Harmless Senior Prank Lands Teen in Prison

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bathroom stallsThink back to when you were a kid. Remember all that stupid stuff you did? For me, drinking my parents' Coors Light on the roof of my house and bringing (and throwing) water balloons to school the last week of my senior year come to mind. (Not to be topped by my friend smoking a cigarette in English class on a dare when we had a sub.) Point is, kids do dumb stuff -- especially when it's the end of the school year. It's a rite of passage, it's been happening since the beginning of time, and it shouldn't change.

Except it might. Because an Indiana school called the cops, K9 dogs, and a bomb squad on 18-year-old Tyell Morton who was simply playing a senior prank. Now he's facing up to eight years in prison.

Here's what Tyell did: He put a blow-up sex doll in a bathroom stall on the last day of school. Kind of funny, right? Yeah, not to the janitor, who saw the student running away from the school in a hooded sweatshirt. The janitor, all freaked out by the image of a student running away from school on the last day, apparently told some higher-ups, who apparently watched some security footage, which apparently showed Tyell entering the building wearing gloves, package in hand, and exiting it packageless five minutes later. 

Okay, so I could see how one would be a little freaked out after reviewing such an incident. And of course it's in the best interest of the school and all the other students to err on the side of caution. But police arresting Morton and charging him with disorderly conduct, a misdemeanor, and institutional criminal mischief -- a felony that could put him in jail for up to eight years in prison -- seems little excessive.

How about a stern talking to? How about a couple scare tactics? Arresting a kid for taking part in something that millions of kids take part in every June is a terrible thing and it sends the wrong message.

What kind of world are we living in when we have to fear that an innocent joke -- something that's meant to illicit laughter -- could wind us up in prison? That's not correcting anything in society. That's turning young kids into fear mongers. With all the crap things that are going on in the world, is this really what people are getting arrested for? A sex doll? Dang.

Do you think it was right to arrest Tyell?

 

Image via doortoriver/Flickr