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News-Sentinel.com Your Town. Your Voice.
Opening Arguments


Hey, the courts have way too much time to spare and far too few cases to hear. Let's do something about that:

Amy and Mark Denicore are headed to a full-blown trial to defend themselves against charges that they violated Virginia law by making their kids late to elementary school too often.

[. . .]

The Denicores are each charged with three Class 3 misdemeanors, each of which carries a maximum fine of $500. Their three children, ages 6, 7 and 9, have been late to school almost 30 times since September. Most of their tardies were three minutes or less.

Their case has sparked debate about whether the school system is overreacting to a minor offense or rightly clamping down on a habit that’s disruptive to teachers and other students.

"Overreacting to a minor offense." Gee, do ya think? Granted, parents are responsible for their children's behavior, so punishing them somethings make sense. But it's more defensible for such things as, oh, the property damage caused by juvenile carousing. Class 3 misdemeanors for three-minute tardiness seem a bit much. If being late is a crime, some people I know should be doing hard time and at least one should be facing a capital charge.

Elsewhere on the education front, the trivialization of the First Amendment continues:

A lawsuit has been filed against a Monticello school corporation alleging the district violated an eighth-grade student's First Amendment rights after he wore a breast cancer awareness bracelet to school.

Filed Monday by the American Civil Liberties Union of Indiana, the lawsuit claims a Twin Lakes School Corp. student, identified only as "L.G.," was threatened with expulsion after wearing a bracelet reading "I (heart symbol) boobies," to Roosevelt Middle School.

The bracelet was designed by the Keep A Breast Foundation to raise awareness for breast cancer and funding in support of the Carol M. Baldwin Breast Cancer Research Fund.

Yeash, yeah, yeah, it's for a good cause, and it's funny and not really vulgar, and the bracelet did not "disrupt the educational environment," and students don't leave their rights at the schoolhouse door, and blah, blah, blah. Don't think this is what the founders had in mind.

My all-time favorite breast-cancer-awareness slogan is "Save 2nd Base." It's wickedly funny and gets the message out without too much goody-two-shoes haranguing. Some students got into trouble for that one, too.