Remember When High School Hijinks Didn’t Net You Eight Years In Prison?
Senior pranks were a staple at my high school. There was the time some guys somehow put a car up on the roof of the school and the time that almost the entire senior class camped out on the front lawn on the eve of the last day of the year. I grew up in a rural area so farm animals played a leading role some years — like a sheep would be released in the hallway to the delight of everyone. Good times.
And good thing I graduated almost 20 years ago because now these things could lead to felony convictions. That’s what 18-year-old Tyell Morton is finding out after he put a blow-up sex doll in a bathroom on the last day of school.
And in a display of complete over-reaction, the bomb squad was called and he now faces up to eight years in the hoosegow.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley asked on his blog:
“The question is what type of society we are creating when our children have to fear that a prank (could) lead them to jail for almost a decade. What type of citizens are we creating who fear the arbitrary use of criminal charges by their government?”
Seriously! I mean, maybe the sex doll wasn’t Morton’s best decision, but the real dangerous pranksters are the folks who thought that a black kid entering the school with a package and leaving a few minutes later without it meant that K9 dogs and a bomb squad should search the building.
The administrators used the “we can’t be too careful” defense. But yes, you can be so careful that you check your brain at the door, enact mindless “zero-tolerance” policies and threaten kids with a felony record.
Other law professors wonder why charges were brought in the first place. They think the school had plenty of options within its normal school disciplinary process.
Now the kid is worried he’ll never be able to attend college and is generally scared about where his life is going to end up.
Talk about over-reach. Free Tyell Morton!