The story: Police arrested an 11-year-old boy in Arvada, Colo., for following his therapist's advice at school. "Tim," who has Attention Deficit Disorder, was told to draw pictures when he got upset, instead of disrupting class. But when, one day last year, he depicted himself as a stick-figure pointing a gun at other stick figures, next to the words "teacher must die," local police reacted strongly. They showed up that night at Tim's house, and hauled him off to jail in handcuffs, charged with a third-degree misdemeanor for interfering with teachers and students. His parents say they've already spent thousands dealing with Tim's "traumatizing" arrest. "He's only 11, he's not posing a serious threat to anybody," says Tim's therapist.
The reaction:
If only police had showed a shred of common sense, says Charlie Martin at Pajamas Media. Instead, you have a "terrified little boy who wasn't off to a good start anyway; parents out thousands of dollars; and (I'll bet) eventually a substantial settlement to the family" charged to local taxpayers. How ridiculous things have gotten, says Matt Welch in Reason. "Sometimes I try to re-imagine the routine hi-jinks of my Carter-Reagan adolescence through the lens of modern-day tolerance and law enforcement," then realize I just can't.