavior exceeds what little remedies you have left available to the schools.

Did nobody see this coming?

Re:What do you expect? (-1, Troll)

Dan667 (564390) | about 3 years ago | (#37169996)

only problem with this assessment is that in Texas perry has been getting school funding slashed and firing teachers.

Re:What do you expect? (1)

aardvarkjoe (156801) | about 3 years ago | (#37170132)

only problem with this assessment is that in Texas perry has been getting school funding slashed and firing teachers.

How does this contradict the GP's point? The increasing class size due to reduced numbers of teachers is one of the many factors that are preventing teachers from maintaining effective discipline.

What we really have here is a formalized system of school discipline, because leaving it to the teachers and school officials is insufficient. (For a variety of reasons). It may be kind of stupid -- and inefficient -- but it's exactly what we should expect when parents abrogate their responsibilities to raise kids that can behave, and at the same time our culture prevents the school officials from dealing with the results.

Re:What do you expect? (2)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about 3 years ago | (#37170166)

Really? I see a few problems with your accusation. First, hiring and firing of teachers is a local decision, not something decided by the state. Second, I find it hard to believe that the amount of actual dollars spent has decreased in any budget on a year to year basis. I am unaware of any time, when in the discussion of government spending, "cutting spending" actually meant cutting spending. On every occassion I am aware of when they report that government spending was cut, what they really mean is that the government is not going to spend as much more than last year as the people who passed last year's budget said they would. Finally, according to reports I have seen, the number of public school administrators in Texas has increased by 36% since 1999 while public school enrollment has increased by 20%.

Re:What do you expect? (2)

SydShamino (547793) | about 3 years ago | (#37170316)

When funding is cut by the millions of dollars per district, on top of cuts two years ago, districts have no choice but to cut teachers.

Officials say the impact will be felt the most in the loss of teachers and in increased class sizes.

Some districts, like Arlington and Keller, laid off staff members. Others, including Mansfield and Birdville, trimmed staffers largely by not filling open positions.

The number of teaching positions being cut remains fluid because many districts will make last-minute budget adjustments after school starts and finalize budgets this month. Administrators expect about 175 fewer teachers in Arlington than last year, nearly 85 fewer in Mansfield and about 45 fewer in Keller, for example.

This is the first time widespread cuts have significantly increased class sizes in elementary schools countywide, Poole said.

Everything else you said is ignorant bullshit, so it's not worth responding to. Read a little about what's been happening with Texas school funding before you try to talk again. At least start with the change to the funding structure in 2006, how well that has or hasn't worked, and the effect it has had on districts' ability to raise their own revenue locally.

Re:What do you expect? (1)

mla_anderson (578539) | about 3 years ago | (#37170192)

only problem with this assessment is that in Texas perry has been getting school funding slashed and firing teachers.

What's that have to do with parents abdicating their responsibilities as disciplinarians while forbidding the school system from administering discipline? Or are you so desperate to demonize Perry that you can't see anything else when you see the name "Texas"? (And I thought the Republicans were bad with Clinton).

Re:What do you expect? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170122)

In times past, there used to be a lot of penalties applied before police were called.

Name on board with a warning.
Points off on participation grades.
Referral to principal's office.
In school suspension.
No extracurricular activities.
Loss of privileges like leaving campus for lunch.
Corporal punishment.
Suspension from school.
Assignment to an alternative school.

Now, there is no graduation of penalties. A kid who speaks loudly in class goes from maybe a warning to having handcuffs put on and hauled off. What does this teach the kid? It teaches him fear and contempt for the school system.

For the love of Pete, make the punishment fit the crime. Save the courts and the juvis for assaults, muggings, and serious stuff. Disrupting a class does not deserve a jail sentence.

Two knuckleheads smacking around each other in junior high, give them ISS for a week. Kid with pocketknife, take the knife and hand it back to him at the end of the school year.

