Have you heard of the "school to prison pipeline?" The BBC investigated Texas schools and found that cops issue tickets - I'm talking real, actual, go-to-court and pay your fine tickets - for school infractions that include not tucking in shirts.
You'd think the cops would be busy enough locking up child molesters, rapists, murderers, graffiti "artists," and other assorted thugs. But I guess doesn't bring in enough revenue money in our down economy. Let's expand our "paying customer" base, and watch the money roll in!
The story didn't get into that aspect, but think about it. Court costs are not cheap if you want to fight and wind up losing. Tickets aren't cheap, either. I'd like to see a documentary about how much money these parents have to pay into the system once it sucks their children in. I'd like to know whether the strict rules (such as shirt tucking) actually lead to so-called truancy because they set up an adversarial system and the child just wants to avoid the fight.
"More than one in seven Texas middle and high school students have been involved with the juvenile justice system," the article tells us. I'm really scared of these JD's, too. People with untucked shirts are a menace to society. The cops are doing us a big favour. Untucked shirts are like the gateway drugs of crime. First the untucked shirt, then the killing spree. Just like one-time marijuana use leads to kids winding up homeless junkie wino crackheads (if they inhale). I've seen the edudrama in high school, so I know these things.
And there is this. The idea that the juvenile court system is not public just makes it that much easier for abuse against the common person. Only imagine these parents: they'd desperately like to hush up the "infraction" their child committed so that he can have a good chance in his adult life. They'll pay about anything they can afford, and do about anything that is do-able to get out from under the system's thumb. And they sure don't want to talk to you about what their child did; he needs a job later.
I think things would improve immensely if the children didn't have to go into school in the first place. Schools would have to do a better job of attracting and keeping students. No more literal captive market. At the very least schools would avoid stepping on a teen's last nerve, and policies like this would end mighty quick.
A little off-topic, but I need to make a public service announcement: senior skip day at Cityname North High School is tomorrow. Patrick has been told if he wants to skip, he can call the school himself and tell them he doesn't jolly well feel like going. It should be his right to have at least one personal day after all the years he's put in.