The cafeteria food fight, as immortalized in the 1978 film, Animal House, has become a high school rite of passage.
Except in Chicago (home to John Belushi, right)
The New York Times reports this morning that 25 students, ages 11 to 15, were rounded up, arrested, taken from school and put in jail on charges of reckless conduct, a misdemeanor, after a food fight at the middle-school campus of Perspectives Charter Schools, in the Gresham neighborhood on the South Side.
That was last Thursday afternoon. Now parents are questioning what seem to them like the criminalization of age-old adolescent pranks, and the lasting legal and psychological impact of the arrests.
“My children have to appear in court,” Erica Russell, the mother of two eighth-grade girls who spent eight hours in jail, said Tuesday. “They were handcuffed, slammed in a wagon, had their mug shots taken and treated like real criminals.”