On behalf of Raymond V. Giudice, P.C. posted in Youthful Offenders on Thursday, February 14, 2013
Some of us here in Georgia may have heard the news today that a food fight in a Midwestern high school led a massive melee this afternoon, with as many as 300 students becoming involved. Police were called to the scene and ended up spraying the teens with mace, but it is not clear whether any students were arrested or will face charges for the incident.
As many people are aware, children are now frequently arrested for mistakes that used to result in detention or a visit to the principal's office. Although we do not know all of the details about the food fight or brawl that reportedly took place today, in many instances young students end up in handcuffs because they are breaking school rules, rather than criminal laws.
In Florida, for example, thousands of students are reportedly arrested during the school day annually. Most of these arrests are for nothing more than bad behavior, which is troubling civil rights leaders in the state.
An example of one questionable arrest involved a 12-year-old who was suspended from school but was not notified of this. When she showed up at school during the suspension, she was then arrested for trespassing.
A local newspaper looked into the topic and found that black students and disabled students are arrested at a disproportionate rate.
Arrests can have a very traumatic effect on young students, even if the criminal charges are eventually dropped. When a teenager or child is arrested here in Georgia, it may be very wise for his or her parents to seek legal counsel in order to stand up for their rights as well as attempt to avoid any long-term consequences such as a criminal record.
Source: Orlando Sentinel, "Thousands of student arrests alarm Florida justice leaders," Leslie Postal and Lauren Roth, Feb. 10, 2013
Source: CBS Minnesota, "Food Fight Turns Into Melee At Mpls. South High," Feb. 14, 2013