High school kids do silly things, both because they’re kids and, well, that’s what one does in high school. So when the seniors at Braintree High decided to teach the juniors a lesson about respecting their elders, the cops decided to teach them a lesson.
Students at Braintree High School learned a hard lesson Friday when the Braintree Police Department wrote $975 in tickets at the senior parking lot.
Police said 65 cars in total were ticketed for parking across white parking lines, instead of within the lines, in a Facebook post on Friday.
“We know it has been so long since you parked in the student lot so here’s a parking lot refresher. You better sit down for it,” police wrote. “Park ‘between’ the white lines. Not across.”
This wasn’t merely poor parking skills, but a bit of senior anarchy.
Clearly a senior prank, the police were not amused. But they did try to be amusing.
Actually we heard the ‘Senyas’ did this to teach the ‘Junyas’ a lesson for parking in their turf. We take parking lot turf wars very seriously. We ‘the Po Po,’ are in turn teaching 65 of you a lesson. PS: Those are not free ice cream cone coupons to Daddy’s Dairy. Thank you for raising $975 for the town.
They issued $15 tickets to 65 cars. Not quite the end of the world, unless one is concerned about the Braintree police having as much familiarity with memes as reflected by their effort to communicate with the students on their “level.” Thankfully, no emojis were hurt in the making of their Facebook post.
Was this an appropriate use of parking enforcement to turn a high school prank into a teachable moment? What exactly was the lesson? That kids can’t be kids? That the age-old tradition of “senyas” teaching “junyas” who’s BMOC is now criminal? That there will never be any fun in their lives?
As concerns about bullying grew, as well as the authoritarian concerns that kids in school weren’t doing as their zero-tolerance overlords demanded, the word “prank” became a pejorative, an apologist’s word for some conduct that was really harmful, hurtful, destructive, and must be stopped. Conduct that had long been deemed a childish prank was wrapped in criminal language, imbued with malevolent purpose and then treated with extreme prejudice.
In Braintree, however, the worst that could be said of the kids’ parking was that it left some others without a spot. No one was touched. No one was ridiculed or embarrassed. No one was harmed. They just had no place to park. As pranks go, this was about as harmless as it gets.
But was it a traffic infraction? Perhaps, according to what the local law is, but it’s really not worth the effort to research. Assuming it was, was this the time and place for the cops to teach the “senyas” they didn’t run the world?
How scared must we make young people of any non-compliance with the law? We used to have a certain appreciation of rebels, with or without a cause, as the embodiment of a spirit of independence. Here, the kids crossed a line and the cops showed them who’s boss. Is that the lesson, that they should never push the envelope, even in jest, again or they will suffer the official consequences?