Am I the only person who remembers what it was like to be a teenager? Am I the only freaking person up in here that values a good prank? Am I the only person left on this go***mn planet who doesn’t think teenagers who commit pranks should go to jail regardless of how much somebody overreacts to the prank?
Kids these days don’t need a school nurse; they need a school lawyer. Because the minute somebody scrapes a knee is the minute a parent, teacher, or official starts looking for somebody to blame and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law. Kids should be freaking Mirandized before they answer any questions posed by school officials.
Sorry, let me bring you up to speed on this latest example of a teen acting like a teen while the adults act like children….
What’s happening to Tyell Morton is just the latest evidence that our society has no understanding of a proportional response. From The Root:
The high school senior, who reportedly has never been in trouble before, was arrested last week after school surveillance cameras captured a picture of a man dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and wearing latex gloves, concealing a package and leaving without it.
Believing that it contained explosives, officials evacuated the school and the Indiana State Police bomb squad was called in to dispose of the package. It turns out that the package, which was placed in the girls’ bathroom, contained a blow-up doll. Police say that Morton admitted putting it there as a prank.
Before we go any further, what do you think the appropriate punishment should be for putting a blow-up doll in the girl’s bathroom? My thought was a week’s detention at the outside. Morton is a high school senior; if his punishment was “boys will be boys,” I’d be cool with that too.
He’s charged with felony criminal mischief, a hoax that the teen’s family says doesn’t rise to the level of criminal charges. School officials say that the prank cost them over $8,000, and prosecutors like Rush County’s Phil Caviness don’t see the humor: “In this post-Columbine world, that’s what you get when these kinds of things happen.”
Jailed and facing up to eight years in prison if convicted, Morton will also miss his high school graduation and isn’t allowed on school property.
What the hell is wrong with these people? Columbine? COLUMBINE? You dishonor the memory of that tragedy to invoke its name in the case of the teenage boy and the blow-up doll.
I assume the kid was wearing the hoodie and the gloves because in this CSI world, he didn’t want to get caught. There is no evidence suggesting that his intention was to make everybody think “bomb.” Instead, it seems his intent was pretty clearly to play a prank on the girls before he graduated from high school. The school overreacted.
And sure, maybe the school had to overreact. It’s probably better for school and county officials to overreact 99 times if that helps them prevent something really bad from happening on the 100th time. Fine. And maybe Morton should have to suffer some punishment for the adults’ overreaction. Maybe he needs to pay a fine or do some community service. You know, egg somebody’s house, spend a weekend picking up trash in the park. That’s proportional.
But jail time? Threatening the kid with eight years of jail time? Making him miss his high school graduation? That’s just a stupid and childish reaction on the part of the school and the prosecutor. Yes, Morton made everybody look foolish, but right now it looks like the adults are punishing him for making them look silly instead of for the actual offense he committed. They are in essence ganging up on an 18-year-old kid.
You know what that is? That’s bullying. They are bullying this prankster. How’s that for hypocrisy? What is Tyell Morton supposed to learn from this: if somebody makes you look like a fool, you should bitch and moan and try to get that person thrown in jail? Laughing it off is for babies, grown men complain and sue?
The adult thing to do would be to stop threatening this kid, and move on happy in the knowledge that if somebody did try to plant a bomb in the school, they’d be ready for it. Instead, they want to crucify this kid for trying to pull a prank.
Call me crazy, but I think jail should be reserved for terrorists, not pranksters.