Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Paying Kids to 'Rat'

In an era where kids get suspended for touching and hugging in school, it is not hard to find examples of school administrators going overboard. Yet this story strikes me as particularly troubling:

School administrators in Howard County have decided to continue offering cash to students for informing on their classmates, a practice that was sharply criticized after a high school principal offered to pay for information about a cafeteria food fight in December.
The school defends the practice:

"These are criminal actions to a large extent," she said, mentioning hate crimes, destruction of school property and the pulling of a fire alarm as examples of incidents that could warrant offering reward money. Students apprehended in such situations, she said, "are still given due process."
Exactly where do food fights fall between racially-motivated beatings and throwing cherry bombs in toilets?

Who knows? This may be a good thing. After all, paying confidential informants always works well in the real world.

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