Filed under ‘sad but true’ comes Stephen’s post at South Texas Defense on over-criminalization being one reason he practices in juvi court:

Fighting at school is a good example. When I was growing up, if you got into a fight at school, you got detention (at school, not at a juvenile facility) or maybe, suspension. Now, thirteen year-old kids are taken into police custody and end up in court.

As a result of their dispositions in court, many of the kids will end up on probation, with a probation officer checking in on them every so often. All of this for a fight at school.

Put it down to fear.

Parents these days fear a Columbine type incident, and I don’t necessarily blame them. But the over reaction to that fear is felt in ways that they themselves are surprised at. Stephen’s post is titled “Let me get this straight, my kid is a felon?”

So in an effort to combat another Columbine in our hometown high school, we have police at the ready. For any situation.

Hey, there’s a couple of kids fighting. No need to look up the penal code to know that sounds like assault. Crime committed. Police available. Predictable result.

The principal – or other administrator in charge – that calls for the police in this situation is the one to blame. Doesn’t he remember this happened at Lincoln High every week when he was a kid? Did the police need to come “handle that situation”?

My wife often asks me if there isn’t some sort of ‘common sense’ written into the criminal laws. I keep telling her there’s not.