The path to career criminality begins very early in health-obsessed America, often in elementary school.
Such is the case in the nation’s public schools where the zero tolerance philosophy reigns. Until recently zero tolerance didn’t provide any opportunities for illicit gain. Students have been punished for bringing a bread knife to school, taking an aspirin without the school nurse’s approval, or drawing a stick figure holding a gun. The list of offenses is endless but until now the miscreants misbehaved themselves solitarily. The "obesity epidemic" has ushered in an era of small fry entrepreneurs who traffic in candy.
Schools in California independently banned "junk" food for many years but two years ago the prohibition was imposed statewide. As day follows night human nature deals with prohibition by thwarting it. As this news items reports, grade school kids are having their candy and eating it too, as pint size businessmen supply their school mates with forbidden sweets, for a price. Kids are now walking around school with up to $40 in their pockets and are disrupting class to make a sale.
School authorities admit that banning candy from school hasn’t reduced the supply one bit, even though confiscation of the contraband does occur. Those quoted mouth the platitude that the ban is well-intended but that they cannot properly enforce it as long as kids are able to buy candy from the store or bring it from home. Expect the behaviorists to propose beefing up the junk food ban to allow fining parents and stores for providing the youngsters with forbidden candy.
A protagonist in Ayn Rand’s Atlas Shrugged achieved clarity when, after being caught making a routine business deal that had recently been outlawed, said in puzzlement to his smirking persecutor, thrilled that he had uncovered an illegal act , "Well, after all I did break one of your laws."
"What do you think they are for?" replied the regulator. Exactly. The more petty laws criminalizing behavior that is no crime, the more petty criminals. The more "criminals" the more opportunity to keep them under control. Like smoking bans, which haven’t actually ended "illegal" smoking in any city, state, or country in which they have been imposed, banning candy hasn’t kept it out of schools. Prohibition always transforms law-abiding citizens into cynics who wink at the law because they know such laws are unworthy of respect. It’s sad that that cynicism is now being adopted by children, who once were taught the ideals that made this country great, and who once had some reason to believe.