food fightToday in over-reactions: nine kids from a Georgia high school were hauled out of school by police and placed under arrest. Their crime? They engaged in a food fight.

And so the school called in the cops? For a food fight?

Oooh! So scary! What's next? Having a 7-year-old arrested for "robbing" a classmate of $5? Oh wait, that actually happened. Last month, in fact.

Calling the cops on kids for offenses that would traditionally fall under the purview of a school administrator seems to be the new trend. When the principal or superintendent doesn't want to get their hands dirty, they call the police, and suddenly childish antics become criminal behavior, written on their permanent records.

The kids from Ola High School should have been forced to work with the janitors to clean up the mess they'd made in the cafeteria, maybe suspended for the food fight. Instead the nine kids are facing various misdemeanors. They were initially charged with inciting a "riot" in the cafeteria (a charge that has been dropped).

As a mother, I'm not sure whether I should be angry with the number of school administrators passing their duties off to police or afraid.

I send my daughter to school expecting that the adults in that building know how to work with kids. I don't expect them to freak out any time a kid actually acts like one and call the police.

Sometimes I fear what will happen in my daughter's school. We've already had a long talk about words she can't say on the off-chance that they're misconstrued by some overzealous teacher. I'm doing my job to raise a good citizen.

But kids aren't perfect. They screw up. And if principals and superintendents can't handle dealing with that, they need to change jobs.

Do you feel like calling the cops for something like a food fight is over the top? When should cops be called into schools?

 

Image via walknboston/Flickr