An 11-year old student at St. Lucie West Middle School in Florida has been charged with a felony for attempting to change his grades.
In a clear misapplication of the law, the child, who has not been named, was charged with an offense against intellectual property. It's hard to imagine how changing a grade is any kind of affront to any human being's
"intellectual property," but this is what has been claimed, according to the Associated Press.
Legal semantics aside, the ordeal demonstrates a disdainfully low level of understanding and tolerance among school and city officials. Helen Roberts, the school's principal, recommended that the boy be expelled. Ellen Mancini, an assistant state attorney in Florida, called the boy's actions a "scheme to defraud."
Throughout history, in all cultures, youth have been allowed to make mistakes in judgment -- and learn from those mistakes -- as part of growing up. It's a kind of instinctual hacking. In today's panic-stricken U.S.A. however, the supposed rules of childhood become more erratic by the day, and the concept of "zero tolerance" gains increasing ground.
"It's as much a fraud as anything else," Mancini spouted. The student was booked into the St. Lucie County jail on Wednesday.