Short Take: Blurred Lines

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?

17 comments on “Short Take: Blurred Lines

  1. David

    In their update post, they said their original post “literally broke the internet.” Jeez. If they’re going to set themselves up as such big authority figures, you would think they could take the time to use common words properly. Jackasses.

    1. SHG Post author

      For small town cops on FB, this was yuge. Sure, it’s not exactly viral in human terms, but then they didn’t include a cute kitteh pic either.

  2. Billy Bob

    Perhaps the Braintree cops are brain-dead. Sorry, could not resist. The real story is that Braintree is running a budget deficit and need to fill the hole somehow, even if it means handing out parking tickets at the local high school. Shame on them! Too much time on their hands? Not enough crime in Braintree to keep em busy performing real police work?!?

        1. SHG Post author

          And “interacting with the general public” is a good thing for the general public? Some of them have dogs, you know.

  3. Mike G.

    Stuff like that used to be handled by the principal or Dean of students. Its really sad that we have to waste police resources sitting on their asses in a school parking lot to make sure students stay in the lines.

    On a side note, the students who received the tickets are being encouraged to make an in kind donation to the Red Cross to get out of the ticket.

  4. Richard Kopf

    SHG,

    I am told that the local chapter of the ACLU is bringing suit, with the assistance of pro bono counsel from an AM 100 law firm, alleging that the mass issuance of parking tickets has resulted in a massive outbreak of acne in the children who were subjected to this outrage. Hands up, don’t ticket!

    All the best.

    RGK

  5. Elpey P.

    A good prank should be a little transgressive. This seems like a good outcome for everyone: Prank cred retained, a dirt cheap penalty, payable to hurricane relief, and enforced with a playful tone. Or as it would be called at Evergreen, a hateful act of fascist oppression.

  6. Jim Tyre

    OMG, what an amazing song choice. Thicke and Williams are on the wrong side of a multimillion dollar jury verdict for pranking Marvin Gaye (infringing his copyright) when they did Blurred Lines. (It’s on appeal.)

  7. phv3773

    I’m sure there must be 8×10 color glossy photographs with circles and arrows and a paragraph on the the back of each one saying what each one was to be used as evidence in court.

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