Think Freely Media presents Common Sense with Paul Jacob

Want to be marked for life? Be a student in DeLynn Woodside’s math class at Roosevelt Middle High in Oklahoma City, where last month a 13-year-old boy fell prey to another exercise of unenlightened zero-tolerance-for-common-sense policies.

The child’s high crime was using a magic marker in school, a no-no in light of the school’s graffiti problem. The police report documents his “possession of a permanent marker on private property,” which is illegal. According to Ms. Woodside, the boy was “writing on a piece of paper, which caused it to bleed over onto the desk.” When she asked for the marker, he tried to hide it.

A problem? Perhaps. But if so, a minor one. She could have dealt with it by explaining that markers are not allowed in school and by asking him to put the marker away and not bring it back to school. Instead, at the teacher’s behest the child was arrested and taken to a certain Community Intervention Center, a holding facility for juvenile offenders. A sergeant “booked the marker into the property room.”

Stories like these seem like real knee-slappers until you realize the outsized inanity displayed is probably not so funny for the kids being dragged downtown and booked.

Legislators, teachers, police — nobody who enables, sanctions or participates in such episodes — deserve any laurels. Treating kids as criminals for the most trivial violations of the rules, even rules that make sense, is itself criminal.

This is Common Sense. I’m Paul Jacob.

By: Redactor


  1. Hard to believe a law enforcement official in Oklahoma would overreach, huh?

  2. Richard Sava says:

    Funny how the law cited
    “… a city ordinance making it illegal to possess spray paint or a permanent marker on private property….” states that it is illegal to possess it on “private property”.
    Since when is a Public School private property? Must be some new definition of “Public”.

  3. Howard says:

    Unfortunately I find this incident as a ‘normal’ reflection of our bizarre times. Our so called national and local community leader’s senseless behavior and rhetoric, has influenced, to a large degree, the thought patterns and life values of us all.

  4. Jim Hornaday says:

    On the whole, this kid’s arrest does appear to be making a mountain out of a mole hill.

    However, your story might be a little clearer if you could tell us the history of this kid’s behaviour. If he had been a persistent troublemaker, and warned repeatedly to stop doing “nasties” and his parents did not cooperate in trying to modify his bad attitude, I would sympathize with the teacher saying “I can’t do anything else with this *^$# kid.”

    Was this the kid’s first offense or one of a series of offenses? Like Paul Harvey used to say “Let’s hear the rest of the story.”

  5. Steve says:

    I would have to agree with Jim. While on the surface this sounds like another authoritarian overreach, do our teachers’ truly lack any form of common sense? And if he did try to hide the marker, as noted, then he must have known that possession of such was prohibited. Again the soundbite doesn’t sound quite right.

  6. mike from tucson says:

    In some American primary schools, teachers are forced to teach to classes of 60 or more. Each minute spent on disciplining a student is a minute of class time wasted for the others. There is also the matter of litigation. Teachers are very afraid of being sued by the ‘perfect’ parents of each ‘perfect’ child. It’s always safer to send the problems to the Principal who in turn sends those kids up to someone else. Anybody else. Who can afford a lawyer?
    Some years ago the miscreant would have gotten a swift kick to the rear and sent back to class sorer but wiser.
    Now each little honey gets his/her own community paid representative and an eventual apology plus damages.
    Chinese school students are told of our insanity and laugh. But only for a moment, they are too busy studying and competing for the better jobs that will lift them and their families from hundreds of years of abject poverty and to a new world order. A new world where it’s Americans that drag the cart through the mud.

    The world is turning from the Occident to the Orient. Those of us who saw it coming just never thought it could happen so fast. I am afraid that in a few years we may “elder-morph” into a nation of toothless old men and women who push street brooms and weep to remember the wonder and beauty of our fading American dream.

  7. Paul says:

    A similar thing happened to me as a kid. It helped turn me into the anti big government anti authoritarian that I am today.

    Tell the tyrants to keep up the good work of creating the next generation of American Revolutionaries.

  8. Martin D. Gann says:

    Teacher should be road out of town on a rail. How can people with such little common sence be allowed to teach our children about right and wrong. We wonder why so many children are committing terrible crimes, if they are getting treated like criminals for such little things, they may wonder, “What’s the difference”.

  9. Drik says:

    One of the problems with having liberal/dhimmocrat types in charge of the schools is that they end up trying to treat children like they are miniature adults, perfectly capable of making adult decisions about multiple things including safety and sex, that end up placing the children at risk.
    This is typical of the whole liberal craziness running the Department of Education.

  10. MoreFreedom says:

    In response to Mike in Tucson, I’ll point out that this kind of issue (school/government employees being afraid of being sued) wouldn’t exist if we didn’t have government schools. In a private school (even if funded via public education vouchers) handling problem students is much easier. The parents are more invested in their kids education, so what happens when the teacher/prinicipal calls the parent? The parent is much more likely to side with the teacher. The alternative is that the school will kick out a problem student – they do have a responsibility to the other students. And what can a parent do about that? Either find another school, or get their kid to behave.

  11. mike from tucson says:

    Charter schools generally have smaller class sizes and pre-agreed punishments that fit the infractions without being a “one size fits all and over-the-top officious melee.” …and they are usually a closer commute. Like a few houses down the block?
    Everybody gains when families respect themselves and their neighbors enough to invest more precious time and money in education. If, in turn, as is most always the case, they get greater scholastic returns and happier, better adjusted kids? What’s not to like? Everybody wins, Including the overworked cops.

  12. […] from attending his comparison prom, usually to be miraculously liberated yesterday from a school’s zero-tolerance prom-death-penalty, since of large worldwide media courtesy (all disastrous on a school’s […]

  13. Laneta says:

    Articles like this raelly grease the shafts of knowledge.

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