It’s getting to be almost as predictable as pine pollen, and every bit as ugly.
Every year, as the warm days of spring arrive, some kids start looking for mischief or just an easy exit from class.
That’s when the bomb threats begin. The latest batches have had similar twists: Missives of mayhem written in the stalls of girls’ bathrooms at Evans High School and Columbia Middle School.
The common location indicates the belief that a bathroom stall is about the most private place at a school, but the writers didn’t factor in witnesses reporting suspicious activity and time-stamped security cameras.
The result? Arrests on felony charges of communicating a terrorist threat and disrupting a school. Early vacation from school granted, with an orange jumpsuit for the spring wardrobe.
Here’s the thing: Columbia County authorities, both with the school system and the sheriff’s office, are a lot smarter and a lot more sophisticated than the wannabe Unabombers. Those students are going to get caught, just like those teens arrested in the past two weeks.
And when they do? They’ll be handcuffed and taken to jail. All their personal belongings will be dumped into a cardboard box, along with their dignity. They’ll be stripsearched and fingerprinted, and posed for mug shots that won’t make the school yearbook.
In addition, while that school bathroom stall might provide privacy, those students will give that up in jail or in juvenile detention. Sorry, but your toilet is right out there in the open, and you just can’t hold it that long.
Juvenile Court Judge Doug Flanagan presents a version of this message at schools around the county, but apparently for some the message doesn’t sink in until the cuffs click on.
Moms and dads, it’s up to you: Make it clear to your children. Spring break will be here soon enough; they don’t want to spend it at the juvenile detention center.