Re:What do you expect? (5, Insightful)

shadowfaxcrx (1736978) | about 3 years ago | (#37170260)

Exactly. The real trouble is going to come when zero tolerance policies and cops mix. When I was in school (and it's still happening to day, a couple decades later) they had a 0-tolerance policy about fighting. If you got in a fight, you got suspended. Even if you got attacked, and stood there letting the guy punch you, and didn't throw a punch back, you got suspended.

Carry that forward to a school-police situation, and I can see you being booked on disorderly conduct, if not battery charges.

The whole idea is absurd.

As for taking away schools' ability to discipline our kids, that's bull. We've removed their ability to paddle them. That's pretty much it. They can still suspend, expel, detain, and in many other ways punish the troublemakers.

It's the *schools* that have failed in the discipline department, by applying these ridiculous zero-tolerance policies that are guaranteed to only be a punishment to the innocent victims, while granting a free 3-day vacation to the little shits that start the problem in the first place.

The answer lies not in sending the Brute Squad into the schools, but in schools being intelligent with their discipline. Habitual troublemakers are easy to spot. So quit giving them 20 thousand detentions and suspensions, and start expelling them. And, of course, get rid of the zero tolerance policies, which are really just an excuse for school administrators to not have to do any thinking when dealing with students.

Texas Police Are Pretty Bad (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37169958)

My then, 17yo kid (he literally just turned a week previous) DEFENDED himself against a 14yo, who started a fight. My child was arrested and charged as an adult. The child who started the fight was not charged and was given one week of in school suspension. My child is now classified as a violent offender. He's fucked until he's at least 25. In Texas is it now, literally, illegal to defend yourself.

Police and Judges in Texas constantly prove they are incapable of intelligence, compassion, or logical application of the law. Stupidity, good 'ol boy politics, and bridged judges is an everyday event. Some judges only hold court a couple days per yet. Ya, things are that corrupt here.

Re:Texas Police Are Pretty Bad (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about 3 years ago | (#37169998)

Your best option, sadly, is to hope they die off.

Re:Texas Police Are Pretty Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170042)

Sorry, Papa Coward, it takes two to tango. Your snowflake was in a fight with someone much smaller than himself. What he told you is almost certainly not what happened.

Re:Texas Police Are Pretty Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170136)

Actually its a common occurrence. My 17yo weighed ~105lbs at the time. The 14yo had a couple of pounds on him. Are you really this stupid to think this doesn't happen? Do you honestly believe every 17yo is an a shaved ape? You're either really stupid or never went to HS; both seem very possible with you. In fact, it COMMONLY happens. If you have a 17yo in HS and they defend themselves against someone three years or younger, THEY WILL GO TO JAIL. PERIOD.

I'll say it again since you seem to have a learning disability. DEFENDING YOURSELF IN TEXAS IS ILLEGAL if the age spread is just right. Period.

Re:Texas Police Are Pretty Bad (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 years ago | (#37170180)

I don't disagree with you but I can't agree with putting something on a kids permanent record for a first offense scuffle.

If there's a fight in which no weapons are used and neither participant is seriously injured it's just a freaking fight. It's happened with teenage boys (and girls for that matter) since... probably since we came down out of the trees for Christ sake. Punishment yes, preferably from the parents but if necessary from the school as well. A second offense I could see maybe trying him for assault, but really to me a second offense should be a visit to the school therapist to see what the hell's really going on, because 9 times out of 10 there's going to be a reason.

Of course, I don't know anything about the OPs story. Could be the kid hit the 14 year old with a baseball bat across the head with no warning, but I think even a doting parent would have blinders that large.

Re:Texas Police Are Pretty Bad (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 3 years ago | (#37170194)

the problem is that a kid decided to pick a fight with somebody bigger (outside a boxing ring). Yes the Kid in question was in a fight with somebody smaller but that does not say that the smaller kid was not some sort of Martial Arts Blackbelt (or otherwise was a better than normal fighter) and decided to have some "fun".

This also does not say whether the bigger kid fought to "disable/disengage" or decided to beat the other kid to a pulp (which i doubt).

