We have been following the trend of criminalization of every aspect of American society from charging or investigating students to parents to teachers. Police in Rushville, Indiana have given us the latest disturbing example. Rushville High school Senior Tyell Morton, 18, simply tried to carry out a prank at his school — and ended up facing a felony charge.
Morton was captured on a school video dressed in a hooded sweatshirt and wearing latex gloves. He carried in a package and then left without it. Clearly, security was correct in taking the matter seriously and investigating. After it investigated, however, it confirmed that the package was just a blow-up dolls that Morton put in the girls’ restroom. That should have led to a reprimand and parent-teacher consultation. Instead, the police charged Morton with felony criminal mischief. School officials insist that the prank cost the school cost them over $8,000 — though it is not clear how. Presumably, the school is citing the costs of the evacuation of the premises.
Morton now faces eight years in prison . . . for a prank. He has never been in trouble with the law.
The question is what type of society we are creating when our children have to fear that a prank could lead them to jail for almost a decade. What type of citizens are we creating who fear the arbitrary use of criminal charges by their government?