Bobby Must Run

Bobby's mother had to work early just about every other day. He couldn't be dropped off at school, he had to run as fast as he could to the bus stop, but he couldn't get there too early because if he did, a police officer would be waiting to snap him up and take him to child protective services.

These days unsupervised children in public places are targets of local officials for financial gain in the form of fines and court costs. But it doesn't stop there. Teachers are and school administrators now call the police when a student behaves inappropriately. Why? One theory is that parents of poorly behaving children are looking for any opportunity to make money by suing schools or teachers for disciplining their children. Therefore teachers and school administrators delegate discipline to the police who keep diligent records and know how to navigate through the justice system.

The consequences of dumping problem children into the justice system can be devastating and life-long for the student and the parents, but are of no consequence to the school. Why don't schools have disciplinary waivers that the parents must sign so the school can handle problem students internally? Simple answer: Educators are not trained psychotherapists or psychologists.

Students misbehaving are often frustrated by a home situation, or have a developmental disability. Public schools are not funded enough to handle special needs children, and many parents can't afford the costs of support for their special needs children, which creates a vicious cycle involving police, which appear to have no formal training in dealing with the developmentally disabled.

In the end the parents get fines and legal fees, which they obviously cannot afford since they couldn't afford a special program for their child.