Big difference in aiming for some sort of knockdown and aiming for a full beatdown just because some half rack decides to be a twit

Re:Texas Police Are Pretty Bad (1)

Riceballsan (816702) | about 3 years ago | (#37170236)

Neither you nor he can know for certain what happened. There is an absence of facts on either side. It certainly falls within plausibility that a 14 year old can in fact be comparable strength to a 17 year old, at the very least it is guaranteed strong enough to hurt one that isn't fighting back if he sets his mind to it. I certainly agree that the child's own words are crap for evidence, but if it lines up with witnesses it certainly could be the truth, and regardless of the fault, or a 4 year age difference, a school fight is ridiculous way to get put on the "violent offender" list, expelled from school is perfectly reasonable. Tried as an adult is just madness.

Re:Texas Police Are Pretty Bad (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170378)

None of the facts were ever in dispute. There we plenty of witnesses, all of which presented it as I said. Even the 14yo admitted he started the fight. Its not like they can lie about their physical sizes either. Legal fees were $4K.

The fact is, this is what happens when you have stupid police with stupid judges and schools with zero tolerance policies. The only thing you can guarantee, intelligence will NEVER play a part with this combination.

Re:Texas Police Are Pretty Bad (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about 3 years ago | (#37170274)

Who said who was smaller?
There is a very real possibility that this 14 year old was larger than the 17 year old.

in the same Texas with stand your ground rights (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 years ago | (#37170070)

in the same Texas with stand your ground rights

Re:Texas Police Are Pretty Bad (1)

SJHillman (1966756) | about 3 years ago | (#37170080)

When I was in high school, it was always the fault of the older or physically larger student - regardless of witnesses, past behaviors, etc. I got in trouble even if someone ran up to me, punched me, and ran away before I could react just because I was a much bigger guy than most of the other students. Also points off against you if you're male in a male vs female dispute. Fortunately, there was only one non-white student in my highschool (grades 7-12) and he got along with most people, so racism never entered into it.

Re:Texas Police Are Pretty Bad (4, Interesting)

Dahamma (304068) | about 3 years ago | (#37170102)

In Texas is it now, literally, illegal to defend yourself.

It's Texas. He should have used a concealed handgun to defend himself - he'd probably be off scot-free.

Re:Texas Police Are Pretty Bad (1)

Nialin (570647) | about 3 years ago | (#37170112)

The unfortunate facts are that self defense is only warranted when fleeing is unlikely. If your son retaliated when he had the ability to retreat, the self defense plea doesn't hold ground. This even goes for serious acts of violence.

You're absolutely right, the policies here suck donkey balls. It's so very much black and white, with little consideration for the middle ground, trying to understand the circumstances on a case by case basis; like the sex offender laws.

IANAL, but my suggestion, as someone who's dealt with the Texas criminal "Just Us" system, make all efforts to clear your son's criminal record as soon as possible. Otherwise, his adult life is going to be rife with obstacles and irritants.

Side note: Seriously? A fine for profane language? What the fuck?

Re:Texas Police Are Pretty Bad (0)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 3 years ago | (#37170130)

Since it was in Texas, if he had a gun they would of given him a medal for defending himself.

they should aks for trial by jury! (1)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 3 years ago | (#37169960)

It's there right and I don't thing they are being told that they have that right!

Re:they should aks for trial by jury! (2)

elrous0 (869638) | about 3 years ago | (#37170320)

They're juveniles, so unfortunately they don't have that right. Juvenile courts work very differently from adult criminal courts. Basically, unless you're being tried as an adult, you're pretty much at the mercy of a single judge (with little recourse). That's what allowed those corrupt judges [] in Pennsylvania to get away with what they did.

Court? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 3 years ago | (#37169970)

So, are these kids getting represented by an attorney? What's it take for them to get a jury trial? Do they in fact have ANY constitutional rights in this court?

Re:Court? (1)

trum4n (982031) | about 3 years ago | (#37170054)

Children are often subjected to trial by judge. No jury. If you ask for a jury trial, you can be fined for contempt. You have no rights in the court room, unless a national news network is there.

Re:Court? (2)

Known Nutter (988758) | about 3 years ago | (#37170216)

Having been through the juvenile system in my younger days, I can tell you that what they typically do is suspend dispositions of minor offenses (mine was pot) upon completion of a intervention type program (usually probation, drug education, some type of work program or community service, etc.).

Getting an attorney involved in that process usually means a disposition is entered and the kid is sentenced accordingly (could be some term served in a juvenile facility).

During your suspended disposition, if you screw up again, they enter a disposition on the original charge.

No wonder private schools are booming... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37169978)

10 years ago I pulled my daughter out of public school and strapped my family financially to put my daughter into a private school that actually was interested in teaching and honesty.

More and more parents are looking at this instead of public school because the schools are overreacting to the problem of a few hoodlums that they just need to eject from the school. Schools refuse to target bullying in a decent way, Sue everyone parents wil let a teacher smack their asshole kid for being an asshole and all of it is spiraling the drain...

Honestly, FORCED education is failing. Let the people that want to learn, LEARN in an environment that works and let the turds that want to smoke pot all day and drink a 40 do so. WE need ditch diggers in society. but Truancy laws force the bad element that does not want to be there back into the schools and causes the problems.

Forced Education to the 6th grade, require HS education for a drivers license or any welfare programs and let it all go.

Honestly let the wastes of humanity fall on their faces. Maybe then they will learn that smoking pot all day is not the answer.

Re:No wonder private schools are booming... (1)

Hatta (162192) | about 3 years ago | (#37170028)

If smoking pot all day isn't the answer, you're asking the wrong question.

Re:No wonder private schools are booming... (4, Insightful)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 3 years ago | (#37170282)

"Forced education" has given most industrialized nations literacy rates far in excess of 90%. Stop talking hogwash. It strikes me that your lack of rational powers may in fact be a sign that you are a victim of a terrible education, or possibly terrible genes, or possibly, you're just a self-important moron.

welcome to the bottom of the slippery slope. (1)

prgrmr (568806) | about 3 years ago | (#37169980)

With lazy teachers, lazy administrators, and the increasingly popular "zero tolerance" policies which are there to cater to the laziness & not to enforce discipline, and with police forces all to happy to use tickets as means of revenue generation, should anyone truly be surprised by this?

Re:welcome to the bottom of the slippery slope. (1)

MozeeToby (1163751) | about 3 years ago | (#37170212)

It would be nice if I could convince myself that this is the bottom. I can't see any reasonable way to go lower, but I don't expect whether something is reasonable or not to dissuade someone from trying.

But! But! (1)

grimmjeeper (2301232) | about 3 years ago | (#37169982)

Our zero tolerance policy will save the children!

(aside)Now where did I go an hide that sarcasm tag?

Re:But! But! (1)

roman_mir (125474) | about 3 years ago | (#37170098)

Bush was almost right to ask that question, he just missed part of it.

It's not "Is our children learning?"

It's "WHAT is our children learning?"

I think the children are learning that they have no rights and they must comply and they always can be taken in by the cops, never mind what the infraction is. The children "is" learning intimidation by the state officials.

The point of the public schools is not learning (3, Insightful)

Scareduck (177470) | about 3 years ago | (#37169992)

It is indoctrination, the inculcation of the reflex to knuckle under to petty authority. Pedagogy takes a distant second to this primary urge.

Re:The point of the public schools is not learning (1)

BetterSense (1398915) | about 3 years ago | (#37170388)

What's worse, is the grey area introduced by mixing police forces and school administration. This great swath of legal grey area is the delight of school administration, who basically get their own private police to enforce their rules. And the police are happy too, because they can get citizens to buckle due to the new source of leverage they have (in the form of academic sanctions should the student not comply).

Schools have rules, but they aren't laws. If you break the rules, the school may discipline you, but they can't charge you with any crime, and the only consequences of breaking the school's rules should be internal sanctions, or expulsion, or possibly some kind of breach of contract civil suit. However, when the police are enforcing those rules, the lines between school rules and 'real' laws becomes completely blurred, with police abusing their authority under color of law to use police power without legal backing, to enforce non-laws. When the police tell Johnny that he's not allowed to chew gum in the hallways, does Johnny know if that's a legal reality or just a school rule? If Johnny doesn't comply, does he get a pink slip or handcuffs? The result is that Johnny grows thinking that the police have unlimited authority. Which is probably fairly accurate, actually.

What are you supposed to do when the police stop you on campus for, say, skateboarding? Are they stopping you for some legal infraction or just an academic one? Are they acting as agents of the school or agents of the law? Do you have to listen to them at all? It's never clear, and they can decide later; you have to assume the worst.

When I was in college, the campus police would routinely be tasked with enforcing school policy such as housing policies, parking policies, and even policies on window decorations and dress code. They use their uniforms and fear of the out-of-control authority to force compliance on vulnerable students. The whole situation is one very clear case of abuse of authority.

When the school sends its private police force to crack down, what are you supposed to do, tell the police to get lost because you aren't breaking the law, just school policy? Often they will arrest you anyway. Even if they don't, good luck with your college career if you get a 'record' with the campus 'police', even if you have broken no laws. That kind of behavior is not viewed positively by school administration. Thus you have a wedge of out-of-control police officers and out-of-control administrators gleefully operating in this mini-environment of real abuse, with little visibility, and no outcry. Mommy and Daddy see the Campus Police SUV rolling around campus and get the warm and fuzzies, and that's the extent of public knowledge of campus police forces.

Good and Bad (2)

adversus (1451933) | about 3 years ago | (#37170016)

There's a lot of examples in TFA that are just silly. But there's also a lot of instances where schools don't go far enough. Sorry but if at age 15-18 you hit somebody at class, that's assault. I never understood why someone who is old enough to know the law be allowed to skirt it. If it's against the law when you are 25, it should be against the law when you are 17. Too many kids get away with crap in their teens and continue that into their adult life because they were never corrected.

Re:Good and Bad (1)

rgviza (1303161) | about 3 years ago | (#37170342)

15-18 year olds don't know the law. When I was that age, if I was hit by someone I hit them back twice as hard, or got my ass kicked. If you didn't you'd find yourself getting your ass kicked all the time. The people that fought back sent a message and the bullies moved on to weaker targets that cower and take the beating, aka "pussies".

The key is not to do it on school property. I was smart enough to know that, though going to jail never entered my mind.

I was on the small side so I was a frequent target until I got tired of it and started fucking people up. The last time it happened was 10th grade. Some asshole smacked me in the face when he walked by, on the bus. I got up,  kicked him in the chest (by grabbing an overhead bar on the bus and swinging/kicking the guy in the chest), while he was on the ground gasping for air I kicked him in his face with my doc martens til I was tired and my friends pulled me off. When I was done he had black eye and bloody nose. Then I threw his books off the moving bus. My anger for this kid had been building, over months, due to his bullying. I simply snapped and wrecked his face.

Of course that was before video cameras, and was also on a MTA bus (not a yellow bus)

No one in my neighborhood or school ever fucked with me, or my friends, again. When you are getting bullied, it shouldn't be against the law to defend yourself and establish your place in the pecking order. It's a rite of passage.

Other times I got my ass kicked. However even if you get your ass kicked, the bullies generally back off. If you are brave enough to fight back you might be brave enough to have a knife or pipe in your back pack next time.

Haha! (1)

JustAnotherIdiot (1980292) | about 3 years ago | (#37170056)

3) Austin middle school student ticketed after she sprayed herself with perfume when classmates said she smelled

Oh how I wish this would have happened to both the girls constantly spraying perfume and the guys constantly spraying axe when I was in school.
I've always had a sensitive nose, and they would just douse themselves with the stuff. I swear you could light a match nearby and they'd catch fire.
At least the perfume, for the most part, had a halfway decent smell. Guys? Women don't like the smell of a chemical shitstorm, ask any female. Put the axe away.

Re:Haha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170246)

Guys? Women don't like the smell of a chemical shitstorm, ask any female.

If you ask, guys will tell you they don't like lipstick. But if you watch their behavior, you'd get a different opinion.

Axe stinks. Axe gets girls to tell you you're an idiot for wearing it. In other words, Axe gets girls to talk to you.

Re:Haha! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170372)

Funny, from what I saw, axe made girls sit as far away from the guy wearing axe as possible.
The last thing they wanted to do was get close enough to hold a conversation!

Re:Haha! (1)

PIBM (588930) | about 3 years ago | (#37170248)

If the problem would have been solved by simply lighting a match, the question is, why didn't you ?

So much easier in my day. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170262)

You'd just tip the Old Spice towards the cap, dab the cap on your neck, put the cap back. None of this double pits to chesty garbage you see in the commercials.

What was so awesome about Old Spice was that it went with whatever you were wearing whether it was a spike or a blow-wave mullet. But you had to keep it low key to be classy; if you were dumping that shit on, people would assume you were skipping showers.

The article summary... (1)

Dahamma (304068) | about 3 years ago | (#37170068) a perfect example of why schools need to spend more time teaching and less policing. Holy crap that's some bad grammar! I think it actually physically hurt my brain trying to understand it.

Re:The article summary... (1)

Pope (17780) | about 3 years ago | (#37170150)

It took me 3 reads to understand that " I waiting for the Alamo Heights Special Airborne Brigade and SEAL TEAM CROCKETT." was NOT a run-on continuation of the quote about the 17 year old. Oy.

If my old school had a judge this is what they do (1)

twotailakitsune (1229480) | about 3 years ago | (#37170114)

Student 1: Student 2-4 jumped me and was beating me up. I Kicked student 3 in the balls, then ran to find a admin. Judge: So you admit to attacking student 3? Student 1: Only to be able to find a admin and stop the fight. Fully self-protection Judge: You student one are to be expelled from this school, and turned over to a higher court from Battery. Judge: Students 2-4 are to have a letter send home about their actions. Judge: I hope you all learned that in the US you are to lay down and take you beatings. Fighting back makes you less then a "bully".

Re:If my old school had a judge this is what they (1)

twotailakitsune (1229480) | about 3 years ago | (#37170126)

Student 1: Student 2-4 jumped me and was beating me up. I Kicked student 3 in the balls, then ran to find a admin.
Judge: So you admit to attacking student 3?
Student 1: Only to be able to find a admin and stop the fight. Fully self-protection
Judge: You student one are to be expelled from this school, and turned over to a higher court from Battery.
Judge: Students 2-4 are to have a letter send home about their actions.

Judge: I hope you all learned that in the US you are to lay down and take you beatings. Fighting back makes you less then a "bully".

The pen is mightier than the sword? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170128)

Get back to your studies citizen.

Here's Your Texan Education Strategy (0)

loteck (533317) | about 3 years ago | (#37170164)

Graduation rates abysmal? Focus on increasing your dropout and expulsion rate (sticking these kinds of police systems in the schools is part of this). Suddenly your graduation rates are soaring, and everyone is happy! Well, everyone other than those who are looking at the racial and socioeconomic statistics of your graduates, that is. And everyone who is looking at the fact that your state has the most minimum wage workers of any state... but, hey, at least unemployment is lower!

in most places... (1)

EvilStein (414640) | about 3 years ago | (#37170240)

"In Houston one recent day, a 17-year-old was in court after he and his girlfriend poured milk on each other. “She was mad at me because I broke up with her,” he said."

if you did this on the street, you could be charged with domestic violence and/or assault & battery. The guy is also the one that would likely be arrested in most cases. Be happy it was just a ticket in school.

And really, the middle of your school isn't the place to be involved in a physical altercation.

"“I’m all for consequences, but I think it could have been handled another way,” she said. She had no chance to mention her son’s attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder and bipolar disorder, she said."

Oh yes, because that's always an excuse. "Oh, he has ADHD. He's bipolar." Letting that fly = special treatment. Treatment that minority kids and parents will bring up when their kids are the ones in court. Then the cries of racism start...

So everyone gets the same brush.

Law (3, Insightful)

Teun (17872) | about 3 years ago | (#37170256)

There's a serious lack of law in a state where schools are allowed to run their own police force.

There's a serious lack of law in a state where a school needs to run their own police force.

There's a serious lack of public moral in a state where voters allow the previous two issues to exist.

Somewhere in the uncomfortable middle... (4, Interesting)

beadfulthings (975812) | about 3 years ago | (#37170280)

It worries me because of things like the recent "Kids for Cash" [] scam in Pennsylvania in which kids, unrepresented by lawyers, received huge out-of-state sentences for infractions that should have netted them a suspension or a week or two in jug. Two judges received millions in kickbacks. At least one kid took his own life. Who knows how many basically decent kids were introduced to lives of crime or otherwise psychologically damaged. In other words, I don't trust the governments that implement this kind of stuff.

On the other hand, we have parents assaulting teachers over a bad grade, big kids bringing in arsenals, little kids showing up with Daddy's (or Mommy's boyfriend's) handgun that they found under a sofa cushion, kindergarteners arriving with stashes of crack cocaine--the list is endless, and obviously teachers can't deal with these sorts of infractions. It's a huge problem, but I'm not sure police forces are the answer. Otherwise, all of the sudden every childish misbehavior is going to start looking like a major felony.

I'm a cop, you idiot... (1)

jkiller (1030766) | about 3 years ago | (#37170294)

Pretty sure they should all have a Detective John Kimble on stand-by.

Where is the money coming from? (2)

HangingChad (677530) | about 3 years ago | (#37170298)

State governments are complaining about teacher's unions, but they have money to fund their own police departments? WTF? That's almost as bad as spending one dollar out of every four on the military, then telling people on Social Security and Medicare we need to cut their programs.

Cash for Kids (5, Interesting)

DanLake (543142) | about 3 years ago | (#37170314)

Just this month, Former Luzerne County Judge Mark Ciavarella Jr. was sentenced to 28 years in federal prison for taking a $1 million bribe from the builder of a pair of juvenile detention centers in a case that became known as "kids for cash.". []

This can happen to your kids too! I am so sick of all of the "unique snowflake" crap from people on here saying the schools and state should be able to do whatever they want to my kids to get them "in line". We homeschool all of our kids, are extremely respectful to all of them and treat them with the same respect and dignity I want for myself. I will never send them off to be harassed by the state and turned into a tool for the elites or a cog in the wheel. They live their lives along with us in the "real world" and are charting their own course rather than the one defined by the government, political, religious and corporate sponsors of education.

Sounds like (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170322)

the beginning of Hitler's Youth program under a different name.

Good Job Parents! (1)

jimmerz28 (1928616) | about 3 years ago | (#37170364)

That's sad that the parents let things get like this, or rather allow the schools treat their children like this.

Parents need to stand up for their children more when schools get out of line, too many seem to think school districts are an authority. Either that or the parents just don't care.

You have to love /. summaries (1)

Registered Coward v2 (447531) | about 3 years ago | (#37170370)

From the summary, you'd think SWAT teams have begun staking out classrooms and judges were hanging kids.

RTFA, and you discover that a number of people are concerned about this, including legislatures, educators, and judges; and are trying to figure out how to better control classrooms. Even a cop says it's a tool to use if other things don't work.

Of course, /. being /., the comments jump right past RTFA and reasoned thinking to the "POLICE STATE IS UPON US!!!! OMG!!!!! FILM AT 11."

Kindergarten cop... only real... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#37170382)

Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina....

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